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Arsenal fans ride a wave of emotions to victory

It wasn’t a match for the faint of heart

Arsenal FC v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

How did you enjoy that one, Arsenal fans? If ever there was a match where supporters were subjected to experiencing every emotion under the sun, this was it.

On a weekend where Spurs and Manchester United lost and Chelsea were more than likely to lose to Liverpool (they did) a home match against newly promoted Aston Villa seemed like the perfect opportunity to take three points and get a leg up on rivals.

Unai Emery put out a strong lineup which included promising youngster Bukayo Saka.

Arsenal looked sluggish throughout the first half and spent a lot of time passing the ball around without really creating any chances. You could sense the tension and frustration starting to build at the Emirates. In fact, I could feel it myself watching it on a stream with no sound while at work.

It couldn’t get any worse; until it did. In the 20th minute the first #EmeryOut hashtag of the day appeared as Villa’s John McGinn scored.

There was more misery yet to come. With less than five minutes remaining in the half Ainsley Maitland-Niles won the ball, got kicked in the calf, remained injured on the ground and received a red card for his efforts. Arsenal were now down to ten men.

A miserable first half performance from the Gunners ended with Villa ahead 0-1.

As the second half began, Emery replaced Saka with defender Calum Chambers. Needless to say this move was not received well by the fans.

Arsenal picked it up as the match progressed and played with more intensity (why they only do this when they are losing is another problem that needs to be addressed).

Matteo Guendouzi won a penalty in the 58th minute and Nicolas Pepe stepped up to take it. This was a smart decision to help get the Ivorian going. He coolly converted the spot kick and it was now 1-1.

That good feeling lasted all of one minute as Villa immediately answered to regain the lead.

To their credit the Gunners kept going and they were eventually rewarded in the 81st minute. As the ball flicked around the Villa box like a pinball, Chambers was there to meet it and the game was level once again.

The momentum had shifted, and you could almost sense that Arsenal might actually go on and win. That they did when Björn Engels brought down Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang just on the edge of the penalty area. Aubameyang converted and the Gunners hung on for an improbable 3-2 victory.

Once the final whistle mercifully sounded, you could almost hear a collective sigh being let out by Arsenal supporters everywhere.