Arsenal vs Aston Villa: The Gunners struck early and often to establish an insurmountable advantage and take all three points at the Emirates Stadium on Friday.
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Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith Rowe all scored inside the opening hour to give Arsenal a 3-0 lead before Jacob Ramsey hit back in the 82nd minute.
The victory sends Arsenal 9th in the Premier League table on the back of their current six-game unbeaten run (4W-2D-0L). Aston Villa, meanwhile, are stuck in 13th after suffering a third straight defeat.
Arsenal vs Aston Villa final score, stats, results
Final score: Arsenal 3, Aston Villa 1
Goal scorers: Arsenal (Partey 23′, Aubameyang 45’+5, Smith Rowe 56′), Aston Villa (Ramsey 82′)
Shots: Arsenal 22, Aston Villa 10
Shots on target: Arsenal 9, Aston Villa 4
Possession: Arsenal 54%, Aston Villa 46%
2 things we learned, Arsenal vs Aston Villa
1. How good Arsenal can actually be: It’s undeniable that Arsenal have sorely lacked a ruthless mindset and any semblance of the requisite confidence to perform up to their considerable collective talent on a consistent basis. Friday’s thrashing of Aston Villa revealed a different version of the Gunners, one in which they forcefully marched around the all over the field and dictated the game’s terms to Aston Villa on an every-touch basis. They were dominant out of the starting gate and they never took their foot of the gas for roughly 80 minutes.
2. Aston Villa had their chances late: Ramsey scored a stupendous goal to put the result back into doubt with just 10 minutes left to play, but Ollie Watkins couldn’t quite turn home a cross from Matt Targett a minute later, and that seemed to be the golden gift and wake-up call that Arsenal desperately needed to get the three points over the line.
Man of the Match: Thomas Partey – Scored the opening goal, hit the woodwork and generally dominated the opening hour.
Arsenal vs Aston Villa recap, highlights
Thomas Partey heads home Arsenal opener (goal video)
Emile Smith Rowe served up a dangerous ball from the corner kick, and Partey rose highest to get his head on the ball at the near post. It seemed unlikely to find its way through a sea of bodies without a touch or block otherwise, but it did and Arsenal were 1-0 ahead.
Aubameyang penalty saved, rebound scored (goal video)
The halftime whistle was set to be blown, but referee Craig Pawson was referred to the field-side monitor for a video review on Targett’s sliding tackle against Alexandre Lacazette. It was indeed a foul, and though Emiliano Martinez made a fantastic full-stretch save to deny Aubameyang, the rebound was hammered home immediately.
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Emile Smith Rowe slams home at the back post for 3-0 (goal video)
As easily as Arsenal moved the ball across the field, and as easily as Smith Rowe hammered it past Martinez, that’s how easy it was for the Gunners on Friday.
Jacob Ramsey scores a screamer to give Aston Villa hope (goal video)
Arsenal hardly switched off to concede from absolutely nothing 20 yards out, thus the only blemish on an otherwise stellar outing from Arteta’s men.