Made one good stop to deny Ramsey in the first half, but was otherwise untested by a toothless Arsenal attack.
Organised his defence well to ensure prolonged spells of Arsenal possession did not turn into a siege. Forced off through injury five minutes into the second half.
Occasionally dazzled by the skill of Podolski, he acquitted himself well on the right flank. Less sure of his surroundings when shifted to centre-back following Vlaar’s injury.
Fared reasonably well up against Oxlade-Chamberlain on his own, but understandably had difficulty when Jenkinson joined the attack. The protection he got from Weimann was patchy.
Already looks mature and composed on the ball, but he was occasionally troubled by the intelligent movement of Arsenal’s fluid attack. Made a fantastic late clearance to deny Gervinho a tap-in though.
K. El Ahmadi
More effective out of possession, harrying the Arsenal midfielders, than he was on it. A less creative presence than Ireland, and withdrawn on the hour mark for Holman.
His unfussiness and reliability in possession make him a good foil for Bannan in the centre of midfield, and he protected his defence reasonably well too.
Constantly probing in midfield, providing the most reliable avenue of service to Villa’s attackers in difficult conditions. His set-piece deliveries were also invariably dangerous.
Showcased some wonderful flicks and bullied the Arsenal defence on occasion with his strength, but was deprived of the service to win the match for his team.
Runs with pace but often without any real direction, and his impact in an attacking sense was minimal.
Worked his flank with the usual industry, but without the inspired movement which score him score two superb goals when Manchester United visited Villa Park.
Survived a hairy moment in the first half when he accidentally handled outside his area, but generally looked solid in dealing with the little danger a less than fluent Villa attack could muster. Did brilliantly to tip a fierce Holman effort onto the bar after the break.
Had the ball more than any other player in the first half an hour, which says more about the quality of the opening exchanges than his influence, although he did ensure most of Benteke’s best work was done with his back to goal.
Had a fun battle with Weimann throughout which, thanks to some good passing and defensive positioning, he just about got the better of.
Tackled well and drove forward with the ball whenever he got the chance, as well as assisting Mertesacker in limiting the nuisance of Benteke.
Shackled Agbonlahor down the left reasonably well and got forward at the right times to join Chamberlain in attack. Once there, however, his delivery was often poor.
Showed flashes of class and and almost lit up the evening with a left-foot shot just wide in the first half, but in general this was one of his quieter nights.
His passing and movement were first-rate but, fated to have most of his team’s best chances, his finishing was not up to scratch.
Wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of Thomas Vermaelen, he produced a mature and sensible display in front of the back four, breaking up Villa attacks and launching more than a few for his own team.
Linked play well up front and troubled Villa’s defence with his movement, but rarely found himself in a position to work Guzan.
Looked powerful and dangerous whenever he was allowed to drive at the Villa defence, and his withdrawal in place of Arshavin was a strange one.
Showed nice skill but not much penetration. On this evidence, it is no surprise he is the most substituted player in the Premier League.
Looked vulnerable on his introduction in place of Vlaar, and both Arshavin and Gibbs enjoyed too much space down his flank.
A bundle of energy on his arrival with half an hour left, he was supremely unlucky to see his goal-bound shot from 25 yards parried onto the crossbar by Szczesny.