Arsenal ensured they stayed top of the Premier League table and kept their perfect start to the season intact with a dominant 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli were the heroes of the hour once again to make it five wins from five for Mikel Arteta's side, who sit two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the standings.
Arsenal's delight only made Steven Gerrard's misery worse as they recorded a third consecutive defeat and one win in five leaves them 19th with few positives to take and the visit of City up next.
The Gunners had 60 per cent possession and 22 shots to Villa's four in a commanding performance that only looked under threat when the visitors equalised in the 74th minute as substitute Douglas Luiz scored directly from a corner.
But this Arsenal side don't roll over anymore and less than two minutes l ronaldo jersey long ater Martinelli had them back in front as he tapped in Bukayo Saka's cross at the back post to join his Brazilian teammate Jesus on the scoresheet, after he'd been quickest to react from an Emiliano Martinez parry on the half-hour to break the deadlock.
Arsenal's mentality has changed
The Gunners came from behind against Fulham last week to clinch a 2-1 win and tonight were at risk of their hard work going to waste as Luiz grabbed an undeserved equaliser in freak circumstances with 16 minutes to go.
Yet 151 seconds later, Martinelli ensured he was at the back post to steer home Saka's cross to put Arsenal back in front and spark a frenzy at the Emirates Stadium once again.
The Arsenal of old wouldn't have been able to do that, they'd have crumbled under the pressure, or worse, blown their chances and conceded a late winner to leave with nothing. This Arteta side has belief and hunger back in its spine. From Jesus causing Villa's centre-backs trouble all night to Martinelli and Saka running the channels, it was frantic and chaotic at times, but always attacking with intent throughout. Even Granit Xhaka found himself in the real madrid ronaldo youth jersey final third for most of the game, such was his impressive contribution to Arsenal's attacking output this evening.
Arsenal are playing with flair and resilience in equal measure and it's no surprise at this early stage of the season the feel good factor is back in north London.
Arsenal reaping rewards of transfer business
While Chelsea launched a £43m bid for Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez and continued to chase Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Manchester United aim to register Antony's arrival and Liverpool remain on the lookout for a midfielder of their own before the 11pm transfer window deadline, Arteta and technical director Edu can sleep well tonight.
In fact, the Gunners acting early in the transfer window to move for Jesus and Zinchenko have proved astute business decisions. While Zinchenko didn't feature against Villa due to injury, he's been a breath of fresh air so far this season. As for Jesus, he bagged his third goal of the season – a typical poacher's finish as he was quickest to react to Martinez's error from Martinelli's deflected cross.
Jesus adds an an energy and a purpose to Arsenal's attacking line, at times he bullied Ezri Konsa and didn't allow Villa's backline a second to think about trying to pass it out from the back.
At the other end of the pitch, Saliba's commanding performance was again of a player well beyond his 21 years. While not a new signing this summer, Arteta's decision to include him in pre-season and decide early on he was going to be a regular this term has allowed him to settle in and look like he's been playing Premier League football for years.
Arsenal's next big test comes against Manchester United on Sunday but, with Jesus in attack and Sal ronaldo jersey for boys iba at the back (even though that's not the song Gooners sing!) you feel they won't be going to Old Trafford as a team without a winning game plan.
Gerrard's troubles continue
It's one win in five league matches for the former Rangers boss and already he's among the favourites with the bookies to be given the chop. We saw Bournemouth sack Scott Parker following a 9-0 hammering to Liverpool earlier this week and, with Manchester City next up, Gerrard will certainly be looking over his shoulder if that ends in embarrassment.
We're five games in and he seems to be trying to work out his best XI in either a 4-3-3 or a narrow 4-1-2-1-2. Tonight, he left Ings on the bench, with Bailey and Buendia on the wings to supply the ball to target man Watkins but the front line lacked fluidity. Matty Cash looked the most lively at times down the wing but even his deliveries into the box offered little danger.
