Arsenal 5 Aston Villa 0
( Giroud 8, Özil 56, Walcott 63, Cazorla pen 75, Bellerin 90+)

Arsenal thrashed Aston Villa 5-0, with a sparkling five star performance, and with five different scorers on the scoresheet. This was Arsenal’s third consecutive Premier League win, a welcomed sequence and one achieved for the first time this season. Olivier Giroud, gave the Gunners a 1-0 half time lead, with Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, a Santi Cazorla penalty, and a first goal from Hector Bellerin deep into second half injury time, to add gloss to a comfortable afternoon at the Emirates stadium for Arsene Wenger’s side. Alexis Sanchez was left out due to a minor leg injury, but Arsenal still had too much firepower for Villa, with youngster Chuba Akpom coming off the bench to earn the penalty converted by Cazorla. New signing Gabriel Paulista was an unused substitute, with Wenger again selecting David Ospina in goal. The Colombian keeper produced some fine saves, and is yet to be beaten in the Premier League this season.

Having scored in less than 2 minutes in the FA Cup 4th round win at Brighton, Walcott threatened to do the same here. He broke out at pace, yet with just Brad Guzan in front of him, somehow allowed defender Jores Okore to block his effort for a corner.

Three minutes later, clever interplay set up Aaron Ramsey but he fired wide of the target as Arsenal started strongly.

Arsenal’s neat approach and one touch football was giving Villa no end of problems, and with 8 minutes gone, the home side took the lead.

Francis Coquelin broke up a Villa offensive, and Per Mertersacker cleared his defensive lines. The ball fell into the path of Ozil who instantly clipped over the Villa defence for Giroud to race onto. The France striker easily evaded the offside trap to hit low with his left foot, a strike which flew across Guzan and into the net for the game’s opener. It was Giroud’s seventh goal in eight Premier League starts.

Confident in their approach play, Arsenal produced several follow up moves, but a dogged Villa defence would not be further breached in the opening 45 minutes.

Fabian Delph got away with a clear foul on Ramsey, but Villa were unable to capitalise on their possession. Carles Gil was their most inventive player, and Coquelin reminded the former Valencia man of his tackling prowess, with a robust challenge, the likes of which has meant the 23 year old has to be in Wenger’s starting eleven.

Cazorla was lively and alert in the middle of the pitch as Arsenal sensed further goals. When his brave header found Giroud, he played a one two with the striker, and showed strength to hold off Okore before letting fly with a shot which although beat Guzan, came back off his upright and cleared.

Özil was harshly denied what appeared to be a legitimate goal, harshly ruled out for offside. Still Arsenal finished the half the stronger. Ramsey’s shot was too hot to handle for Guzan, and Walcott was again denied by Okore tracking back.

A virtual spectator for most of the first half, Ospina was nevertheless alert to produce an excellent save from Andreas Weimamn’s header after Gil had crossed

Villa however will feel they should have levelled moments after the restart when Benteke fired wide, and that would be the last time Arsenal would show such generosity to the visitors.

Walcott was enjoying g his return after over a year out. Still not at his level yet, it was he who found Giroud. The Arsenal number 12 steered the ball into the path of Özil, and despite the attention of two Villa defenders, the German hit low to beat Guzan and double the Arsenal lead after 56 minutes.

Seven minutes later and, Arsenal had their third. Ospina bowled the ball out to Walcott. He found the advanced Cazorla to play a one two, taking his return pass, before letting fly with a Henryesque shot for his first goal of the season. That was also Walcott’s 50th league goal of his career.

Despite their conceding goals at regular intervals, Villa never sat back to defend, and that played into the Gunners’ game plan. Cazorla saw a free kick which Giroud headed onto Guzan’s, bar. Twenty minutes before full time, off came Walcott for Thomas Rosicky and Giroud for Akpom. The big strong 19 year old has the potential for a bright future, and here, he soon won a penalty.

Played in by Özil, Akpom beat his marker before being felled by on rushing Guzan. Referee Anthony Taylor eventually pointed to the penalty spot, and up stepped Cazorla to beat Guzan for 4-0 scoreline, and his 5th penalty success of the season.

Five minutes before time, and Mertersacker as a left winger, crossed for, Akpom to head, but the teenager was unable to get enough pace on the ball to trouble Guzan who held.

After over 20 passes and chants of ” Ole ” from the approving Emirates crowd, Özil and then Nacho Monreal couldn’t finish what would have been the goal of the season.

Akpom then found Guzan again with a shot from Cazorla’s pass, and it was left up to Bellerin to crown the Gunners thrashing of Villa with a well placed and precise shot from 20 yards, again from Cazorla’s pass as Arsenal struck a fifth.

Determined to keep his sequence of clean sheets, Ospina denied substitute Ashley Westwood with a reflex save, to round off a five star performance from the Gunners and a miserable afternoon for their Midlands’ visitors.