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The stats which emphasise Nacho Monreal's superb Arsenal show v Villa

Nacho Monreal Arsenal 2

Arsenal put a full stop on the tale of their disastrous week, by striking late to beat Aston Villa 2-1, after the visiting side had threatened to inflict more misery at the Emirates.

Santi Cazorla was undoubtedly the star man against Aston Villa, dragging Arsenal to a 2-1 win when they most needed it.

He has rightly been receiving the plaudits, but the contribution of his former Malaga teammate, Nacho Monreal, shouldn't be ignored.

It was only his fourth appearance for Arsenal, and he gave them a presence at left-back they really could have done with against Bayern in midweek; had he not been cup-tied.

He made a telling impression against Villa, latching onto Jack Wilshere's pass to go on and provide the assist for Santi Cazorla to hit Arsenal's late winner.

Here are the statistics which illustrate his effectiveness on Saturday:

- Monreal made three 'key passes' - goalscoring opportunities - as many as Jack Wilshere. Only Walcott and Cazorla bettered him, but no other defender made a single one.

- Monreal was one of only four outfield players to complete more than 90 per cent of his passes; 91 per cent, along with Arteta, Diaby and Cazorla.

- He made three tackles, the second highest of any Arsenal player, bettered only by Jenkinson's five, and equal to Abou Diaby.

- Monreal's four interceptions were again the second highest of any of his teammates, led only by Mikel Arteta's seven.

- No other player made more clearances than Monreal's four, with Arteta and Mertesacker closest with three.

- The Spaniard also kept out of the referee's bad books, not committing a single foul.

While there is plenty of misery at Arsenal at the moment, as they head into next weekend's North London derby, fans can at least be confident their manager has improved a problem part of the squad by signing Monreal.

Even when Kieran Gibbs returns from his latest injury, it's becoming more and more clear that the young Englishman faces an uphill battle to regain his place in the side.

How good is Monreal? Have you been impressed?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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