Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 0

Arsenal stunned Aston Villa with a comfortable 3-0 win at the Emirates to record their seventh consecutive Premiership win. That sequence of results has been nothing short of sensational, and even more so given the Gunners’ horrific start this season. Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott got Arsenal off to a flying start, and two English players on the Gunners’ score-sheet for the first time since 1997. Mikel Arteta netted a stunning stoppage time free-kick for a win that consolidated the Gunners’ grip on third place in the Premiership.

Having seen the Gunners resurgence with some quality displays, Arsene Wenger admitted that he was surprised to see his team lying in third spot.

” I didn’t expect we would be in third today because it didn’t only depend on us. We needed our results and results in our favour from opponents. In the past month it has turned our way so we have to make sure we keep the momentum. We look to be a team on the up so that is positive. We look at the next game and try to win it – that’s all we can do. We have eight games to go, four at home, four away. Next is QPR and that is certainly another battle for us so let’s go there and try to be positive, ” said Wenger.

With his Premiership leading goals haul 0f 26 strikes and counting,, you would have expected Robin Van Persie to have added to his tally, but for Wenger it was reassuring that Theo Walcott has begun to find the target again.

“Theo had a very good performance and scored a great goal. You have to give him credit for that. But I would like to give credit to the pass from Song, because it is not the first time he has done that. You do not see many defensive midfielders . If you look at the assists that he has made this season, you will see that his numbers are top in Europe.

Gibbs opened the scoring on 16 minutes, a strike in reward to the young defenders’ consistency, and a shot that deflected under Shay Given from Gervinho’s pass. Arsenal were quick to establish their dominance and doubled their lead nine minutes later. Alex Song, that marvel of midfield power has more than a touch of quality about his assists, and here it was again. His pass to Walcott was clipped past Given by the Gunners’ 14, and from that point on, there would only be one winner.

Slight concern for Wenger with Laurent Koscielny pulling up in the match warm up with tendinitis, but Johan Djourou was more than able a deputy, until he succumbed a facial injury from a loose Villa elbow. Aaron Ramsey was alongside Tomas Rosicky, and the Wales captain saw a fizzing shot just go the wrong side of Given’s upright. Comfortable if perhaps a bit guilty of squandering their chances, Van Persie was only denied after something of a miraculous clearance by Stephen Warnock. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain continues to add to his burgeoning reputation, and what he and Wenger would not have given to have had this kind of form at the start of the season.
The Gunners finally grabbed a third deep into stoppage time, with Arteta’s free-kick that was inch perfectly placed beyond the reach of Given.

” I felt it was a very dynamic, fluent performance in the first half with top technical quality. It was a controlled performance in the second half, we controlled the game and managed not to concede a goal. Our fatigue came in a bit because we gave a lot at Everton on Wednesday night to win the game. Overall I am very happy, very pleased because we managed to score goals and not concede any. We have consistency at the moment, so let’s go home and wait for the next game.

“When we did not win games [earlier in the season], I did not feel we played as badly as people said. I feel we have gained a lot of confidence in our play out from the back and that makes a massive difference. The defenders who play out from the back give us a security now and that allows the team to be much more confident.” continued Wenger