Arsenal vs Aston Villa LIVE: Premier League result, final score and reaction tonight

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·27-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal are hosting Aston Villa this evening at the Emirates as the Gunners looks to carry forwards the momentum from Monday’s last-gasp equaliser against Crystal Palace. Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to pinch a 2-2 draw, and although it was far from the Gunners’ best performance, there were positives to take as Mikel Arteta’s team extended their unbeaten run in the league to five games, having lost all of their opening three.

Villa have endured the opposite trend with back-to-back defeats, including a dramatic late goal which saw Wolves complete a thrilling comeback to win 3-2 against their West Midlands rivals. It means Dean Smith’s side are now 13th coming into this fixture, one place and one point behind Arsenal in the Premier League table.

The build-up to the game saw Arteta asked about his young midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, who Aston Villa enquired about in the summer. “Any club has the right to make an inquiry about a player when they believe they have the financial power to get him, they’re entitled to,” Arteta said on Friday. “So there was a communication between the clubs and we made it really clear that Emile wasn’t for sale. He’s a big part of what we’re trying to do and our future. He’s really happy where he is and I’m delighted to have him.”

Follow all the action from the Emirates below, live.

Read More

Dean Smith plotting to end unbeaten Arsenal run as Aston Villa look to bounce back

Football rumours: Arsenal sweat over Alexandre Lacazette leaving on a free

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists abuse has managers questioning futures

Arsenal vs Aston Villa

  • Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Magalhaes, Tomiyasu, Tavares, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Lokonga, Lacazette

  • Villa: Martinez, Konsa, Tuanzebe, Mings, Cash, McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Targett, Buendia, Ings, Watkins

Emile Smith Rowe stars as Arsenal dominate offbeat Aston Villa

22:18 , Michael Jones

An onslaught played out in acrimony featured heroes and villains, arguments and controversy, but its ending was rarely in serious doubt.

On a frenzied Friday night, Arsenal tore through Aston Villa with blistering and, at times, bitter intent, as Emile Smith Rowe produced a standout performance under the gaze of Gareth Southgate in a 3-1 victory that could be considered a serious statement, if only Arsenal’s volatility under Mikel Arteta wasn’t already such a storied tradition.

Emile Smith Rowe stars as Arsenal dominate offbeat Aston Villa

Arsenal hit top form to hammer sorry Aston Villa

22:15 , Michael Jones

Arsenal put in one of their best performances of the season to outclass Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night.

The Gunners were the better side throughout and thoroughly deserved their 3-1 victory, which sees them draw level on points with sixth-placed Manchester United having played a game more.

Arsenal hit top form to hammer sorry Aston Villa

Reaction from Thomas Partey

22:12 , Michael Jones

Arsenal’s Thomas Partey spoke to Sky Sports after the game and praised his side’s intensity and mentality as one of the reason’s why Arsenal played so well tonight. He said:

The team knew what to do we had to keep fighting and keep our intensity. At the end with the quality we have we are able to get results.

“All the team was frustrated and we wanted a win. That was the mentality we brought to this game today and we were able to get our result.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. I think it was the right moment to have it and I’m very happy.

“The team performed very good. We have to do this every weekend and every game and with this we can achieve beautiful things. They deserve it. they have been supporting us when we have been down and when things have gone bad. This win is for them and I hope they enjoy it.”

Smith Rowe adds to his tally

22:09 , Michael Jones

Emile Smith Rowe spoke to Jamie Carragher before the match about his desire to score more goals for Arsenal and influence matches more. He netted Arsenal’s third in the second half.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arsenal back to winning ways

22:06 , Michael Jones

Has Mikel Arteta turned it around for the Gunners? They’ve won five of their last seven home games with just one defeat in that run.

Full-time: Arsenal 3 - 1 Aston Villa

21:59 , Michael Jones

90+5 mins: There goes the full-time whistle and Arsenal pick up a crucial three points. Aston Villa can be tricky customers but Arsenal blew them away in the first half and added a third in the second. Jacob Ramsey earned a consolation goal for the visitors to ruin Arsenal’s perfect night but the Gunners won’t be too bothered. They’re back to winning ways.

Arsenal 3 - 1 Aston Villa

21:57 , Michael Jones

90+3 mins: Aston Villa win a free kick just outside the Arsenal penalty area. Douglas Luiz and Bailey stand over the set piece. Ramsdale takes his time setting up the wall taking more time out of the game.

