Arsenal showed determination to come from behind and win 4-2 in a scintillating battle against Aston Villa with their Premier League (PL) title hopes on the line.
The Gunners were facing a former manager for the first time since beating George Graham’s Tottenham Hotspur in March 2001, and in desperate need of a similar result after suffering defeat against Manchester City, they got off to the worst possible start against Unai Emery’s Villans.
Matty Cash dispossessed Oleksandr Zinchenko and picked out Ollie Watkins, who beat William Saliba and struck across Aaron Ramsdale for his fourth goal in as many games.
However, Villa took the lead again just after the half-hour mark, as Emiliano Buendía showed superb awareness to step over Álex Moreno’s low cross, and Philippe Coutinho did the rest as he fooled Ramsdale with a reverse finish to mark his first PL start under Emery with a goal.
Arsenal re-emerged from the break looking more determined than ever to take something back down south, and eventually got their reward on the hour mark when a short corner routine ended with a pinpoint finish from Zinchenko for the Ukraine international’s first Gunners goal.
Every title push needs a slice of luck somewhere along the road, and Arsenal will feel they earned theirs as Jorginho’s ambitious effort struck the crossbar, hit Martínez’s head and trickled into the back of the net.