Summer signing Gabriel Jesus continued his impressive start to his Arsenal career, grabbing the opening goal on the half-hour mark to take his season’s tally to three goals.
Villa, dominated by Arsenal for the vast majority of the 90 minutes, found an unlikely equaliser in the 74th minute when Douglas Luiz scored straight from a corner only seconds after entering the game as a substitute. But parity lasted less than three minutes as Arsenal provided another glimpse of their new-found resolve to go back in front for good courtesy of Gabriel Martinelli.
Arsenal remain top of the Premier League, two points ahead of champions Manchester City. Aston Villa, meanwhile, are languishing near the other end of the table, having taken just three points from their opening five fixtures.
And the visitors never rarely looked like threatening Arsenal’s 100 percent record.
Steven Gerrard’s side needed several last-gasp defensive interventions as well as a favorable VAR check for an early Arsenal penalty appeal to stop the hosts building an even greater first-half lead.
There was a sense of inevitability when the goal did arrive. Granit Xhaka‘s deflected cross could only be parried out by Villa’s former Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and Jesus was on hand to smash home the rebound from six yards.
Aston Villa didn’t have a single shot on target until the 73rd minute, but that effort led to a corner that produced a most unlikely equaliser. Aaron Ramsdale appealed in vain for a foul after having his path to the ball blocked by a Villa player as Luiz’s corner sailed straight into the back of the net.
But Arsenal were not to be denied. With many in the ground still in shock at the Villa goal, Arsenal went down the other end, Bukayo Saka chipped the ball across the box and Martinelli’s volley had enough on it to beat Martinez.