Bailey strikes it... but sends the shot over the crossbar. That’s going to be it.

Arsenal 3 - 1 Aston Villa

21:54 , Michael Jones

90 mins: Aubameyang is taken off and gets replaced with Gabriel Martinelli. There’s four minutes of added time to play.

Arsenal 3 - 1 Aston Villa

21:51 , Michael Jones

88 mins: Arsenal are still showing signs going forward. Tavares drives down the left side and slots the ball into the box towards Aubameyang. Mings steps across him and boots the ball out of play. Arsenal eke a few seconds out of the game. Time is running out for Villa.

Arsenal 3 - 1 Aston Villa

21:48 , Michael Jones

85 mins: Aston Villa will be remembering the Wolves game. They’ll know they’re in this game until the final whistle goes. The visitors win a free kick deep in their own area and Douglas Luiz takes few liberties with where he puts the ball. The referee tells him to move back to the edge of his own box stopping him from playing it quickly. He throws a paddy and gets booked.

GOAL! Arsenal 3 - 1 Aston Villa (Ramsey, 82’)⚽️

21:44 , Michael Jones

82 mins: Is there still time for a twist? Douglas Luiz finds Bailey on the edge of the box over to the right. He drives across the pitch and evades a couple of tackles. The ball rolls into the path of Jacob Ramsey who guides it beautifully into the top right corner. Great finish.

Arsenal 3 - 0 Aston Villa

21:41 , Michael Jones

77 mins: Aston Villa knock a free kick short to McGinn who then curls the ball into the Arsenal box. He sends it to the back post where Mings makes a play for it. White sneaks in front of the defender though and wins the header. The ball loops up and Ramsdale punches it out of the box before Arsenal win a free kick.

Arsenal 3 - 0 Aston Villa

21:37 , Michael Jones

74 mins: Save! Another solid diving save from Martinez denies Aubameyang another goal after the Arsenal captain cut into the box, shimmied past Cash and hit one at the far corner.

Villa deal with the resultant corner and Arsenal make another change. Ainsley Maitland-Niles replaces Sambi Lokonga.

Arsenal 3 - 0 Aston Villa

21:34 , Michael Jones

71 mins: Lokonga loses the ball on the edge of his own box as he tries to pick out a forward pass to play the ball out from the back. Bailey takes the ball off him and darts into the penalty area. He shifts it to the left and shoots but Ramsdale has it covered.

Arsenal 3 - 0 Aston Villa

21:32 , Michael Jones

68 mins: Lacazette went down after that last move and signalled to the bench that he needed to come off. It looked like a touch of cramp and he gets a round of applause from the Arsenal fans as Martin Odegaard replaces him.

Jacob Ramsey comes on for Aston Villa too taking Emi Buendia’s place.

Arsenal 3 - 0 Aston Villa

21:30 , Michael Jones

65 mins: Arsenal try to pass the ball into the back of the net moving it swiftly between Lacazette and Aubameyang. Neither forward pulls the trigger inside the box though and Villa win the ball. It’s given to Douglas Luiz to run into midfield and Aubameyang chases him down and shoulder barges him to the floor. Yellow card for Arsenal’s captain.

Arsenal 3 - 0 Aston Villa

21:26 , Michael Jones

62 mins: Save! This is Villa’s best chance of the night. Targett brings the ball down the left side and spots Buendia’s run past White. He slides the ball into the box and Buendia hits it first time but Ramsdale has closed him down and keeps out the shot with an outstretched leg.

Arsenal 3 - 0 Aston Villa

21:24 , Michael Jones

59 mins: Arsenal’s counter-attacking play is superb, it’s fast and clinical and with Villa hunting for goals they’re having a lot of joy with it. Ramsdale sends a flat pass up the pitch and picks out Saka. He tries to turn away from Targett but the Villa defender slides into a challenge and brings him down from behind earning himself a yellow card.

GOAL! Arsenal 3 - 0 Aston Villa (Smith Rowe, 56’)⚽️

21:19 , Michael Jones

56 mins: That should kill off Aston Villa’s resistance. Tavares sends the ball up to Aubameyang from inside his own area as Smith Rowe flies down the left side. Aubameyang dinks the ball over the Villa defence and puts it on a plate for the 21-year-old. He carries the ball into the box, rolls it onto his right foot and shoots. The ball hits Mings and wrongfoots Martinez before hitting the inside of the near post and bouncing over the goalline.

