Prime News Ghana

Aston Villa two points off Premier League summit after record home win over Arsenal

By Vincent Ashitey
facebook sharing button Share
twitter sharing button Tweet
email sharing button Email
sharethis sharing button Share

John McGinn's early goal was enough to earn Aston Villa a 1-0 win over Arsenal that moves them to within two points of the Premier League summit.

The Gunners were knocked off the top of the table by Liverpool earlier on Saturday and faced a formidable task if they wanted to regain their place, with Villa winning 14 consecutive home matches in the Premier League since a February defeat against Mikel Arteta's side.

Villa had never won 15 top-flight home matches in a row but smashed that glass ceiling thanks to McGinn, who struck early during a flying start from the hosts.

Villa were unable to sustain their intensity and had Diego Carlos to thank for two goal-line clearances, while Kai Havertz's late equaliser was disallowed for handball as Emery's side clung on to a win that surely confirms their status as Premier League title contenders.

How Villa made it 15 in a row

Anyone reserving judgement on Villa’s title credentials until after they hosted Manchester City and Arsenal this week has surely been converted to the cause.

After outplaying the champions in a 1-0 victory on Wednesday, Villa burst out the traps against last-season’s runners-up, as if determined to prove they deserve to be taken seriously as potential league winners.


Arsenal struggled to break out of their own half and were behind after just seven minutes when McGinn swivelled and then swept past David Raya to finish a slick attack.

But Villa’s win over City came 24 hours after Arsenal’s dramatic victory at Luton and the extra rest afforded to the visitors began to pay dividends as they wrestled control of the game.

Arteta, sat in the stands due to a touchline ban, saw Carlos race back to clear Gabriel Martinelli’s deft shot with Emiliano Martinez beaten.

Martin Odegaard then fired straight at the Villa goalkeeper with the goal gaping, before Carlos again hacked clear after Martinez and Ollie Watkins almost conspired to score an own goal.

Odegaard then spurned another chance and Arsenal were further frustrated when Douglas Luiz's challenge on Gabriel Jesus in the area went unpunished.


With an Arsenal goal seeming inevitable, Emery turned to his bench to inject some much-needed energy into the encounter - and quickly saw his side enjoy a second wind.

Lucas Digne fired a powerful shot straight at Raya, who then kept out Watkins as Villa looked to secure the points.

But after scoring in stoppage time to win at Luton, Arsenal looked to have produced another late show to claim a point when Havertz bundled the ball over the line.

However, referee Jarred Gillett immediately signalled for handball against the Germany international - a decision that was confirmed by a lengthy VAR check, with the ball appearing to touch his hand before it crossed the line.

With the seconds ticking down, Arteta didn't even wait for the final whistle, making a hasty exit from his position in the stands as he faced up to a defeat that leaves his side just a point above Villa.