55 passes, 6 recoveries: How good was Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny against Villa?

Arsenal defeated Aston Villa 2-0 on Sunday.

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny put in yet another superb performance as his side defeated Premier League strugglers Aston Villa 2-0 at Villa Park.

Olivier Giroud continued his fine goal scoring form by following up his hat-trick against Olympiakos with an eighth minute penalty at Villa Park, setting his side on their way to a comfortable victory.

Aaron Ramsey doubled the Gunners’ lead shortly before half-time, and his overall performance through the middle drew plenty of praise from boss Arsene Wenger after the match.

But once again the North Londoners victory was built on solid foundations at the back, and Koscielny in particular never put a foot wrong all game as he snuffed out Villa’s attacking threats.

  Effective ClearanceInterception WonDuel WonAerial WonBall RecoveryAccurate PassMins Played
Laurent Koscielny 3 2 6 3 6 55 90

As shown by the table provided by Opta, Koscielny’s display at Villa Park can be illustrated by how well he performed in a number of key defensive categories.

The France international was tasked with cutting off Villa’s attacks at source, notably through the dangerous Rudy Gestede who enjoyed so little he was replaced just before the hour mark.

Koscielny posted two interceptions, three effective clearances, three aerial duels won, six defensive duels won and an impressive six ball recoveries over the course of the 90 minutes.

In possession he was calm and precise, displaying 55 accurate passes as he kept things simple.

Much has been said of Arsenal’s attacking prowess this season, yet it’s easy to forget that Wenger’s side actually have the one of the meanest defences in the league and Koscielny is a big part of that.

Arsenal have conceded just 13 goals in 16 league matches, keeping seven clean sheets.

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