Arsenal 2 - 0 Aston Villa

21:17 , Michael Jones

54 mins: The change has been a good one for Aston Villa, they’re a lot more threatening now. Buendia holds on to the ball too long in the Arsenal final third and loses possession to Partey. He sends the ball up to Lokonga who drives towards the box before slipping a pass through the lines for Saka. Aubameyang sprints into the left side of the area as Saka comes in from the right. He tries to square the ball but the pass is blocked and Villa clear their lines.

Arsenal 2 - 0 Aston Villa

21:13 , Michael Jones

51 mins: Arsenal defend the Villa corner, fly down the pitch and win one of their own. Smith Rowe swings it into the middle but a headed clearance drops to Saka. He shifts the ball onto his left foot and drills one from just outside the box but sends the effort over the crossbar.

Arsenal 2 - 0 Aston Villa

21:11 , Michael Jones

48 mins: There’s immediate improvement for Villa. Buendia chips a ball over the top for Watkins who’s got room in the box to run into. He does so before taking a shot at goal and forcing Ramsdale to push it wide of the post.

Second half: Arsenal 2 - 0 Aston Villa

21:09 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Leon Bailey replaces Axel Tuanzebe for Aston Villa who revert to a back four with Watkins playing on the left, Bailey the right and Ings through the middle of the forward line.

The visitors get the game back underway. Can Villa find a goal and get themselves back into this match?

Arsenal 2 - 0 Aston Villa

21:07 , Michael Jones

Only Mo Salah (12) has scored more goals in all competitions for Premier League clubs this season than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (7).

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arsenal 2 - 0 Aston Villa

21:03 , Michael Jones

Arsenal had 14 attempts in that half, the most they’ve ever had the first 45 minutes of a match under Mikel Arteta. In contrast Aston Villa had none.

That’s how dominant Arsenal have been.

Arsenal 2 - 0 Aston Villa

20:59 , Michael Jones

Thomas Partey has scored his first goal for Arsenal in his 40th appearance in all competitions, and from his 49th attempted shot for the Gunners.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Half-time: Arsenal 2 - 0 Aston Villa

20:55 , Michael Jones

45+7 mins: A fair bit of drama to end the first half. Dean Smith was not at all happy that the penatly was given. Martinez did his best to keep it out but Aubameyang was switched on enough to put home the rebound.

What it means is that Arsenal take a deserved lead into the break. They’ve been great in that half, not allowing Aston Villa to build up any sort of momentum. Their passing and pressing has been sharp and accurate and the scoreline doesn’t flatter them at all.

GOAL! Arsenal 2 - 0 Aston Villa (Aubameyang, 45+6)⚽️

20:53 , Michael Jones

45+6 mins: The VAR check took a few minutes and then Martinez starts his mind games getting in Aubameyang’s face. The Arsenal captain hits the spot kick to the goalkeeper’s right and Martinez saves it!

But, the ball bounces back to Aubameyang who converts with a nice left-footed finish to double Arsenal’s lead!

Penalty to Arsenal!

20:51 , Michael Jones

Arsenal 1 - 0 Aston Villa

45+2 mins: Lokonga picks up a yellow card for fouling McGinn over on Villa’s left side. McGinn swings the free kick into the area but Ramsdale comes out confidently to claim the ball.

Arsenal sweep up the pitch and work the ball in from the left. Targett tries to clear the ball but Lacazette gets in front of him and the defender kicks the man. Lacazette goes down and there’s a VAR check.

Craig Pawson is called over to the monitor and he points to the spot!

Arsenal 1 - 0 Aston Villa

20:46 , Michael Jones

45 mins: Close! Saka curls another corner into the box and picks out Partey again. This time he makes a run towards the near post, wins the header but sends his effort over the bar!

Two minutes of added time to play.

Arsenal 1 - 0 Aston Villa

20:44 , Michael Jones

42 mins: Villa manage to beat the Arsenal press and work the ball through midfield up to Buendia. He carries it over to the right of the penalty area and whips in a cross but it’s too close to Ramsdale who plucks the ball out of the air.

Arsenal 1 - 0 Aston Villa

20:43 , Michael Jones

39 mins: Partey finds Aubameyang just outside the Villa box but he’s put under pressure by Konsa. Saka tries to provide an option by making a run into the box and Aubameyang slips the ball towards him but Mings sticks out a foot and pokes it back to Martinez who boots it clear.

