Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa: Mikel Arteta’s men return to winning ways with Partey and Aubameyang in the net
Thomas Partey had been looking forward to scoring his first goal for Arsenal, and his willingness to try his luck from a distance was increasingly difficult to understand with each passing week and his capricious effort at long distance.
Meanwhile, Arsenal also hadn’t enjoyed enough Premier League chances this season where they took an advantage and built on it.
Both problems were rectified against Aston Villa and there will be no concern about how exactly.
Arsenal were back on the winning track in the Premier League with a comfortable victory over Aston Villa at home.
Thomas Partey scored his first goal for Arsenal after taking a corner from the left in the far corner of Emi Martinez’s goal.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the Gunners’ lead just before half-time, hitting home plate after seeing his penalty saved.
Emile Smith Rowe scored his fourth Premier League goal in the second half with an effort deflected to the near post
MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale 8; Tomiyasu 7.5, Blanco 7.5, Gabriel 7.5, Tavares 8; Partey 8, Lokonga 7.5 (Maitland-Niles 73, 6); Saka 7, Lacazette 8 (Odegaard 68, 6), Smith-Rowe 8; Aubameyang 7.5 (Martinelli 90).
Unused subs: Leno, Holding, Cédric Soares, Pépé, Elneny, Kolasinac.
Scorer: Partey 23, Aubameyang 51, Smith Rowe 56
Admonished: Lonkonga, Aubameyang
Coach: Mikel Arteta 8
VILLA ASTON (3-4-1-2): Martinez 6; Konsa 6, Tuanzebe 6 (Bailey 46, 6), Mings 7; Cash 6.5, Luiz 6.5, McGinn 6.5; Buendia 6 (Ramsey 68, 6); Ings 5.5 (El Ghazi 77, 6), Watkins 6.
Unused subs: Sanson, Steer, Young, Nakamba, Hause, Archer.
Top Scorer: Ramsey 82
Warned: Watkins, Mings, McGinn, Targett, Luiz
Coach: Dean Smith 6.5
Referee: Craig Pawson 7
MOTHER: Smith rowe
Attendance: 59, 496
Partey broke his duck with a goal that slipped from his shoulder before a controversial second from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and deflected the third of Summer Villa’s goal, Emile Smith Rowe, who closed the victory for Arsenal.
And while there was an element of fortune in Arsenal’s three goals, there was none in the final result that extended their unbeaten streak to six games.
Arsenal produced the kind of high-end performance that Arteta must wish he could get from his players every week.
Villa threatened to make it interesting later when Jacob Ramsey retired one, but a two-goal margin of victory was the least Arsenal deserved.
With Alexandre Lacazette picking up where he left off against Crystal Palace on Monday, his tireless pressure and basic hard work were contagious and his teammates and the crowd fed on that.
It was no surprise that it was a cramp that forced him to retire in the second half. Out of contract next summer, Lacazette has also kept his hopes for a new deal harmless this week.
Smith Rowe matched Lacazette in the energy department and also provided the final product, finishing with a goal and an assist.
Villa didn’t need to be told the quality of Smith Rowe after bidding for him twice over the summer.
And they couldn’t cope with him or Arsenal, especially in the first half, as they fell to a third straight loss in the league.
Arsenal had 14 attempts against any of the visitors before the break, a fair reflection of the dominance and threat that Arteta’s team carried.
Manager Arteta said: ‘He was very close to that [how I want the team to play]. What I like the most is the way the team reacted on Monday [against Crystal Palace] and the dressing room accepted that it was not enough for us to play at a really good level in some parts, but at a level that is not acceptable in others. We started to win the game with the reaction they had from Monday. ‘
The first quarter was buoyed by Arsenal’s intensity unsettling Villa and generating opportunities from Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka, Nuno Tavares, instead of injured left-back Kieran Tierney and adventurer in his first Premier League start, and Smith Rowe.
Partey also hit the post with a volley and Tavares had another deflected shot wide, leading to the corner from which Arsenal made the breakthrough.
Arsenal staggered a bit when Villa’s substitute Jacob Ramsey put in a great effort with eight minutes remaining.
But Mikel Arteta’s men held on as the Spaniard watched his team record their first win since the North London derby last month.
The Gunners started off very bright and created a few chances, with Aubameyang’s acrobatic effort being the most daring.
But the Gunners soon got their just reward, when midfielder Partey took advantage of a slack in defense to return home.
Smith Rowe threw it, Partey went with the head but connected with his shoulder, his contact was powerful enough to deflect the ball past Emi Martinez’s fingertips and into the far corner.
“Finally, he’s been trying really hard and he deserves it,” Arteta said. “He was a happy boy.”
After Martinez denied Saka a second with an outstretched leg and then Partey headed in, it looked like Villa would come into halftime with one goal less.
But just before the break, Pawson finally got a chance to verify a Targett challenge on Lacazette in the box a couple of minutes earlier and finally awarded a penalty after a lengthy review of the incident on the courtside monitor.
Martinez’s now-standard penalty mind games followed and he initially won, saving Aubameyang’s penalty shot, but the Arsenal captain reacted faster to convert the rebound.
The Gunners might have had a second shortly after, but Bukayo Saka’s left foot effort was well saved by Martinez (right)
But right at the end of the half, the Gunners received a penalty after Matt Targett’s tackle on Alexandre Lacazette.
Aubameyang stepped forward to catch it, but after seeing his shot save from vantage point, he reacted quickly to get the rebound.
The incident was so close to half-time that Villa’s players thought the whistle had been blown for half-time, but Pawson actually blew the game to stop play on the recommendation of the VAR in order to control the incident.
Villa had little choice but to go for it in the second half and Dean Smith introduced winger Leon Bailey. However, his more offensive approach provided opportunities for Arsenal on the counter.
From one, Smith Rowe ran to Aubameyang’s pass and found the net through Ming’s leg and inside the post.
And while Villa’s young midfielder Jacob Ramsey scored a high-level first goal to remember, this was one night the visitors would probably rather forget.
Villa manager Dean Smith said: ‘The first half was really bad and the second half was better, but it didn’t take much to be that. You can’t give Premier League teams an advantage ”.
The Gunners kept up the pace early in the second half and added a third through a deflected effort from Smith Rowe.
Villa, however, managed to prevent the Gunners from keeping a clean sheet, with a superb effort in the upper corner of the net.
Relive Sportsmail’s coverage of Arsenal’s win against Aston Villa with KISHAN VAGHELA