Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa: Ollie Watkins scores twice to sink dreadful Gunners

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Ollie Watkins celebrates his second at the Emirates for an excellent Villa
Ollie Watkins celebrates his second at the Emirates for an excellent Villa

Ollie Watkins scored twice as an abject Arsenal were soundly beaten 3-0 by Aston Villa at the Emirates.

The visitors might have been ahead after just 47 seconds when John McGinn’s strike was disallowed for offside upon VAR review with Ross Barkley deemed to have been in Bernd Leno’s eyeline.

But the reprieve was short-lived as Bukayo Saka inadvertently stabbed Matt Targett’s cross into his own net (25).

Watkins – a boyhood Arsenal fan – then took centre stage with two well-taken finishes (72, 75) to complete a fine away victory and a statement of intent from Dean Smith’s men.

The result moves Villa up to sixth in the table while Arsenal slip to 11th.

Player ratings

Arsenal: Leno (6), Holding (5), Gabriel (6), Tierney (5), Bellerin (5), Partey (4), Elneny (5), Saka (5), Willian (4), Lacazette (4), Aubameyang (5).

Subs: Ceballos (6), Pepe (6), Nketiah (5).

Aston Villa: Martinez (8), Cash (7), Konsa (8), Mings (8), Targett (7), McGinn (8), Douglas Luiz (8), Trezeguet (8), Barkley (9), Grealish (9), Watkins (8).

Subs: El Ghazi (n/a).

Man of the match: Ross Barkley.

Back to the drawing board for Arsenal

Victory at Old Trafford last weekend was another step in the right direction under Mikel Arteta, and the Spaniard would have expected his side to build on that morale-boosting result against favoured foes.

The Gunners had won their previous three home league games against Villa by an aggregate score of 12-2 – but they nearly made a nightmare start.

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