Aston Villa defeat toothless Arsenal

Aston Villa did the league double over Arsenal this season after defeating them 1-0 to hand Mikel Arteta’s men their second defeat in four days. The Gunners were blunt in their attack, and never really threatened a high flying Aston Villa side, who are four points above Arsenal having played 2 games fewer.

Aston Villa opened the scoring as early in the 2nd minute through Ole Watkins, who scuffed his shot beyond Mat Ryan after a mistake from Cedric allowed Traore to set up the striker. Xhaka almost equalised for Arsenal, but saw his free-kick effort heading into the top-right corner tipped over the bar by Emi Martinez.

Bertrand Traore missed the chance to double Villa’s lead, as the forward’s chip was well saved by an onrushing Mat Ryan. The Gunners dominated possession for the remainder of the first half, but couldn’t break down the hosts and test Martinez.

The Gunners decided to bring in attacking reinforcements in search of an equaliser by replacing Thomas Partey with Willian, and Cedric with Odegaard. However, it was Villa who threatened more through their forwards, as Grealish forced Ryan into a diving stop to keep Arsenal in the game.

Ole Watkins narrowly missed sealing the game for Villa, as the forward’s left foot strike across the goal rolled inches wide of the right-hand post, with Ryan well beaten. Odegaard was guilty of missing a great opportunity to equalise for Arsenal, as the midfielder blazed over from the edge of the box after being set up by Saka.

Ryan was forced into yet another save by Watkins, who saw his low shot kept out by the Arsenal goalkeeper. The hosts held on to win the match and do the double over Arsenal for the first time since 1992-93. The defeat leaves Arsenal in 10th position after picking up just one point from their last 3 matches.

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