Arsenal fans decided to taunt their former goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez with brutal chants in the win over Aston Villa on Friday night.
The Gunners made light work of the West Midlands outfit after a dominant first-half display with Thomas Partey heading in his first ever goal for the hosts after nodding home a Emile Smith Rowe corner before Matt Targett was adjudged to have fouled Alexandre Lacazette in the box.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw his spot kick saved but the Gabon international knocked in the rebound just on the cusp of half time.
Arsenal were well worth their victory, which was compounded after the break when Smith Rowe scored a third from a counter-attack.
Jacob Ramsey netted a consolation as Mikel Arteta succeeded in banishing the doubters following their 2-2 Premier League draw with Crystal Palace on Monday night.
One of the sub-plots of the clash was the men between the sticks with Aaron Ramsdale signing in the summer from Sheffield United.
Some eyebrows were raised over the price – particularly as the Englishman cost more than Martinez yet was relegated with Sheffield United last term.
The Argentine had left Arsenal the summer previous to play more football and has grown into one of the finest goalkeepers in the Premier League.
However this was a tough night for the 29-year-old on his return to his former side, who was taunted throughout the match by the home crowd.
One chant rang round the Emirates, singing: “Aaron Ramsdale – he’s better than you.”
But a more cruel version echoed round not long after, in the shape of: “You’re just a s*** Aaron Ramsdale.”
“Aaron Ramsdale he’s better than you” ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/X04cVWBl9w
— JF (@TwoFourFours) October 22, 2021
There was also no love lost between Emiliano Martinez and Alexandre Lacazette, who clashed as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stepped up to take a penalty against Aston Villa.
Mikel Arteta’s side were handed a chance to double their lead just before half time as Craig Pawson awarded them a spot kick after consulting the pitchside monitor.
The referee had initially waved away Arsenal’s appeals after Matt Targett clipped Lacazette’s heels with a diving clearance, flooring the Frenchman in the process.
Martinez was among the Villa players furious once Pawson reversed his original decision and appeared to be moving into place to perform some of his famous mind games with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was about to step up to take the penalty.
But Lacazette intervened, seemingly telling the Argentine to go back to his line and await the Arsenal captain’s effort from 12 yards.
Martinez ended up making a fine save to deny Aubameyang with a powerful dive to his right, but the Gabonese striker was able to convert the rebound.
Arsenal looked full of energy as they ran rings past Dean Smith’s men, with Arteta fielding a number of youngsters.
Nuno Tavares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ben White all signed in the summer and started the game.
Arteta has insisted that making his Gunners side more youthful was an important mission of his over the transfer window.
He said: “I’m really satisfied with the way we started, our tempo, urgency, how dominant we were.
“We really believed we could do it against a really good side. We wanted to put the result on Monday aside.
“They did [learn from that Crystal Palace draw]. We started to win the game with the reaction they had from Monday.
“We are the youngest team in the league. We can’t change that. We have to find why these things happen and put them right.”
Arsenal face Leeds United next in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night before facing Leicester at the weekend.
Arsenal: Ramsdale (7), Tomiyasu (7), Gabriel (6), White (7), Tavares (8), Lokonga (7), Partey (8), Saka (7), Smith Rowe (8), Aubameyang (7), Lacazette (7).
Subs: Maitland-Niles (n/a), Odegaard (6), Martinelli (n/a).
Aston Villa: Martinez (6), Tuanzebe (4), Konsa (5), Mings (5), Cash (5), Luiz (6), McGinn (5), Targett (6), Buendia (6), Ings (5), Watkins (5).
Subs: Ramsey (7), Bailey (7), El Ghazi (n/a).
Man of the match: Emile Smith Rowe.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta: “It was very close to it [Arsenal at their best]. What I liked the most was the way the team reacted to Monday evening. We accepted it wasn’t good enough. We’re the youngest team in the league but that’s not an excuse. We can’t change the age. We have to bring the belief they can play at this level because they can.
“It was a penalty for me. VAR didn’t give us anything against Palace and I thought it was a penalty, irrespective of the time.
“It’s nice to be back in the top half. We’ve had a tough start and today I’m really satisfied with the performance and the result.”
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: “It was a very poor first half. Not recognisable as a Villa team we have come to know. They deserved what they got. We got dominated physically. If we had got through the half at 1-0 I would have fancied us, but 2-0 was hard to get.
“We knew Arsenal would start strong. I’d love to say it was the system and personnel but we just didn’t play well. Didn’t win enough balls, weren’t good enough on the ball. I’ll accept the second half all day long but the first half was not good enough.”
On the Arsenal penalty: “It is a lower contact tackle. Grey areas, does he touch the ball first or his leg first? I thought they were the ones we were not going to VAR for. I am even wondering why he is allowed to put the rebound in.
“My understanding was he is walking off the pitch if he does not go to VAR, they can’t give me any clarity on that.
“I am concerned by the first-half performance today. You never like losing any game, we will put it right. We have players coming back and more options in a good squad.”
Twitter users reacted as Arsenal fans taunt Emiliano Martinez with brutal chants in the win over Aston Villa…
@nolimitafc: Lack of class tbh, basically came through our academy.
@caswell009: Poor from the arsenal fans! No need!
@dBoi_massive: He departed us humble and we loved him. He’s since talked crap about us and his time at Arsenal so I’m not surprised he got this. It’s all banter anyway
@bradhcpfc: New song for arsenal, never thought this would ever happen
@avbiIly: such a strange obsession
@itsjoe8_: Nah mate respect him fs
@vettge: Why we have to disrespect him? He played good games for us and he wanted to be number one.
@Hamakko_86: He’s regretting all the shit he chatted about Arsenal
@theAEW2: The thing is, I actually liked him, but he’s chatted so much shit and tbh turned into a cocky twat since joining villa. Glad our fans booed him tbh, he’s been bare disrespectful
@NorthBankNadim: Hearing a packed Emirates sing ‘Aaron Ramsdale, he’s better than you’ to Emi Martinez was sweet, sweet music this evening. Superb performance all over the pitch tonight. Work rate from Laca was astonishing. We’re lucky to have him. ESR man of the match.
@pauljeff: Harsh. Martinez was great for us.
@tavfcuk: Fair play to Arsenal fans. That’s some sense of humour. Ramsdale is awful!
@CityGooner: He did one too many interviews I guess (i still like him)
“Aaron Ramsdale, he’s better than you.” Martinez had more clean sheets last season than Ramsdale has had in his entire career… pic.twitter.com/puJq9hSNmI
— Josh (@JPAvfc_) October 22, 2021
This season (in all competitions)
Aaron Ramsdale: Appearances 7, Goals conceded 4, Clean sheets 4, Games lost 0.
Emiliano Martínez: Appearances 8, Goals conceded 12, Clean sheets 3, Games lost 4.
🎶 Aaron Ramsdale, he’s better than you! 🎶 pic.twitter.com/zE2ptzoORb
— 𝓙𝓸𝓱𝓷 (@GoonerJohnAFC) October 22, 2021