Arsenal 1 - 0 Aston Villa

20:37 , Michael Jones

36 mins: Nuno Tavares has impressed on his full debut for Arsenal. He’s freely swept up the pitch to help out in attack and finds himself inside of Smith Rowe on the edge of the box. Smith Rowe gives him the ball and he fires it straight at goal but Martinez gets behind the shot and keeps it out.

Arsenal 1 - 0 Aston Villa

20:35 , Michael Jones

33 mins: McGinn goes in the book as well now for a heavy tackle on Lokonga. Arsenal curl the free kick into the far side of the box where Matty Cash almost makes a mess of his clearance as he falls over trying the head it clear. Luckily the ball bounces back to the goalkeeper who safely smothers it.

Arsenal 1 - 0 Aston Villa

20:33 , Michael Jones

30 mins: What a save! Arsenal should be two goals up! Smith Rowe wins the ball in his own half and drives it into the midfield on the counter-attack. Tavares flies down the left side and is given the ball. He squares it into the box towards Saka who is free on the right and Saka takes a first time shot. Martinez dives to his left and somehow manages to keep the ball out with his trailing leg! Great save!

Arsenal 1 - 0 Aston Villa

20:29 , Michael Jones

26 mins: Mings arrives late with a challenge on Lacazette and knocks the Arsenal forward to the floor. He’s shown a yellow card from the referee. The game has had a few of these bitty tackles. It’s a good contest.

GOAL! Arsenal 1 - 0 Aston Villa (Partey, 23’)⚽️

20:24 , Michael Jones

23 mins: Arsenal take the lead! The Gunners win a corner and Smith Rowe swings it into the middle of the box . Partey leaves his marker John McGinn, runs in front of Mings, leaps and glances the ball towards goal. Martinez gets a hand to the shot but can’t keep it out and Arsenal start the celebrations.

Arsenal 0 - 0 Aston Villa

20:21 , Michael Jones

18 mins: Saka takes on Mings out wide on the right wing. Mings comes across to stop the run inside and clumsily gives away a foul.

Off the woodwork!

Saka curls the free kick into the box and it’s not cleared by Villa. The ball drops to Partey who hooks it towards goal and rattles it into the crossbar!

Arsenal 0 - 0 Aston Villa

20:19 , Michael Jones

15 mins: Smith Rowe drives inside from the left wing and gives the ball to Lacazette. He lays it off to Takehiro Tomiyasu who belts one from range but leans back on the shot and sends it sailing over the crossbar.

Arsenal 0 - 0 Aston Villa

20:14 , Michael Jones

12 mins: Saka puts a bad corner ball into the box but Arsenal get lucky when Danny Ings’s clearance comes out to Emile Smith Rowe. He shoots from range but has his effort blocked on the edge of the box.

Lacazette and Tyrone Mings both go up for an aerial ball and Mings gives the striker a little elbow to the face as he heads it away and escapes punishment.

Arsenal 0 - 0 Aston Villa

20:11 , Michael Jones

9 mins: Ezri Konsa gets very lucky. He’s caught on the ball by the high pressing Alexandre Lacazette. Both players get caught up in a tussle but Lacazette manages to squeeze the ball out to Aubameyang before they both fall over. Aubameyang shifts the ball over to the middle of the box and blasts it into the back of the net but the whistle has gone and referee Craig Pawson awards Villa a free kick for Lacazette’s roughhousing.

Arsenal 0 - 0 Aston Villa

20:07 , Michael Jones

6 mins: Arsenal have started quickly. Nuno Tavares gets forward on the left wing and shoots from a tight angle but doesn’t trouble the goalkeeper.

Aston Villa try to get a foothold in the game by sending the ball into Emi Buendia but he’s flattened by Partey in the middle of the pitch.

Arsenal 0 - 0 Aston Villa

20:05 , Michael Jones

3 mins: Great play from Arsenal. Thomas Partey threads a nice pass up the right hand side and plays Bukayo Saka in behind the lines. He lifts a cross over to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who attempts an overhead kick close to the back post but miscues it completely. The ball comes back to Saka who’s drifted into the box but his shot is pumped high and wide.

Arsenal 0 - 0 Aston Villa

20:03 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Arsenal get the ball rolling but lose possession on their right side. Villa send it up to Ollie Watkins who sends it out wide to Matt Targett. He chips the ball up towards the box and Watkins chases after it. Gabriel holds off the striker long enough for Aaron Ramsdale to scoop up the ball and Watkins responds by flinging Gabriel to the ground and picking up a yellow card.

