Aston Villa close gap on top spot with stunning victory over Arsenal

Aston Villa continued their remarkable home form by defeating Arsenal 1-0 at Villa Park on Saturday, extending their unbeaten run at home to 15 games – a first in the club’s history.

Coming off their impressive win against Manchester City, the Villans were once again at their dominant best, silencing a boisterous Arsenal side.

The Villians, who held the record for not losing matches where they scored first this season continued in that light with John McGinn’s early seventh-minute strike.

This victory marks a sweet revenge for Unai Emery, who suffered a 4-2 defeat to the Gunners in February.

The match

Mikel Arteta made just one change to his side, bringing in Oleksandr Zinchenko for Jakub Kiwior at left-back. Understandably, Emery opted to field the same team that defeated Manchester City.

Arsenal had the first chance of the game with early exchanges between Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, but the latter failed to convert.

However, within a minute, Aston Villa struck gold. McGinn, after receiving a pass from Leon Bailey, weaved past three Arsenal defenders before squeezing the ball past David Raya into the net.

Conceding an early goal, Arsenal looked for an equaliser, with Saka threatening in the 13th and 25th minutes. In the 32nd minute, Martin Odegaard won the ball from Ollie Watkins but his shot went into Emiliano Martinez’s arms.

Martinez and Odegaard continued their battle, with the Argentine denying the Arsenal skipper in the 39th minute. Raya then denied Watkins in the 40th minute.

Just before halftime, Martinez made a full-stretch save to deny Zinchenko’s curling shot.

In the second half, Saka appeared to have equalised in the 61st minute, only to be ruled offside.

READ ALSO: EPL Round-up: Chelsea crumble against Villa as Arsenal, City keep pace with big wins

In the 90th minute, Kai Havertz poked Odegaard’s cross into the net, but the assistant referee penalised the German for a handball, denying Arsenal a late equaliser.

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With this win, Aston Villa remain third on the log but they are just one point behind second-placed Arsenal and two behind new league leaders Liverpool who are on 37 points after 16 games.

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