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Summary

  1. Giroud gives visitors lead from penalty spot
  2. Ramsey doubles Gunners' lead
  3. Arsenal go top of Premier League
  4. Villa still waiting for first win under Remi Garde
  5. GET INVOLVED: #bbcfootball

Live Reporting

By Neil Johnston

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye

So, Arsenal are top of the Premier League table - for around 30 hours at least. Leicester City will replace them if they defeat Chelsea on Monday. In the meantime, there is live text commentary of Tottenham against Newcastle and Liverpool versus West Brom on the BBC Sport website.

Olivier Giroud
Reuters

'We can fight for the title'

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech, speaking to Sky Sports: "We have done really well to be resolute at the back and to control the game to get the three points."

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, speaking to Sky Sports: "We believe we have an opportunity to win the title. We have shown what we are capable of and have to continue now, in what is a busy part of the season. We have to maintain our focus and belief. Who knows what will happen but we believe we can challenge for trophies."

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Brian Little

Former Aston Villa player & manager on BBC WM 95.6

"This could become very worrying for Aston Villa. 

"Arsenal were the worst team they could have played today, but if this gap to the teams around them isn't shortened by the beginning of January, then your head starts to rule over your heart."

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Next up for Villa? They're heading for the north east to face fellow strugglers Newcastle on 19 December before entertaining West Ham on 26 December.

Christmas cracker

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Next up for Arsenal? A home game with title rivals Manchester City on 21 December. Now that's what I call a Christmas cracker.

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Arsenal's players head to where their fans are seated. Gunners fans face a long journey home but they don't want to leave. 

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#bbcfootball

Today's work done, another assist in the bag, time for a well earned foot spa. #bbcfootball #AVFCvAFC

Very professional approach by Arsenal. #bbcfootball

FULL TIME

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil
Reuters

Arsenal move one point clear at the top of the table. Villa remain anchored at the bottom, eights points from safety.

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

'We are top of the league' sing Arsenal's fans as Hector Bellerín fires straight at Brad Guzan from close range.

CLOSE!

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Villa save their best for last... Adama Traore goes on a lovely run before hitting the side netting. Standing ovation for the substitute from the Villa fans who have decided to stay.

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Four minutes of added time.

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

'Jingle bells, jingle bells' rings out around Villa Park. Arsenal's fans are making their voices heard as Villa supporters head for the exits.

Remy Garde
Reuters

SUBSTITUTION

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Villa's last change...Scott Sinclair is replaced by midfielder Adama Traore.

SUBSTITUTION

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Arsenal's 'Mr Assist' Mesut Ozil receives a terrific standing ovation from Arsenal's travelling fans as he is replaced by Callum Chambers. 

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Brian Little

Former Aston Villa player & manager on BBC WM 95.6

"You can see Aston Villa are tiring. They look a bit downbeat now. This second half has been a real test. They are trying their best but don't seem to have the belief they can get something from this game. 

"Despite not really having to flex their muscles in this second half Arsenal have been comfortable."

Jordan Veretout and Hector Bellerin
Getty Images

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Villa are six minutes away from another unwanted statistic in a grim season...nine home league games without a win.

GREAT SAVE!

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

There was a period in this half when Villa looked like getting a goal. Not now. Arsenal have this back under control. A lovely sweeping move ends in substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain forcing a fine one handed save from Brad Guzan.

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Ten minutes of normal time left. Villa are back up to 11 players, Carlos Sanchez able to continue after treatment.

SUBSTITUTION

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Jack Grealish's period of exile from the Villa first team is over. The young midfielder is on for Idrissa Gueye.

Jack Grealish comes off the bench for Aston Villa
Reuters

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Concerned faces on the Villa bench as Carlos Sanchez,who is wearing a protective mask, goes down clutching his jaw after a challenge with Olivier Giroud. Villa are temporarily down to 10 men.

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Here he comes...Jack Grealish is getting ready to come on.

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Will we see Jack Grealish? Time is starting to run out for Villa.

