The Gabriels did it again as Arsenal overcame an equalizer to stay perfect on the Premier League season with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Gabriel Jesus cleaned up early rebound and Gabriel Martinelli scored with a strong back-post shot to give the Gunners their goals on a day of professional dominance without the expected finish at the Emirates Stadium.
The visitors felt they could’ve made waves for a point when Douglas Luiz hooked home a corner kick, but it was only 1-1 for a minute or so.
Arsenal improves to 5-0 and leads the division, while Villa has four losses to go with one win and sits bottom three after five outings.
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What we learned from Arsenal vs Aston Villa
Gerrard goes for it, gets immediate dividend (with VAR help): Villa boss Steven Gerrard didn’t have much to lose besides goal differential when he plugged in Douglas Luiz and Philippe Coutinho for John McGinn and Emi Buendia with 18 minutes to play.
Luiz then whipped in a corner and Aaron Ramsdale couldn’t fight through the block of Boubacar Kamara and it would go down as a Luiz Olimpico, presumably because Kamara could’ve bodied the ball over the line had he taken the chance.
Gunners show monstrous mentality: Yeah, we won’t go branding Arsenal “mentality monsters” after five matches but what the Gunners have done through five weeks has been a whole new Arsenal. Saturday’s comeback to beat Fulham was very nice. This time it was a response to giving up an equalizer.
Make no mistake about who was the better team over 90 minutes, but Arsenal’s superiority was only turned into a single goal and Villa had hope in the final stage of the game.
So when Luiz’s goal stood and Arsenal answered within a minute of the VAR review’s conclusion? The buzz on the red side of North London is justified, even if both mentality shows came against non-giants.
Steven Gerrard admits fears about Aston Villa future
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard was asked whether he has concerns about his job status at Villa Park.
“Of course I do. I am really honest and critical of myself. If I stood here and said I wasn’t concerned I think you’d look at me as though I was from a different planet.”
Villa got its instant response to subs when Douglas Luiz sent his corner kick into the goal, but Arsenal controlled the ball in a fashion Pep Guardiola would’ve approved and the Gunners took 22 of the game’s 26 shots. This wasn’t as the score line said it was, was it?
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Stars of the Show
Gabriel Martinelli: Has come into his own. So confident with the ball at his feet, whether a dribble or a first-touch shot.
Martin Odegaard: The straw that stirs their drink. Hopefully the John McGinn studs to the boot don’t cost him minutes at the weekend.
Tyrone Mings: Steven Gerrard might not have liked his leadership but it was there on Wednesday.
Gabriel Jesus: Drew four fouls, giving away three, and took shots like they were free to the first player.
Emiliano Martinez: Won’t love that he couldn’t adapt to the deflected shot Jesus put home, but the ex-Arsenal man more than make amends with a flying save on Martinelli’s technical wonder.
Aston Villa gets no rest for the weary when Man City visits town in what could become an ugly 12:30pm ET Saturday kickoff at Villa Park.
Arsenal gets its first big-name test of the year when it heads to Manchester United with one more day’s rest than the hosts for an 11:30am ET Sunday kickoff.
How to watch Arsenal vs Aston Villa live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 2:30pm ET Wednesday
TV/Stream: Watch live on Peacock Premium
Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options
Reiss Nelson, Thomas Partey, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Mohamed Elneny are out.
🚨 Here’s how we line up for #ARSAVL
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 31, 2022
Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup options
Diego Carlos remains out while Gerrard waits on Philippe Coutinho, Cameron Archer, and Tyrone Mings. Those three could all be available.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) August 31, 2022