Sports Desk, Oct 22 (EFE).- Arsenal returned to the win column Friday, dominating Aston Villa 3-1 to move into the top half of the Premier League table.
With 14 points from nine matches, the Gunners are ninth. Villa, on 10 points, sit in the 13th spot.
Coming off draws against Brighton & Hove Albion (0-0) and Crystal Palace (2-2), Mikel Arteta’s men were in need of a victory to recover the positive feelings that prevailed not so long ago after the Gunners won three league games in a row.
Emile Smith Rowe, one of the young players who have earned a place in the squad since the Spaniard took over as coach, had a goal and an assist as Arsenal produced its most complete performance of the season so far.
The hosts seized the initiative in the opening minutes at the Emirates and looked to have gone ahead in the 8th minute with a goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the goal was disallowed for a foul in the buildup by the attacking team.
Thomas Partey hit the cross-bar following an Arsenal free-kick in the 20th minute, three minutes before scoring with a header off Smith Rowe’s corner.
Two minutes into first-half stoppage time, the Gunners clamored for a penalty after Matt Targett tangled with Alexander Lacazette. VAR had a look and the referee pointed to the spot.
Villa goalkeeper guessed right and turned aside the initial effort from Aubameyang, only to see the Arsenal captain collect the rebound and lift it over his head into the net for the 2-0.
Smith Rowe extended the lead in the 56th minute with a strike that took a fortunate – for the Gunners – deflection off the foot of Villa’s Tyrone Mings.
Late sub Jacob Ramsey narrowed the deficit for the visitors in the 82nd minute. EFE jjl/dr