Jack Grealish warming up for Aston Villa
Reuters

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Brian Little

Former Aston Villa player & manager on BBC WM 95.6

"Arsenal are letting Aston Villa have the ball because they are not hurting them at the minute. 

"The home crowd have been really good up until now but they want to raise the tempo. Villa need somebody to have a go at this Arsenal defence, running with the ball. Scott Sinclair could perhaps do that?"

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

It's a miserable day in Birmingham. The rain is coming down but there are signs of encouragement from the hosts. Another cross by Alan Hutton for Scott Sinclair leads to the first of four successive corners.

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Text us on 81111

Harvey, Hull: Forget a striker, Arsenal need strengthening at the back, With Walcott and Giroud playing well and Welbeck back soon I'd be more happy with two new centre-backs than any striker.

Get involved at #bbcfootball or text 81111 (UK only and please include a name).

Olivier Giroud
Getty Images

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

What did Remi Garde say to his Villa players at the interval? They look a different team - fluent, creative and hard-working. 

Isolated Sinclair

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Aston Villa's Scott Sinclair (9) hasn't been getting a lot of support, judging by the average positions below.(left). Arsenal's average positions (right) are much more balanced.

Positions
.

SUBSTITUTION

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Is Arsene Wenger worried by what he is seeing? The Arsenal  boss has just made a double change to try and take the sting out of this. Off go Joel Campbell and Theo Walcott. On Come Kieran Gibbs and Alex Olade-Chamberlain.

Arsene Wenger looks concerned on the touchline
PA

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#bbcfootball

Arsenal taken foot of the pedal and now letting Villa in with a sniff of a comeback #bbcfootball #AVFCvAFC

Get involved at #bbcfootball or text 81111 (UK only and please include a name).

CLOSE!

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Villa are knocking on the door. Leandro Bacuna creates space for himself just outside the Arsenal area before trying to curl it into the top corner. It's a decent effort.

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Brian Little

Former Aston Villa player & manager on BBC WM 95.6

"Aston Villa are genuinely getting a grip on this. And I agree with that call to take Rudy Gestede off - now Villa will have a bit more mobility in the final third with Jordan Ayew leading the line instead."

SUBSTITUTION

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

First change as midfielder Carles Gil replaces Rudy Gestede.Villa have improved this half but they need a goal.

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#bbcfootball

Arsenal getting careless! why can't they just be switched on even if the game seems easy.#bbcfootball

#Arsenal going into a #SelfDestructMode? Time will tell. #bbcfootball

Jordan Ayew of Aston Villa on the ball
PA

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

More encouragement for Villa. Scott Sinclair heads a good chance over the bar following a decent cross by Alan Hutton. The hosts are enjoying their best spell of the match. 

Scott Sinclair reacts to missing a chance
Reuters

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Brian Little

Former Aston Villa player & manager on BBC WM 95.6

"Rudy Gestede needs power on that header but it just skidded off.

"That's the perfect run though - this is an encouraging restart from Aston Villa. 

"Alan Hutton did really well, and Scott Sinclair - who has been Villa's brightest player with the flashes we've seen."

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Mesut Ozil
.

Mesut Ozil now has 13 assists for the season. 

Thierry Henry made 20 in 02/03 and 14 in 04/05,Cesc Fabregas had 17 in 07/08 and Robert Pires 15 in 01/02.  

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Better from Villa. Rudy Gestede manages to beat his man in the air but he can't direct his header on target. Then Carlos Sanchez forces a rare save from Petr Cech from distance. A roar goes up from the Holte End. 

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Shot from Villa...Jordan Veretout fires wildy over.

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Brian Little

Former Aston Villa player & manager on BBC WM 95.6

"Aston Villa need to score in the first 15 minutes of the second half if they are to get anything from this game.

"They need to try something different, but they don't really have the personnel.

"You look at the strike force and the only thing I would change is putting Jordan Ayew up front to work off the shoulder."   

KICK-OFF

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Are Villa capable of coming back from this? Or is it going to get worse? We're back under way.

Remy Garde
PA