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Saturday, December 01, 2007

EPL : Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal : Report

Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal

Aston Villa : Gardner 14';
The Arsenal : Flamini 23', Adebayor 36'

Arsenal came back from an early goal to deservedly lead by halftime and then weathered a vastly-improved second half performance from Aston Villa to maintain their unbeaten record and the leadership of the Barclays Premier League.

Craig Gardner had given Villa hope of their first win over the Gunners in 18 meetings when he put them ahead with his third goal of the campaign.

But Arsenal responded by handing out a footballing lesson for the remainder of the half and could easily have added to goals from Mathieu Flamini and Emmanuel Adebayor.

The Gunners had been a joy to watch in the opening 45 minutes with some delightful free-flowing football which often had Villa chasing shadows. They stepped up a gear from the minute Villa went ahead and their one-touch play caused the home side constant problems.

Lassana Diarra and Alexander Hleb sparkled in midfield while Emmanuel Eboue was an effective outlet on the right flank. Little was seen of the exciting forward play which had brought Villa 11 goals in the previous four games.

Villa were a different proposition after the break with Ashley Young more of a threat on the left wing and target man John Carew causing problems. Carew put a thumping header against the Gunners bar with Almunia well beaten - and Young was booked late on for a swan dive looknig ofr a penalty after his control let him down.

But the Gunners held firm with Kolo Toure and William Gallas solid performers at the heart of the Gunners back four.

It means that Arsenal have not tasted defeat in the league since April and in the process they brought an end to Villa's run of four successive wins.