Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 3
( Özil 32 Welbeck 34 Cissokho og 36 )

When your every performance is being questioned, on the back of a record £42.4 million arrival and winning the 2014 World Cup with Germany in Brazil, rumblings of discontent would not have been what Mesut Özil would have had in mind so early in the Premiership season. Having been ‘absent’ in the Champions League loss in Dortmund, Özil, the real Özil that is, resurfaced at Villa Park as the architect of Arsenal’s comfortable 3-0 win over Aston Villa. The German opened the scoring at the beginning of a lethal three minute and 13 second spell, which also saw Danny Welbeck open his Gunners scoring account with an Aly Cissokho own goal giving Arsene Wenger’s side a half time lead, which they never looked like relinquishing.

The result continues Arsenal’s 16 year unbeaten run at Villa Park, but Wenger recalled that many previous matches had been tough encounters, and one can recall the Martin O’Neil era from the recent past in that regard. That scenario threatened to be the narrative when Wojciech Szczesny had to be alert as Ciaran Clark threatened to give Villa the lead from Tom Cleverley’s free kick.

Having passed the ball in their usual way, but without actually threatening Brad Guzan’s goal, Arsenal stunned the home crowd by taking the lead. Welbeck has goals in him, of that is no question, a fact that would come to the fore later, and there is no question over his work rate and willingness for his team. It was a clever through ball for Özil which the former Real Madrid man raced onto before slotting in past Guzan for his first away goal for the Gunners and the game’s opener after 32 minutes.

Barely a minute later and Arsenal doubled their lead. Özil returned the favour, picking out Welbeck with a precision pass from the left. Arsenal’s £16 million summer signing raced onto the pass before burying the ball into Guzan’s net.

Again, and barely another minute on the clock before Kieran Gibbs caused confusion in the Villa defensive ranks. The left back scuffed his shot, but the unfortunate Cissokho got the last touch and Guzan was left to pick the ball out of his net for the third time in as many minutes.

Alexis Sanchez was absent from the starting line up with rumour of a slight injury picked up in the pre match warm up, although the Chilean was on the substitute’s bench. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started in his stead.

Villa were suffering from a mystery bug doing the rounds at their training ground, with the facility now set for a period of quarantine to nail down the source. Paul Lambert described many of of his players and staff had been suffering the ill affects as a result, and that is unfortunate.

Wenger was just happy to arrest the malaise in his own side with a thumping win, which continues the Gunners unbeaten run and a top four place for a day at least. He praised Özil’s goal and overall performance.

He said, ” I was very pleased he got the goal as quickly as possible. It was important for him to score.”

Asked whether he thought about dropping Özil, Wenger revealed that he always had confidence in the talents of his midfielder, and that the thought never really came into it.

“No, not really, no. You consider it always, I have many offensive players and you always look to find the right balance and it’s not always easy because I gave Sanchez a rest as he played many games. We have plenty of experienced players who are not playing at the moment and are top quality. But I felt as well that it was at the point where you have to show him that confidence is there. He showed as well that he can respond when he’s under scrutiny.”

The Arsenal manager also praised his new striker’s goal, recalling similarities between this strike and one Welbeck netted for England.

“He scored a similar goal to the one he scored in Switzerland. A cross from the left and he pushed it in – the timing of his run is good. I think he had a very good performance today because he kept the ball. Ball retention is important and he had a good all-round game for a central striker.

” It was the response we needed after Tuesday. Aston Villa started quite well and they had one or two dangerous situations, but after that we were in control and we scored three goals in three minutes. Then in the second half it was a possession game, a controlled game, because they didn’t come out too much. Overall it’s still a convincing win where Welbeck scored, Özil scored, and that’s important as well.”

The Gunners now switch their attention to the midweek Carling Cup encounter against Southampton on Tuesday, before next Saturday’s early evening kick off against Tottenham in the Premiership.