Aston Villa 2-4 Arsenal: Title dream back on after stunning late comeback win
Arsenal snatched a late win at Aston Villa to secure a monumental boost to their Premier League title dream.
Aston Villa wasted no time in putting the title challengers under pressure, Matty Cash stealing the ball of Oleksandr Zinchenko in the fifth minute to send Ollie Watkins over the top. The striker held off William Saliba and slammed a composed effort past Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal had not woken up for the lunchtime kick-off until Tyrone Mings headed a cross into his own danger area, picking out the in-form Bukayo Saka to lash the visitors level on 16 minutes.
Plenty of pressure followed from the Gunners yet Emi Martinez was rarely tested, opening the way for Villa to retake the lead on another blistering counter-attack.
Precise play down the left led to Philippe Coutinho latching onto Alex Moreno’s cross after a fine Emi Buendia dummy, the Brazilian firing home his first Premier League goal in 272 days.
Arsenal took time but rallied anew, Eddie Nketiah nodding a header onto the top of the crossbar in a warning sign before Oleksandr Zinchenko slammed home his first Arsenal goal for 2-2 on the hour mark.
Martin Odegaard missed a perfect chance to put the Gunners ahead after Ezri Konsa handed the ball to Nketiah in his own box, the Norwegian placing his effort wide with the goal gaping.
Villa created their opportunity to score late as Leon Bailey’s fantastic first touch set him through on goal, firing onto the underside of the crossbar via a faint, but vital, touch from Aaron Ramsdale.
But the winner was to come for Arsenal as Jorginho’s injury-time piledriver cracked the underside of the crossbar and went in off Martinez’s head.
Aston Villa pressed to snatch their own late goal and threw goalkeeper Martinez up for a corner with 97 minutes on the clock, and yet that only served to extend Arsenal’s lead as Gabriel Martinelli broke clear and rolled home into the empty net.