Match ends, Arsenal 5, Aston Villa 0.
- Arsenal score five for the first time this season
- Gunners level with Southampton on 42 points
- Bellerin's goal is his first in professional football
- Villa have now gone six league games without a goal
Arsenal moved above Tottenham to fifth in the Premier League courtesy of an emphatic victory over struggling Aston Villa.
The Gunners dominated and took the lead when Olivier Giroud collected Mesut Ozil's neat flick and finished well.
Santi Cazorla's shot struck the post before well-taken finishes from Ozil and Theo Walcott made it 3-0.
Giroud hit the bar with a header before Cazorla fired home a penalty and Hector Bellerin made it 5-0 from 30 yards out.
|Martin Keown: "There were many calls for Arsenal to sign a new defensive midfielder before this transfer window opened but, in the last few weeks, they have found a new way to win without needing new players to do it."|
|Read more: 'How Arsenal became more solid without a signing'|
It is the first time Arsenal have hit five goals in a match this season and completes a hat-trick of successive league victories for Arsene Wenger's side.
The Gunners have now claimed 19 points out of a possible 24, have not conceded in their last three league games and, with significant players returning from injury, are in a strong position to make a push for a 19th successive top-four finish.
Even without injured leading scorer Alexis Sanchez, the home side had too much quality for Villa.
Ozil, starting his first league game since October following a knee injury, was lively, producing a deft flick to set up Giroud for the first goal eight minutes into the first half.
He then collected a pass from the French striker and finished low into the corner of the net in the early stages of the second half.
|All four of the goals Mesut Ozil has been involved in this Premier League season have been against Aston Villa (two goals, two assists).|
Walcott also continued his rehabilitation in impressive fashion, adding to his goal in the FA Cup win at Brighton last week with a curling finish from inside the box.
And Cazorla capped off another fine display by firing a penalty through the grasp of Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who had fouled substitute Chuba Akpom.
Bellerin has been quietly establishing himself as an effective full-back in recent weeks and his low, driven goal from more than 30 yards out in stoppage time was arguably the pick of the bunch.
Villa have a decent record at the Emirates, having claimed three wins at the ground, including a 3-1 victory on the opening day of last season, but they are a team woefully short of goals and confidence.
Paul Lambert's side have now gone eight league games without a win, six top-flight matches without a goal and remain just three points above the relegation zone.
They had one superb chance with the score at 1-0, but David Ospina saved Andreas Weimann's close-range header.
And by the time Gabriel Agbonlahor and new signing Scott Sinclair were introduced from the bench midway through the second half, the game was already lost.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "It was positive because we kept a clean sheet. We know we can score goals. We needed to be patient because they tried to stop us going forward. With time going on we had a chance to play through their lines and that made the difference.
"You cannot fault anyone's performance. Mesut [Ozil] did well. It takes a while to get that sharpness back.
"We had a rigorous attitude defensively. Even at 4-0, 5-0 up people were willing to work back. We want to play collectively and offensively to the end."
- 16RamseySubstituted forFlaminiat 77'minutes
- 14WalcottSubstituted forRosickyat 70'minutes
- 12GiroudSubstituted forAkpomat 70'minutes
- 6ClarkBooked at 57mins
- 8CleverleySubstituted forAgbonlahorat 66'minutes
- 24C SánchezSubstituted forWestwoodat 76'minutes
- 25GilBooked at 68mins
- 10WeimannSubstituted forSinclairat 66'minutes
- Anthony Taylor
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Arsenal 5, Aston Villa 0.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by David Ospina.
Attempt saved. Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.
Goal! Arsenal 5, Aston Villa 0. Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.
Attempt saved. Chuba Akpom (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a through ball.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Jores Okore.
Attempt blocked. Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Chuba Akpom (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Per Mertesacker with a cross.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.
Attempt missed. Carles Gil (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Carles Gil (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal).
Foul by Chuba Akpom (Arsenal).
Jores Okore (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Arsenal. Mathieu Flamini replaces Aaron Ramsey.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Ashley Westwood replaces Carlos Sánchez.
Goal! Arsenal 4, Aston Villa 0. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
Penalty conceded by Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) after a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty Arsenal. Chuba Akpom draws a foul in the penalty area.