Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 1: Bukayo Saka scores again as Gunners top four hopes get huge boost in comfortable win

ONE-NIL to the Arsenal and one other step in the direction of a return to the Champions League.

Bukayo Saka’s first half strike was sufficient to seal the victory that provides Mikel Arteta’s facet actual respiration area in the race for a top four place.

Saka has reached double figures for goals for the first time in his career
Saka has reached double figures for targets for the primary time in his professionCredit: PA
The England international was sensational all afternoon for Arsenal
The England worldwide was sensational all afternoon for ArsenalCredit: Getty
He celebrated his goal with an unorthodox somersault
He celebrated his aim with an unorthodox somersaultCredit: Getty

But, for a lot of the match, this was a one-goal thrashing.

Arsenal had a vice-like grip on Aston Villa and gave them just about nothing all afternoon till Steven Gerrard’s facet threw all the pieces on the Gunners’ aim in the latter levels.

But Gerrard might have to return to the drafting board after this one.

With Aaron Ramsdale out injured, Bernd Leno returned for his first Premier League look since letting in 5 targets at Manchester City in August.

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Arsenal followers might need been involved once they noticed the German’s identify on the team-sheet – however they needn’t have apprehensive.

Leno solely had ONE save to make with the final motion of the sport as he stored out a shot from the largely nameless Phillippe Coutinho’s free-kick.

It was Villa’s solely shot heading in the right direction and it took over 90 minutes to return.

Villa did hit the put up however that was courtesy of Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney who deflected an Ollie Watkins shot towards the woodwork.

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The Gunners boss made it clear earlier than the sport that he was sad with the timing of this lunchtime kick-off – coming so near Wednesday’s defeat at house to Liverpool.

Boss Arteta was animated all through as if he needed extra from his dominant facet.

But he needn’t have apprehensive, his facet had this recreation below management from the primary minute as they returned to profitable methods.

They now have a four level hole over Manchester United and a recreation in hand.

Ramsdale, who picked up a hip damage, can be assessed to see if he can be part of up with the England squad this week.

Gabriel Martinelli was additionally out with sickness.

The Gunners tightened their grip on fourth place
The Gunners tightened their grip on fourth placeCredit: Getty

Arsenal seemed to achieve an early benefit by turning Villa round in order that they had been enjoying into a powerful wind in the primary half.

Travelling Gunners followers chanted “You’re just a s**t Aaron Ramsdale” at ex-Arsenal keeper Emi Martinez in the Villa aim.

Thomas Partey examined Martinez earlier than the Villa goalkeeper needed to be alert to cease Ezri Konsa scoring an personal aim.

But Arsenal might need taken the lead after 18 minutes when Saka mixed with Martin Odegaard to arrange the recalled Emile Smith-Rowe however he couldn’t get a clear connection in entrance of aim.

They did take the lead on the half hour although when Villa didn’t clear their traces and the ball fell to Saka on the sting of the world.

He threaded the ball by means of a crowd of gamers and, by the point Martinez had seen it, he might solely assist it into the web for Saka’s tenth aim of the season.

Martinez acquired a hand to it, but it surely was a gentle aim for Villa to concede.

It meant Arsenal develop into the third facet to attain 2000 targets in the Premier League alongside Manchester United and Liverpool.

Watkins struck the post for Villa on a frustrating afternoon for the Midlands club
Watkins struck the put up for Villa on a irritating afternoon for the Midlands membershipCredit: Reuters

But the truth that Villa didn’t have a contact in the Gunners’ field earlier than
Saka scored, tells you all the pieces about how Arteta’s facet had stifled their hosts.

The recreation turned unhealthy tempered two minutes later when Villa skipper Tyrone Mings received the ball forward of Saka however introduced down the Arsenal ahead together with his comply with by means of.

Ref Andy Madley booked Mings, regardless that the defender couldn’t cease after taking the ball.

But – in the melee that adopted – Villa’s John McGinn was additionally proven a yellow card.

Villa didn’t handle a shot heading in the right direction earlier than the break with their ahead line seeing little of the ball.

Arsenal had been operating the present at this level with Partey pulling the strings.

Arteta got the better of former Merseyside rival Gerrard at Villa Park
Arteta acquired the higher of former Merseyside rival Gerrard at Villa ParkCredit: AFP

But Villa seemed so much brighter after the break with the circumstances in their favour – and McGinn curled a shot simply extensive from the sting of the world on the hour.

Arsenal remained a risk although and Saka went shut three minutes later.

Suddenly, Villa seemed like they needed to make a match of it and Watkins had a shot deflected onto the put up by Tierney.

Saka was subbed after 69 minutes to make approach for Nicolas Pepe – with Villa sending on Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore as boss Steven Gerrard modified formation.

Traore was making his first look in six weeks – however Arsenal tried to sluggish the sport down and preserve Villa quiet again.

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Marcus Rashford wanted, Calvert-Lewin available EXCLUSIVE

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Marcus Rashford needed, Calvert-Lewin obtainable EXCLUSIVE

Leno has easy return, Smith-Rowe shows he must play & Saka stars again
Arsenal rankings

Leno has simple return, Smith-Rowe exhibits he should play & Saka stars again

Arsenal skipper Alex Lacazette was taken off by Arteta with 11 minutes left and the Gunners seemed again in management again.

Gerrard determined to introduce Danny Ings with 9 minutes to go as Watkins made approach.

Ings nearly made an instantaneous influence with a looping header that landed on top of the web.

But nonetheless Villa struggled to interrupt by means of and, with the seconds ticking down, Martinez got here up for Coutinho’s stoppage time free-kick.

The Brazilian tried to curve it into the top nook however Leno was equal to it.

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