Aston Villa upend Arsenal, go third

Unai Emery’s Aston Villa scored another eyebrow-raising win, this time defeating his old club Arsenal 1-0 on Saturday at Villa Park.

The game was not without final drama, as a VAR check in stoppage time to review a would-be Kai Havertz winner initially reviewed a handball was confirmed as a handball.


Leon Bailey’s fourth assist of the Premier League season was a scintillating run and set-up of John McGinn, as Villa added to its 1-0 win over Man City last time out and rose to third on the Premier League table.

Arsenal had won four-straight matches since losing 1-0 to Newcastle, and sit second — a point off Liverpool — in their bid to dethrone three-time defending champions Manchester City.

Old friends flummox Gunners

This, at times, felt more like a tournament game than the free-flowing affair expected by many including this writer, as Villa’s early goal seemed to set the visitors into a more cautious approach.

The bad news for Villa, if indeed that was the case, is that former Arsenal boss Unai Emery loves himself a tournament game.

Arsenal had the advantage in xG, possession, and shots, but what it didn’t have was former goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

The 31-year-old Argentine made three saves and commanded the Villa box, piling up 16 recoveries for his team behind a strong showing from Diego Carlos and Ezri Konsa.

What’s next?

Villa goes to Bosnia and Herzegovina to face Zrinjski Mostar in the final match of their Conference League group stage on Thursday before visiting Brentford in a Premier League match on Sunday, Dec. 17.

Arsenal goes to PSV Eindhoven for a 12:45pm ET Tuesday match in the UEFA Champions League. The Gunners have already won the group and can try some new things ahead of a Sunday, Dec. 17 home scrap with Brighton and Hove Albion.

Aston Villa vs Arsenal final score: 1-0

Goal: McGinn (7′)

How to watch Aston Villa vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 12:30pm ET (Saturday, Dec. 9)TV Channel: NBCOnline: Stream online via

Aston Villa vs Arsenal player ratings


Note: Albert Stuivenberg is listed as Arsenal manager due to Mikel Arteta’s touch line suspension. Arteta watched the game from a box.

Aston Villa vs Arsenal player ratings (

John McGinn goal video

Continue to underrate Villa at your leisure, world.

Arsenal’s certainly got an early lesson here, as Leon Bailey rips down the right side with aplomb.

The Jamaican international cuts the ball to John McGinn. Back to goal, the Scot doesn’t waver.

Taking a touch, he turns and belts past David Raya. It’s not easy but it’s too simple.


Aston Villa lineupArsenal lineupFocus on Aston Villa, team news

OUT: Emiliano Buendia (torn ACL – out for season), Tyrone Mings (torn ACL – out for season), Bertrand Traore (undisclosed)

Focus on Arsenal, team news

OUT: Thomas Partey (thigh), Emile Smith-Rowe (knee), Jurrien Timber (torn ACL – out for season), Fabio Vieira (hip), Takehiro Tomiyasu (calf)


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