Arsenal vs Aston Villa

19:57 , Michael Jones

Here come the teams. Arsenal put on a light show as the players prepare to head out onto the pitch. Arsenal are likely to start quickly and try to score their goals in the opening 20 minutes like they did against Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Arsenal vs Aston Villa

19:53 , Michael Jones

Arsenal have failed to score in each of their last seven league defeats. This is the first time the Gunners have had top-flight matches on Monday and then Friday in the same week since 28th December 1987 and New Year’s Day 1988.

Arsenal’s tally of seven goals is their lowest after eight league games since 1986.

Watkins vs Arsenal

19:49 , Michael Jones

Ollie Watkins scored three of Aston Villa’s four goals against Arsenal in the Premier League last season. Can he keep that run going tonight?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Martinez back at the Emirates

19:45 , Michael Jones

Emiliano Martinez returns to his former club this evening. He has kept 18 clean sheets in 45 Premier League appearances for Villa since signing from Arsenal in September 2020.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Aubameyang back in form

19:42 , Michael Jones

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in three consecutive home league appearances for the first time since a five-match run in September 2019.

His 42 goals at the Emirates Stadium is bettered only by Robin van Persie who scored 46 at the ground.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Smith Rowe praises Arsenal support

19:39 , Michael Jones

Emile Smith Rowe wants the Arsenal fans come out in spades to support the team tonight and hopes to reward them with a victory over Aston Villa. Have a watch of his pre-match thoughts:

John McGinn targeting three points against Arsenal

19:35 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn believes his team can take three points away from the Emirates this evening after having success in the last three meetings against the Gunners. He said:

It was a massive win when we played there last season and a great performance. I enjoy playing there and you always hear a racket from the Villa fans, so I’m looking forward to seeing them back at the Emirates.

“Friday Night Football is my favourite. The atmosphere will be brilliant under the lights and it’s important we put in another good performance.

“We’re going to these places and giving these teams a fright, so it’s about us getting the three points. No matter if it’s the first minute or the 80th minute, it’s about taking our chances and being clinical.”

Arsenal vs Aston Villa

19:31 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa are winless in 12 top-flight away fixtures played on a Friday since a 4-1 victory at Charlton in April 1950. They’ve drawn three and lost nine of those games.

Villa have lost five of their last eight away league games, as many as they had in their previous 17. They could lose three consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since June to July last year.

Arsenal vs Aston Villa

19:27 , Michael Jones

Arsenal have only lost one of their last six home league fixtures, earning 13 points from those games. They are on a five-match unbeaten league run after having lost their opening three games of the season.

A fifth Premier League home defeat of 2021 would be their most in a calendar year since losing six times at Highbury in 1997.

Tierney out with injury

19:24 , Michael Jones

Kieran Tierney is out of tonight’s game with a bruised ankle meaning that Nuno Tavares makes his full Premier League debut for the Gunners.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists abuse has managers questioning futures

19:21 , Michael Jones

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed the kind of abuse suffered by Steve Bruce has seen both prospective and current managers tell him they would now think twice about taking a job.

Bruce was sacked by Newcastle on Wednesday before detailing the level of abuse he and his family had suffered during his two-year stint in the north-east.

Mikel Arteta insists abuse has managers questioning futures

Head-to-head: Arsenal vs Aston Villa

19:17 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa have won three successive Premier League games against Arsenal, as many as they had in their previous 36 attempts. It’s 59 years since Villa last earned four straight league victories in this fixture.

Arsenal have lost four of the 10 league meetings at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners have only been defeated more often at the stadium by Manchester City (5) and Chelsea (6).

Smith on Arsenal

19:13 , Michael Jones

Dean Smith spoke about the prospect of facing Arsenal tonight saying his players can take heart from their recent performances. He said:

People were saying they were in crisis after the first three games of the season and that was with a Covid-19 outbreak in their camp for the first game and games against the league champions and European champions.

“They’ve come back as we all suspected they would. They’ve drawn the last couple of games, so we can take some heart in that.

“We can also take some heart from what we’ve done in the last month in our last four or five games. They’re the ones that I have to judge us by in terms of our performances.”

Team changes - Arsenal vs Aston Villa

19:09 , Michael Jones

Mikel Arteta makes three changes to the team that lined up against Crystal Palace on Monday night. Kieran Tierney, Martin Odegaard and Nicolas Pepe drop out and are replaced with Nuno Tavares, Sambi Lokonga and Alexandre Lacazette.

