After Ollie Watkins led Aston Villa to a 3-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal suffered back-to-back home Premier League defeats.
As Aston Villa claimed a shock 3-0 triumph at Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday, Ollie Watkins took his tally to six Premier League goals for the season.
When Arsenal defender Bukayo Saka unintentionally slipped the ball into his own net, Villa had taken the lead, before Watkins made the outcome certain in the second half.
As he headed in from close range, the striker finished off a fine team move and then fired an angled shot through Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s legs a few minutes later.
After a 1-0 loss to Leicester at the Emirates last month, it was Arsenal’s second consecutive home league defeat of the season.
Arsenal struggled to keep things close at the back and Villa soon took the lead as Jack Grealish and Barkley combined to free Targett, whose low cross at Saka’s back post was converted into his own net.
On his return to the Emirates in the opening half, Arsenal barely challenged Emiliano Martinez with only one shot on goal despite possession of 64 percent. Prior to Saka’s own goal, Willian skied Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ‘s cross from the edge of the box before Thomas Partey did the same from Mohamed Elneny ‘s cut-back.
But when Alexandre Lacazette rose unattended to meet Kieran Tierney’s cross only to guide his header off target from close range, Arteta’s men should have restored parity. When trailing at the break, Arsenal had won just one of their six games under Arteta-going on to lose three of the previous four-so a rousing team talk was needed.
Whatever was said, no rousing response was received.
Before substitute Nicolas Pepe collected Eddie Nketiah ‘s pass, Rob Holding hooked Gabriel’s set-up wide before bending a furious effort beyond the post, but Villa continued to dictate.
“They bullied and bossed Arsenal,” said Lee Hendrie in a commentary on Sky Sports, and the proof was compelling.
This was the stingiest defence in the Premier League prior to the weekend, but before pushing Leno into a fingertip save, the excellent Grealish lost Holding.
When Watkins headed home Barkley ‘s brilliant volleyed delivery from close range, Villa sought breathing room. Since Dani Ceballos was then in the correct position on the line to hook Grealish ‘s shot off the line from Barkley ‘s cross, it should have gotten worse for Arsenal.
But it proved to be just a brief respite as Watkins doubled his evening tally, finishing coolly past Leno after Grealish’s fine work. Victorious at United, but back-to-back home defeats now, and back to the Arsenal drawing board.
Stats for Opta
-For the first time in their history, Aston Villa have won each of their first 3 away league games in a season.
-This was Arsenal’s worst home league loss to Manchester City (also 0-3) since December 2019.
-At the Emirates Stadium, only Chelsea (five) won more away league games than Aston Villa (four).
-After Chelsea in 2005-06 and Manchester City in 2015-16, Aston Villa are the third side in Premier League history to win each of their first three away matches in a season without conceding a goal.
And what is next?
On Sunday, November 22, Arsenal fly to face Leeds live on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off is at 4.30pm.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, November 21 at 3 pm, Aston Villa host Brighton.