It didn't look much prettier at the back, Gerrard continues to look for his ideal defensive partnership and it can't be helping with the goals they're shipping in. Post-match he said his side need to "get back to basics" and admitted if he wasn't concerned about his future you'd look at him as though he was from a "different planet." Gerrard will need to get his team in order sharpish or he could find himself in different job.
MORE: Arsenal Europa League group draw 2022/23: Fixtures, schedule, history and odds to advance
Arsenal vs. Aston Villa final score
ARS – Gabriel Jesus (30th min)
AST – Douglas Luiz (74th min)
ARS – Gabriel Martinelli (76th min)
Arsenal vs. Aston Villa as it happened
FULL-TIME: ARSENAL 2-1 ASTON VILLA
The Gunners make it five wins from five. The perfect start to the season continues for Arteta's men.
90th min +4: Nketiah runs with the ball from his own half to the edge of the box, he has options left and right but goes for goal himself and it's over.
90th min +3: Ings makes a darting run into the box but Gabriel does well to win the ball in a dangerous position.
90th min: Martinelli has a go from distance but it's dragged wide. Five minutes added time to come.
88th min: Saka goes off to big applause with Rob Holding coming on. Jesus gets an even bigger cheer as Eddie Nketiah is given a run out.
86th min: Cash drives forward after a nice backheel from Bailey and Villa win a corner. It's on the other side this time so Luiz doesn't take it. Ramsdale's fouled and Arsenal get the free-kick.
83rd min: Gerrard's going for it, he's got to, he takes Kamara off for Danny Ings.
82nd min: Ramsdale is down receiving some treatment. Gerrard is using this as an opportunity to rally his troops.
81st min: Emile Smith Rowe comes on for Odegaard. He looks to be limping a little so it's probably precautionary from Arteta.
76th min: GOAL! Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa
What a response from the Gunners! Martinelli puts them back in front with a first-time finish at the back post, on the half-volley, from Saka's cross on the right flank. There was just one minute 11 seconds between the goals.
74th min: GOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa
Luiz has been on the pitch for 30 seconds. His first corner is cleared at the near post but the second goes straight in! Ramsdale feels he's impeded by Kamara but after a VAR check the goal stands. What an impact… he's had two touches!
73rd min: Double change for Villa as Coutinho and Luiz come on for Buendia and McGinn.
72nd min: Big chance for Villa as Bailey runs out Arsenal's backline and fires one on target but Ramsdale tips the fierce shot over.
70th min: Arsenal are knocking on the door to get the second goal and the crowd can sense it as they roar them on. The fresh legs of Tomiyasu see him get the better of Digne but his cross into the box is cut out.
67th min: Martinelli and Xhaka have linked up well down the left but this time the Brazilian overhits a pass to his teammate on the overlap.
63rd min: First change of the night sees White make way for Takehiro Tomisyasu.
61st min: Arsenal are playing some lovely football from one end of the pit ronaldo 2002 shirt ch to the other. The game's still very open though with Villa getting more of the ball. The Gunners need another to see this game off.
56th min: Most bizarre moment of the evening goes to Martinez… who catches a ball from a corner and goes to kick it, Jesus blocks him off and the goalkeeper puts him in a headlock. Martinez then has the cheek to complain to the referee that Jesus did wrong. Mad!
55th min: Odegaard's free-kick has plenty of whip on it from the edge of the box, it looks to just be going wide, but forces Martinez into an acrobatic save nonetheless.
54th min: Konsa gets a yellow card after tugging Jesus' shirt. The Arsenal had no right to win that ball over the top. He's proving a real handful for the defence.
53rd min: Odegaard is human after all… he plays a through ball into space with no Arsenal player anywhere near it and it goes out for a goal-kick. Most unlike him.
51st min: Villa get forward but a lazy pass from Bailey is overhit and Cash can't make it and it goes out for a goal-kick.
48th min: William Saliba picks up a yellow card for pulling Watkins down after he'd got the better of him just inside Arsenal's half.