For Aston Villa Dean Smith names an unchanges starting XI meaning Emi Martinez returns to the Emirates in goal for the visitors.

Line-ups: Arsenal vs Aston Villa

19:01 , Michael Jones

Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares, Lokonga, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Aston Villa XI: Martinez, Tuanzebe, Konsa, Mings, Cash, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Targett, Buendia, Ings, Watkins

Arteta on Aston Villa

18:56 , Michael Jones

Mikel Arteta says his team know what they have to do to get a victory against Aston Villa tonight despite losing the last three meetings with the midlands team. He told Arsenal.com:

We play at home. We know the type of game we need to play to beat them [Aston Villa], and our focus is only that,

“It is a test and they have shown how difficult they can be against us, because we haven’t got the results that we wanted against them recently.

“So we know they have improved their squad, the way they have played a lot in the last few seasons they are showing a lot of ambition the way they are recruiting as well, and it will be a difficult game for sure.”

Dean Smith on Villa’s loss to Wolves

18:51 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says his team didn’t collapse against Wolves despite letting in three goals in the last 10 minutes plus stoppage time. Smith added that luck played a part but he was happy with Villa’s overall performance. He said:

“I’ve played Wolves five times as a manager and that’s the most comfortable I’ve been in a game against them. We probably didn’t deserve to be two goals up, but a goal up at least.

“It wasn’t a collapse. We had to defend a couple of soft free-kicks and corners and we won the first contact on most. Sometimes there’s a randomness in football that can happen. After the second goal, we were the team that looked likely to score the winner.

“There was some fortune in their winner – a free-kick that’s going wide and deflects in. You get what you deserve over a season and we didn’t get what we deserved over that one game.

“On the whole, I was pleased with parts of our game.”

Premier League standings - Arsenal vs Aston Villa

18:45 , Michael Jones

Both these teams have the chance to move into the top 10 if they pick up three points tonight. They’re only separated by one place with Arsenal (12th) a point above Aston Villa (13th).

Whoever wins will move up to 9th and Arsenal can draw level with Everton, West Ham and Manchester United ahead of the weekend’s fixtures.

Recent results - Arsenal vs Aston Villa

18:40 , Michael Jones

Arsenal are unbeaten in five Premier League games with three draws and two wins coming during that run. Last time out Alexandre Lacazette rescued a point for the Gunners with a 95th minute equaliser against Crystal Palace to end the game 2-2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring for Arsenal with his third goal in as many home games.

Meanwhile Aston Villa are looking to bounceback from a heartbreaking loss to Wolves. Villa were two goals up with 10 minutes to play at Villa Park but Romain Saiss, Conor Coady and Ruben Neves all found the back of the net before the final whistle to sink the home side. Manager Dean Smith couldn’t believe what he was watching as his team squandered the chance to pick up three points.

Early team news - Arsenal vs Aston Villa

18:30 , Michael Jones

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he has fitness concerns about “two or three” unnamed players.

One we do know about is Bukayo Saka who limped off the pitch during Arsenal’s match against Crystal Palace and will be assessed before the game.

Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore have both recovered from thigh injuries to make themselves available for Aston Villa and Matty Cash is fit to start after being subbed off against Wolves with a dead leg.

Match preview

17:56 , Lawrence Ostlere

Arsenal are hosting Aston Villa this evening at the Emirates as the Gunners looks to carry forwards the momentum from Monday’s last-gasp equaliser against Crystal Palace. Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to pinch a 2-2 draw, and although it was far from the Gunners’ best performance, there were positives to take as Mikel Arteta’s team extended their unbeaten run in the league to five games, having lost all of their opening three.

Villa have endured the opposite trend with back-to-back defeats, including a dramatic late goal which saw Wolves complete a thrilling comeback to win 3-2 against their West Midlands rivals. It means Dean Smith’s side are now 13th coming into this fixture, one place and one point behind Arsenal in the Premier League table.

The build-up to the game saw Arteta asked about his young midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, who Aston Villa enquired about in the summer. “Any club has the right to make an inquiry about a player when they believe they have the financial power to get him, they’re entitled to,” Arteta said on Friday. “So there was a communication between the clubs and we made it really clear that Emile wasn’t for sale. He’s a big part of what we’re trying to do and our future. He’s really happy where he is and I’m delighted to have him.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting