Arsenal eased to a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa, thanks to goals from Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta. It was a stroll in the sun for the Gunners and it took their winning run to seven Premier League matches – the club’s best sequence since October 2007.
Arsenal began the match knowing nearest rivals Chelsea and Tottenham had played out a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.
The Gunners started slowly and Marc Albrighton had the first chance for the visitors, when he raced clear but fired over as Gibbs challenged. Arsenal then took control of the match and went close in the seventh minute when Thomas Vermaelen headed over from a corner. A wonderful flowing move then resulted in Robin van Persie back-heeling perfectly into the path of the oncoming Walcott. Shay Given was well positioned to save the England winger’s first-time drive.
The first goal duly arrived in the 16th minute. Gibbs and Gervinho exchanged passes in the Villa penalty area, before the fullback unleashed a low hard drive towards the near post. Given was unable to stop the shot and only parried the ball into the goal. The goal was Gibbs first in the Premier League and only his second ever in professional football.
The Gunners began to show their swagger and looked confident off the back of six consecutive victories. The second goal was simple and clinical but no less beautiful than the kind of goal we’ve come to expect from Arsène Wenger’s side.
Song played a glorious lofted ball over the static Villa defence into the path of Walcott, who took the ball down perfectly before finishing with aplomb inside the near post.
Arsenal were now dominant and had further opportunities to extend the lead before half-time. Captain van Persie had a shot brilliantly cleared off the line by Stephen Warnock and then a tremendous drive from Arteta forced Given to tip over the crossbar.
Next Page: Second Half report plus Opta Match Stats