HALF-TIME: ARSENAL 1-0 ASTON VILLA
45th min +2: Oh my! Xhaka cushions the ball down with his head to set up Martinelli who hits the sweetest of strikes on the half-volley from the edge of the box and forces a brilliant save from Martinez.
45th min: Odeegard plays a deft through ball over the top for Jesus but he can't quite connect. The ball falls to Saka but he can't scramble it over the line either and Villa clear their lines. Tierney has a followup shot but it's comfortably saved. Gerrard will be giving his players a few stern words at half-time, that's for sure.
44th min: Cash gets all the way to the byline and puts a ball into the box but Lokonga cuts it out and luckily for him his clearance falls into the hands of Ramsdale.
41st min: Kamara goes into the referee's book too as he brings down Jesus in the middle of the park.
39th min: Odegaard picks up a yellow card for bringing Watkins down with Villa on the break.
38th min: Martinez is having a night to forget so far. He's just done a drag back that's put the ball out for a corner. What's he thinking!?
34th min: Arsenal haven't eased up in the slightest since scoring. Could be a long evening for Villa at this rate…
30th min: GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Aston Villa
Martinelli plays a first-time cross into the box at Mar kids ronaldo jersey for boys tinez's near post but he can't gather it and Jesus is the quickest to react as he hammers home the rebound from inside six yards. Poor from Martinez but a brilliant poacher's finish from the Brazilian.
29th min: Jesus runs into the box on the left side and cuts inside but Konsa wins the ball and blocks him off. There's a half-hearted appeal from the striker but it's a good tackle.
28th min: Matty Cash and Buendia play a neat one-two in Arsenal's box but Cash's shot is weak and doesn't trouble Aaron Ramsdale.
23rd min: How has Saka missed!? Xhaka carries the ball forward before playing Martinelli in on the left wing. The Brazilian crosses to the back post where Saka is arriving unmarked but a bit of an awkward bounce sees him shank it wide with his right foot. That's the closest Arsenal have come so far.
20th min: Villa are just starting to have a little bit more of the ball but Ramsey gives it away in the final third and Arsenal look dangerous on the counter-attack. This time it comes to nothing.
17th min: Odegaard plays in Jesus who holds off his man and gets the shot away from the right side of the six-yard box. Martinez makes the save but it falls to Odegaard who has two attempts at it but they're both blocked. Desperate defending from the visitors.
14th min: Ramsey goes in hard with a big tackle and catches Martinelli with his ronaldo jersey portugal follow through, he's a tad fortunate to escape with just a yellow card.
11th min: Gabriel stays up for the resulting corner and the ball falls to him kindly in the box but his shot is comfortably saved. Arsenal look on it.
10th min: Big chance! Odegaard plays a quick free-kick over the top and Jesus brings it down brilliantly before firing one from close range but Emiliano Martinez makes a fine stop at his near post.
9th min: McGinn certainly looks fired up for this one. He puts Ben White on the deck with a big tackle on the right touchline.
7th min: Saka goes on a bursting run into the box and has his shirt pulled. He later goes to ground after a challenge from Mings but there's not enough in it for a foul.
5th min: John McGinn takes an elbow to the face from Lokonga as they go up for a header. He's not happy but it was entirely accidental.
4th min: An encouraging attacking move from Villa gets them into Arsenal's box as Ramsey plays in Buendia but his shot is well over the bar.
1st min: Gabriel Jesus gets bundled over by Lucas Digne in the openin new juventus kit ronaldo g minute and goes down holding his shin. He's back on his feet soon enough.
2 mins from kickoff: The teams are out and it's LOUD at the Emirates Stadium.
5 mins from kickoff: Not long to go now until Martin Odegaard leads his team out the tunnel. He's scored three goals in his last two matches and has embraced the pressure of wearing the captain's armband, something that's not gone unnoticed by his manager.
