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EPL Results: Arsenal top table after beating Aston Villa 2-0

Photo Courtesy: Goal.com
Photo Courtesy: Goal.com

Arsenal managed to climb to the top of the EPL table, following a comfortable 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park.

An early penalty from Olivier Giroud coupled with a 38th minute strike from Aaron Ramsey proved enough as Villa were unable to make a comeback despite them creating a lot of chances in the second half.

The first chance of the game fell to the hosts in the 6th minute, after some good work from Scott Sinclair saw him collect a crossfield pass and cut in from the right. The former Manchester City man fired an effort, but Petr Cech was able to make a comfortable save.

Moments later, at the other end, Arsenal were awarded a penalty after Theo Walcott was brought down by Alan Hutton inside the box. Giroud stepped up and made no mistakes as he sent Brad Guzan the other way.

In the 20th minute, a perfectly executed free-kick from Mesut Ozil found the head of Giroud. Guzan, who had come off his line to collect the ball, was beaten, but luckily for Villa, Okore was able to clear at the near post.

Moments later, a looping cross from Sanchez found Cech in a very uncomfortable position. Although the former Chelsea goalkeeper was able to eventually parry, the ball drifted towards Bacuna, who sent his volley over after failing to react quickly.

At the half hour mark, another free-kick from Ozil towards the far post ended up sailing just a couple of inches over the head of Laurent Koscielny.

Soon after, at the other end, Hutton’s poor cross was cleared by Bellerin, but Ramsey surrendered the ball to Idrissa Gueye in a dangerous position. The Senegalese international moved forward and tried his luck, but his effort was miles wide of the target.

Things went from bad to worse for Villa after Arsenal doubled their lead through Ramsey in the 38th minute. A lightning fast counter from Arsenal saw Walcott dissect Villa’s defence with a superb ball towards Ozil.  The German, after collecting the pass, selflessly squared the ball towards Ramsey, who found the back of the net with the simplest of finishes.

With a couple of minutes remaining in the first half, a careless move from Arsenal allowed Villa to launch a quick counter that eventually resulted in them winning a corner. Hutton managed to connect with the resulting corner, but his header was well wide of the target.

Four minutes into the second half, Villa got a good chance to pull a goal back, after Hutton chipped a lovely ball into the box. Gestede managed to connect with a header, but his effort bounced harmlessly out for a goal kick.

Moments later, another good break from the hosts resulted in Sanchez testing Cech from 25 yards out. Although the Colombian’s curling effort was well struck, it was comfortably saved by the former Chelsea goalkeeper.

Villa got another opportunity in the 56th minute when Hutton collected the ball in a dangerous position, before sending a lovely lofted ball towards Sinclair. The former Manchester City man was able to connect with a header, but his effort flew over the crossbar.

Another chance followed for the hosts in the 63rd minute when an excellent ball from Gueye found Bacuna in a very good position on the edge of the box. The Dutchman unleashed a wonderful curling effort that just flew over the crossbar.

Fifteen minutes later, Carles Gil, after evading a couple of Arsenal defenders outside the box, fired a low effort that just curled wide of the target.

Arsenal created their first chance of the second half in the 82nd minute, when Sinclair lost the ball to Ramsey in a very dangerous position. The Welshman played a quick one-two with Ozil, before laying the ball for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The England winger immediately tired his luck, but his effort (which took a deflection) was parried out by Guzan for a corner.

Villa again got a final chance to score a consolation in the first minute of injury time, when Adama Traore blitzed past three Arsenal players towards goal. The former Barcelona player fired a low effort, but he was only able to the side netting.

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