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Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa: Ollie Watkins scores twice in Villa win

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Ollie Watkins
Watkins has now scored six Premier League goals this season

Ollie Watkins scored twice as Aston Villa claimed an impressive victory at Arsenal and moved up to sixth in the Premier League.

The visitors took the lead midway through the first half when Bukayo Saka turned Matt Targett’s cross into his own net.

Watkins, who scored a hat-trick in a 7-2 win against champions Liverpool earlier this season, made it 2-0 with a header towards the end of the second half and scored his second soon after, slotting the ball under Bernd Leno after a quick break.

The Gunners had gone into this game looking to build on their impressive 1-0 win against Manchester United last time out, but despite dominating possession they created very little, with Alexandre Lacazette going closest when he headed over Kieran Tierney’s cross.

Instead, it was Villa who always looked the most likely to score and they could have won by an even bigger margin.

The visitors had a goal ruled out inside the first minute when John McGinn thumped home Jack Grealish’s cross.

However, after a lengthy check by the video assistant referee, it was ruled out as Ross Barkley, who was in an offside position, was adjudged to have been in goalkeeper Leno’s way.

Egypt midfielder Trezeguet forced a good save from Leno early in the second half before the Arsenal keeper denied Grealish at the near post with a strong hand, while the Aston Villa captain also had an effort cleared off the line.

Defeat leaves an inconsistent Arsenal 11th in the table while the win maintained Villa’s 100% away record so far this season.

Villa back to their best after mini-slump

Villa made a superb start to this season with a run of four successive wins that included eye-catching victories against Liverpool and Leicester.

Back-to-back defeats against Leeds and Southampton – games in which they conceded a total of seven goals – raised concerns that their excellent start may have been a false dawn, but this performance will have significantly eased some of those fears.

Boss Dean Smith said before kick-off that he believed the team he had put out possessed the attacking quality to hurt Arsenal and so it proved, particularly in the second half when they looked capable of scoring with every break.

Villa have now won five of their seven games so far this season and having taken some significant scalps already, there is every reason for their fans to be optimistic.

More to follow.

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Arsenal

  1. Squad number8Player nameDani Ceballos
  2. Squad number19Player namePépé
  3. Squad number30Player nameNketiah

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number26Player nameMartínez

  2. Squad number2Player nameCash

  3. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

  4. Squad number5Player nameMings

  5. Squad number18Player nameTargett

  6. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

  7. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

  8. Squad number17Player nameTrézéguet

  9. Squad number20Player nameBarkley

  10. Squad number10Player nameGrealish

  11. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

  1. Squad number21Player nameEl Ghazi

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 1Leno
  • 16Holding
  • 6dos Santos Magalhães
  • 3Tierney
  • 2Bellerín
  • 18ParteySubstituted forCeballosat 45′minutes
  • 25Elneny
  • 7Saka
  • 12WillianSubstituted forPépéat 65′minutes
  • 9LacazetteSubstituted forNketiahat 65′minutes
  • 14Aubameyang

Substitutes

  • 8Ceballos
  • 13Rúnarsson
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 19Pépé
  • 23David Luiz
  • 30Nketiah
  • 34Xhaka

Aston Villa

  • 26Martínez
  • 2Cash
  • 4Konsa
  • 5Mings
  • 18Targett
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 7McGinn
  • 17TrézéguetSubstituted forEl Ghaziat 88′minutes
  • 20Barkley
  • 10Grealish
  • 11Watkins

Substitutes

  • 3Taylor
  • 12Steer
  • 14Hourihane
  • 19Nakamba
  • 21El Ghazi
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 39Davis

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