Olle Watkins scored a double as Arsenal put in a below-par showing and were outclassed by Aston Villa in a 3-0 home defeat on Sunday.

Despite getting a controversial VAR reprieve after John McGinn thought he had given Villa the lead after just 46 seconds, only to see it ruled out, Arsenal still fell behind in the 25th minute as Trezeguet arrived at the far post to finish off a fine move, with goal later being given as an own goal, Bukayo Saka getting the last touch.

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The hosts did not improve after the break, with Liverpool slayer Watkins stepping up with two goals inside three minutes to stun Arsenal, to ensure Villa stormed to a deserved, comprehensive victory in style.

Arsenal were well below par, and suffered their second successive home league defeat to provide Mike Arteta with another setback as the Gunners drop to 11th, while Villa climb to sixth.

John McGinn celebrates with Jack Grealish

Image credit: Getty Images

It could have been much, much worse in truth for Arsenal. McGinn had brilliantly converted Grealish's cutback inside the first minute, only for Ross Barkley to be ruled offside by VAR, the Chelsea loanee adjudged to be in the eyeline of Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, from an offside position.

Villa, whose early season form has disappeared ahead of their trip to the capital, created an opening for Matt Targett, who squared for Trezeguet, only for Saka to make the last touch to break the deadlock in the Emirates rain.

Arsenal brought Dani Ceballos on at half time, but the Spaniard could do nothing as Villa continued to dominate, and deservedly got their second goal as Barkley superbly volleyed the ball across for Watkins to make it two in the 72nd minute.

Less than three minutes later, Villa saved their best for last, as former Arsenal man Emiliano Martinez rolled the ball out for Grealish, who galloped forward before setting up Watkins to make it eight for the season, putting the icing on a victory that means Villa have won each of their first three away league games in a season for the first time in their history.

TALKING POINT - Why so flat, Gunners?

What happened there? After being so impressive at Old Trafford last week, the Gunners were ridiculously flat against Villa, offering absolutely nothing in attack.

They have failed to scored in each of their last two home league games, and have found the net just nine times all season - 10 fewer than Tottenham in their eight games to date.

The biggest worry is the form of the man Arsenal were so desperate to keep this summer. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to take a single shot against Villa – it’s the first time he’s played the full 90 minutes in a home Premier League match for Arsenal without attempting a shot.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Jack Grealish

In this kind of form, there are few players who can do what Jack Grealish can do in the Premier League, in any team. He was involved in everything that was good about Villa, and was a class above any Arsenal attacker. Grealish has been now directly involved in nine league goals this season (four goals and five assists) – only Spurs pair Harry Kane (15) and Son Heung-min (10) have been involved in more Premier League goals. If he doesn't start for England...


Arsenal: Leno 5, Bellerin 6, Tierney 6, Gabriel 5, Holding 5, Partey 5, Elneny 5, Saka 4, Willian 3, Lacazette 3, Aubameyang 3... Subs: Ceballos 5, Pepe 6, Nketiah 6.

Aston Villa: Martinez 7, Cash 7, Konsa 8, Mings 8, Targett 8, Luiz 8, McGinn 8, Grealish 9, Barkley 9, Trezeguet 7, Watkins 9... Subs: Anwar El Ghazi N/A.


1’ - GOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!! Arsenal 0-1 Aston Villa. A dream start as John McGinn rifles Villa into the lead 46 seconds in!

5’ - NO GOAL! That is chalked off! Barkley adjudged to be offside when in Leno's eyeline. What a mess VAR is.

11’ - SAVE! McGinn got away with a poor back pass there, Thomas Partey looks to latch onto it, but Emi Martinez races from his line to make a slide tackle.

25’ - GGGGGGOOOOOOAAALLLLLLL!!!! Arsenal 0-1 Aston Villa. This one will stand as Trezeguet arrives at the far post to give his side the lead. Some debate as to who got the final touch. Is it a Saka own goal? But there is no debate as to the quality of the build-up play. Matt Targett's square pass is perfect for whoever gets the final touch.

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42’ - CHAAAAANCE! Opportunity of the match for Arsenal, as Tierney curls a beauty of a cross onto the head on Alex Lacazette, but he gets underneath it and heads over.

61’ - MISS! Holding arrives at the far post, but sweeps wide from a great position! Gabriel with the centre.

72’ - GGGOOOOOAAALLLLLL!!!! Arsenal 0-2 Aston Villa. What a goal from Ollie Watkins! Has he put this game to bed? Oh what a goal. Douglas Luiz clips a long pass into Barkley, who brilliantly volleys first time for Watkins to nudge home his seventh goal of the season. Super move.

74’ - OFF THE LINE! Almost three for Villa. Arsenal are all over the place. Grealish this time fires for goal, it beats Leno, but Ceballos is back there to clear off the line!

75’ GGGGOOOOOOAAALLLLLL!!!! Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa. Oh my word! Another corker of a goal, again finished off by Watkins! From one end to the other. Martinez rolls it out to Grealish, who gallops forward, maybe 60 yards, before feeding Watkins, and the rest was a given as the ruthless Villa hitman fires under Leno to make it three.


  • This was Arsenal’s worst home league defeat since December 2019 versus Manchester City (also 0-3).
  • Only Chelsea (five) have won more away league games than Aston Villa (four) at the Emirates Stadium.
  • Aston Villa are the third side in Premier League history to win each of their first three away games in a season without conceding a goal, after Chelsea in 2005-06 and Manchester City in 2015-16.
  • Ollie Watkins has scored six goals in seven games for Aston Villa in the Premier League this season - only Dean Saunders (7) and Dion Dublin (9) have ever netted more in their first seven appearances for Villa in the competition.
  • Aged 19 years and 64 days, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka became the fourth-youngest player to score an own goal in the Premier League, and youngest since Southampton's Martin Cranie in May 2004 (17y 218d v Chelsea).
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