“He’s more humble I would say – even more,” Arteta replied when asked if he had seen a change in the Norway captain since giving him the armband.
“That’s the way he is. More humble and more hungry, a good combination. At 23 he has already had a lot of experience and a lot of pressure, especially individually.
“He’s played for Madrid and knows what it’s about. He does it all natural, nothing worries him, and he’s developing that even more.”
20 mins from kickoff: Last season Arsenal recorded a 3-1 win against Villa at home as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe got on the scoresheet. Jacob Ramsey netted a consolation for the visitors. At Villa Park, Arsenal also took three points with Bukayo Saka netting the only goal of the game. Gerrard will be hoping his side can have the opposite result this evening.
40 mins from kickoff: While things are going rosy for Arteta at Arsenal, things aren't great at Villa Park for Gerrard right now. He and his team were booed off at home to West Ham ronaldo vieira shirt on Sunday following a 1-0 defeat and they've picked up just one win from their four league matches so far.
The former Liverpool captain still seems to be trying to work out his best XI and has experimented with a 4-3-3 and a narrow 4-1-2-1-2 formation so far. Tonight he leaves Ings on the bench and goes with the pace of Bailey and Buendia on the wings to supply the ball to target man Watkins.
60 mins from kickoff: The teams are in!
The home side: Albert Sambi Lokonga comes in for Mohamed Elneny, after the Egyptian tweaked his hamstring against Fulham.
The away side: Tyron Mings returns after illness while Emi Buendia and Jacob Ramsey come back into the side as Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings drop out.
This is your Aston Villa team to face Arsenal tonight. ⚫#ARSAVL pic.twitter.com/ML0Qk8fpWc
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) August 31, 2022
90 mins from kickoff: Not to ronaldo 99 jersey put any pressure on the Gunners but looking at past seasons, should Arsenal win a fifth consecutive league match to start their season, the signs are good. The north London side have only started three previous top-flight seasons with a run of five wins, doing so in 1930-31 (finished 1st), 1947-48 (finished 1st) and 2004-05 (finished 2nd).
Arsenal will hope to avoid having to come from behind like they did in their 2-1 win against Fulham last time out though.
Team news to come in 30 mins.
120 mins from kickoff: Hello, and welcome to The Sporting News' live coverage of tonight's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Aston Villa.
It's 1st vs. 16th and Arteta will hoping his side can keep their impressive unbeaten start going with a convincing display at a packed Emirates Stadium this evening.
Arsenal vs. Aston Villa lineups
Arsenal starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale (GK) — White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney — Sambi Lokonga, Xhaka — Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli — Jesus.
Subs: Turner, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Holding, Soares, Tomiyasu, Vieira, Marquinhos, Smith
Aston Villa starting lineup (4-3-3): Martinez (GK) — Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne — McGinn, Kamara, Ramsey — Buendia, Watkins, Bailey.
Subs: Olsen, Luiz, Ings, Chambers, Augustinsson, Young, Coutinho, Archer, Iroegbunam
What time is Arsenal vs. Aston Villa?
Arsenal play host to Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium in London, UK. It kicks off at 7.30 p.m. BST on Wednesday, August 31.
|Date||Weds, August 31||Weds, August 31||Weds, August 31||Thurs, September 1|
|Time||19:30 BST||14:30 ET||14:30 ET||04:30 AET|
How to watch Arsenal vs. Aston Villa
|TV channel||BT Sport 4||–||–||–|
|Streaming||BT Sport player||Peacock||fuboTV||Optus Sport|
UK: Matches are carried across Sky Sports and BT Sport streaming and TV platforms, with select matches on Amazon Prime.
USA: Select matches are televised on USA Network (English) and Telemundo or Universo (Spanish), and all three channels can be streamed on fuboTV. The rest of the matches are streamed on NBC platform Peacock for subscribers.
Canada: Every Premier League game streams live and on demand exclusively via fuboTV.
Australia: Fans in Australia can stream matches live and on demand on Optus Sport.