Aston Villa breeze past Arsenal with Ollie Watkins brace as £45million summer signing Thomas Partey suffers injury
Ollie Watkins scored a brace as Aston Villa secured a 3-0 win at Arsenal on Sunday.
The Gunners fell behind when Bukayo Saka inadvertently turned in Matt Targett’s cross in the 25th minute.
Arsenal had chances to equalise through Alexandre Lacazette, Rob Holding and Nicolas Pepe – and their wastefulness in front of goal was punished.
Watkins scored twice in three second-half minutes to move Aston Villa up to sixth in the Premier League table heading into the international break.
To make matters worse for Arsenal, £45million summer signing Thomas Partey was forced off at half-time with a suspected thigh injury.
John McGinn thought he had given the visitors a first-minute lead, but his goal was ruled out by VAR as Ross Barkley, who was standing in an offside position, appeared to obscure Bernd Leno’s view.
A good passing move from Villa ended with Targett crossing for Trezeguet, who looked like he got the final touch to nudge the ball into the net.
However, replays showed Targett’s cross came off Saka instead.
Arsenal should have been level before half-time, but Lacazette failed to keep his header on target from close-range.
Another chance presented itself to the Gunners when Holding directed Gabriel’s deflected cross wide after the hour mark.
Mikel Arteta introduced Nicolas Pepe and Eddie Nketiah in the 65th minute as his side searched for an equaliser.
And they were inches away from having it when Pepe’s curling shot went just wide of former Arsenal stopper Emiliano Martinez’s goal.
Aston Villa doubled their lead as Watkins headed in Barkley’s cross in the 72nd minute.
Dean Smith’s side almost added a third seconds later when Jack Grealish’s shot was cleared off the line by Dani Ceballos.
That did not stop Villa’s attacks, though, as they had their final goal when Grealish’s pass found Watkins, who fired past Leno with 15 minutes to go.