Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on target again at Emirates Stadium as Arsenal deservedly beat out-of-sorts Aston Villa.
Arsenal returned to winning ways and moved into the top half of the Premier League with a well-earned 3-1 victory over Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium.
Mikel Arteta’s side had been held in back-to-back games but Friday’s win never seemed in doubt after Thomas Partey deservedly headed them in front with his first goal for the club.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added a second just before half-time from a rebound after Emiliano Martinez had saved his penalty, which was awarded after VAR intervened.
Villa substitute Jacob Ramsey pulled one back late on after Emile Smith Rowe had further extended Arsenal’s lead, as the Gunners stretched their unbeaten league run to six matches and condemned their opponents to a third loss on the bounce.
Aubameyang had a goal rightly ruled out for an Alexandre Lacazette foul in the build-up and Partey turned a shot against the crossbar in a dominant start from Arsenal.
The hosts deservedly took the lead with 23 minutes played, when Partey got away from John McGinn and guided Smith Rowe’s corner past Martinez.
Former Arsenal keeper Martinez produced a fine save to deny Bukayo Saka from a one-on-one on the half-hour mark, but he was beaten for a second time from the penalty spot right at the end of the first half.
After being asked to check the pitchside monitor, Craig Pawson adjudged Matt Targett went through the back of Lacazette to win the ball and Aubameyang fired past Martinez at the second attempt after his former team-mate kept out the initial spot-kick.
Villa squandered a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 against Wolves last week, but any hopes of a comeback of their own were extinguished by a Smith Rowe strike that deflected in off Tyrone Mings.
Ramsey curled a delightful shot past Aaron Ramsdale eight minutes from time following some nice play from fellow substitute Leon Bailey, though that proved nothing more than a consolation.