Arsenal vs Aston Villa: 3 Key Talking Points
Arsenal moved into fifth place in the Premier League, level on points with Southampton in fourth after a five-star performance against Aston Villa. Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Hector Bellerin all scored as the Gunners swept aside a hapless Villa side, who are now just three points off the relegation zone.
Giroud opened the scoring inside the 10th minute after a wonderful through ball from Ozil and the Frenchman returned the favour as he set up the German 10 minutes into the second half. Walcott latched onto a through ball from Cazorla and finished expertly to make it three, before the Spaniard made it four from the penalty spot. And in stoppage time, the icing on the cake was provided by Bellerin, who scored his first goal for Arsenal.
Here are the major talking points from the game.
1. Arsenal starting to click into gear
When Arsenal lost 3-2 to Stoke in early December, it was their third defeat in their previous four away games. Many started to question if the Gunners could string together a run of wins, with such a bad away form. But since then, Arsenal have lost just once away from home, and that too was against Southampton, who had lost just two games at home, prior to Sunday. The Gunners’ 5-0 win over Villa was also their fourth straight clean sheet in the league and have moved their goal difference to +19 just four behind City in second place.
Not only are the Gunners starting to win games convincingly, they are also starting to show a mean streak, that many thought they didn’t have. Their 2-0 away win at the Etihad was confirmation of that and with a trip to White Hart Lane coming up next Saturday, they are in their best form of the season so far. While Spurs and Manchester United are the only difficult away ties left this season, it is at home that they must continue their form. After defeat to the Red Devils in late November, the Gunners have won five-straight home games, conceding just two goals. With the likes of West Ham, Chelsea and Liverpool still to come to the Emirates this season, it will be their home form that is key to their Champions League ambitions.