Match ends, Aston Villa Women 0, Arsenal Women 4.
Arsenal scored four second-half goals to beat a resilient Aston Villa side and record their first Women's Super League victory in four matches.
Home keeper Lisa Weiss made great saves to deny Jill Roord and Katie McCabe.
But Arsenal's patience was rewarded as Vivianne Miedema flicked home Beth Mead's cross and Jordan Nobbs made it two after a Weiss save fell to her.
Noelle Maritz hit the bar before fellow full-back McCabe struck from 25 yards, with Lisa Evans' header making it four.
Victory moves Joe Montemurro's Arsenal to within six points of Manchester United - who occupy the third and final Champions League spot - with a game in hand, while Villa remain 10th, four points above bottom side Bristol City.
Captain Jordan Nobbs returned to the Arsenal side after a quad strain, with Jen Beattie also back from injury, but they lacked a spark in the first half against a Villa side who sat deep and defended in numbers.
McCabe's deflected effort was heading for the top corner but Weiss kept it out with a fine fingertip save.
When Danielle van de Donk blazed over from close range and Villa's Elisha N'Dow struck narrowly off target from range, it felt like Arsenal may be made to pay for their failure to make their dominance count.
But the WSL's leading scorer Miedema grabbed her 13th goal of the season with a poacher's finish and Nobbs was in the right place to guide home a second.
Republic of Ireland defender McCabe then took a touch and thundered in with a fine strike before setting up the fourth for substitute Evans to leap up and head in.
Aston Villa Women
- 12HuttonSubstituted forGregoryat 59'minutes
- 23HanssenBooked at 85mins
- 20IwabuchiSubstituted forFollisat 77'minutes
- 16MaritzSubstituted forPattenat 80'minutes
- 5BeattieSubstituted forWubben-Moyat 80'minutes
- 7van de DonkSubstituted forMaierat 76'minutes
- 14RoordSubstituted forEvansat 76'minutes
- 11MiedemaSubstituted forFoordat 71'minutes
- Lisa Benn
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Aston Villa Women 0, Arsenal Women 4.
Attempt missed. Stine Larsen (Aston Villa Women) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.
Goal! Aston Villa Women 0, Arsenal Women 4. Lisa Evans (Arsenal Women) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Katie McCabe with a cross.
Nadine Hanssen (Aston Villa Women) is shown the yellow card.
Hand ball by Nadine Hanssen (Aston Villa Women).
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Anna Patten replaces Noëlle Maritz.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Charlotte Wubben-Moy replaces Jennifer Beattie.
Attempt saved. Beth Mead (Arsenal Women) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Leonie Maier.
Attempt missed. Stine Larsen (Aston Villa Women) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Elisha N'Dow with a cross.
Substitution, Aston Villa Women. Emma Follis replaces Mana Iwabuchi.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Leonie Maier replaces Daniëlle van de Donk.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Lisa Evans replaces Jill Roord.
Offside, Aston Villa Women. Mana Iwabuchi tries a through ball, but Stine Larsen is caught offside.
Corner, Arsenal Women. Conceded by Freya Gregory.
Goal! Aston Villa Women 0, Arsenal Women 3. Katie McCabe (Arsenal Women) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Jill Roord.
Attempt missed. Jill Roord (Arsenal Women) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Lia Wälti.
Substitution, Arsenal Women. Caitlin Foord replaces Vivianne Miedema.
Attempt missed. Beth Mead (Arsenal Women) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.
Foul by Beth Mead (Arsenal Women).
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