Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

Arsenal in seventh heaven



Arsenal increased their advantage in the race for Champions League football after two first-half goals helped them to a deserved 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

Arsene Wenger's men made it seven wins in a row after Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott struck early on, before Mikel Arteta completed the scoring in added on time of the second-half.

But more significantly, the Premier League's form side stretched their lead over nearest rivals Tottenham, who are in fourth place, to three points and eight points over fifth-placed Chelsea.

There was little doubting this result against a struggling Aston Villa side not completely safe from being sucked into a relegation battle themselves.

The only blot on the copybook was the home side's failure to score more goals. In the end, they settled for Gibbs and Walcott's early strikes and another win that never looked in question.

Besides an early scare when Marc Albrighton blazed over the crossbar in the seventh minute, Arsenal were in complete control.

Walcott almost drew first blood as the England international collected Robin van Persie's backheel before bringing out a fine save from Shay Given.

But the Irish goalkeeper would soon be beaten thanks to Gibbs' first ever Premier League goal with 16 minutes on the clock.

Gervinho's pass found the left-back in acres of space and his low shot proved too hot to handle for Given.

Gibbs, whose only other goal had come in a League Cup tie earlier this season, might have been the unlikely hero. But the fact he was so advanced up the pitch was an indication of Arsenal's attacking intent.

In this mood, not many teams can live with Arsenal, let alone a struggling Villa side. So it was no surprise to see the lively Walcott increase Arsenal's lead in the 25th minute.

Alex Song showed great vision with a pinpoint ball over the visitors' defence where Walcott's fine control presented him with the routine finish beyond Given.

Not that Arsenal were ready to rest on their laurels. Villa just couldn't live with the pace and movement and van Persie wasted a glorious chance after Thomas Vermaelen's cross somehow reached him.

Another sweeping attack saw Arteta's 25-yard shot tipped over by the ex-Manchester City stopper.

Next it was the turn of van Persie to cause further problems, when he was denied a certain goal by Stephen Warnock's headed clearance of the line after quick feet had carved out the opening.

It promised to be a long afternoon in the London sunshine. Aston Villa had little outlet going forward with Darren Bent sidelined long-term and Charles N'Zogbia discarded all together.

Arsenal, as they coasted through, appeared to have complacency as their biggest threat of surrendering their two-goal advantage.

The pace of the game, and the amount of chances, had certainly dropped off.

In fact, it took until the 65th minute though until Given was next tested, when Tomas Rosicky made room for himself before his 25-yar shotd was turned aside by Given.

Arsenal, as they chased further goals to boost their goal difference, were just playing out time.

Arteta added a third with a 30-yard free-kick as the Gunners eased to the most comfortable of victories in the London sunshine.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Sports Talk



Neil Tovey
A striking concern
After Bafana Bafana drew a blank against Nigeria in Cape Town last week, our national striking woes...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref’s decisions to be challenged?
I read recently that Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, the current Fifa president, is considering a move which...

Segun Odegbami
Worried, frustrated, angry and excited
Let me state it up front - I am worried, frustrated, angry and exited, all at once!

Carol Radull
Was Arsenal playing football?
What on earth was that? What was that game Arsenal were playing in Germany on Tuesday night?

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The pressure is on at Man United
By the time the summer transfer window closed in Europe, Manchester United had spent heavily. Times...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Reds back in Europe with a win
The Champions League is all about high octane action and last minute goals and that’s exactly what...