Aston Villa climbed out of the Premier League’s relegation zone with just one game remaining thanks to a 1-0 home win over Arsenal, ending the Gunners’ slim hopes of a top-seven finish.
Villa – who had been in the bottom three since before the season’s March suspension – were faced with opponents invigorated by consecutive wins over Liverpool and Manchester City in the league and FA Cup respectively.
But Dean Smith’s men were boosted ahead of kick-off as City’s comprehensive win at Watford significantly dented their fellow strugglers’ goal difference.
Victory by just a single goal would therefore take Villa above Watford at this crucial stage of the campaign – and Trezeguet’s third strike in three matches – a rare unbeaten stretch – provided just that.
Not until the 27th minute did either side enjoy a sight of goal, but the Villa winger took that first chance when it finally came.
A corner skipped through the Arsenal box to reach the right boot of Trezeguet, who thumped a fine low finish past Emiliano Martinez.
Jack Grealish advanced from halfway to send a fierce effort just past the top-right corner shortly before half-time, while Arsenal openings remained scarce.
Mikel Arteta’s men needed three points to maintain an unlikely bid for European qualification through the league, so a response after the restart seemed inevitable.
However, there was little improvement in the visiting ranks as Villa instead passed up a huge opportunity to double their advantage, substitute Keinan Davis wastefully lashing wide.
Eddie Nketiah sought to punish that miss and came agonisingly close to a leveller, heading against the post before the ball dropped into Pepe Reina’s arms.
Arsenal ultimately would not muster a single shot on target, only Martinez’s save denying John McGinn as Villa put their top-flight status into their own hands heading into Sunday’s final day.