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Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa: Watkins double helps down Gunners

Ollie Watkins took his tally to six Premier League goals for the season as Aston Villa claimed a shock 3-0 victory at Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

Villa had taken the lead when Arsenal defender Bukayo Saka accidentally slid the ball into his own net, before Watkins made the result certain in the second half.

The striker finished off a fine team move when he headed in from close range, and then fired an angled shot through the legs of Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno a few minutes later.

It was Arsenal’s second consecutive home league defeat of the season following a 1-0 loss to Leicester at the Emirates last month.

Villa had the ball in the net inside the first minute when John McGinn fired home, only for referee Martin Atkinson to decide via a VAR review at pitchside that Ross Barkley had obscured the view of Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno from an offside position.

A weak pass from McGinn at the other end almost let in Thomas Partey shortly afterwards, but Emiliano Martinez reacted quickly to clear the danger.

Villa were the more positive side, however, and took the lead just before the half-hour mark when Barkley’s pass pierced the Arsenal defence and Matt Targett’s cross – intended for Trezeguet – was misdirected into the net by Saka.

Alexandre Lacazette went close to equalising late in the half when he got on the end of a superb cross from Kieran Tierney but could only head over.

Arsenal had only won one of their six games under Mikel Arteta when trailing at half time (D2 L4) before this encounter, and some clinical finishing from Watkins stifled any hopes of a fightback.

The striker, who netted a hat-trick against champions Liverpool earlier in the season, got his head on the end of a volleyed cross from Barkley, leaving Leno with no hope.

Villa added another shortly afterwards when Jack Grealish burst forward, as Arsenal were caught on the counterattack, and fed the ball to Watkins who finished confidently.

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