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Late Villa goals dent Arsenal's title challenge


Late Villa goals dent Arsenal's title challenge

The Premier League title is out of Arsenal’s hands after a crushing 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa left Manchester City two points clear at the top. Arsenal had much the better of a goalless first half, without creating too many clear chances, but looked devoid of energy after the break and were totally outplayed by Villa. The goals came late, with Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins scoring in the 84th and 87th minutes to give Villa a classic away victory.

Aston Villa produced an outstanding performance to stun Arsenal at Emirates Stadium and leave Manchester City in pole position in the Premier League title race.

The game started with high anticipation for the Gunners after Liverpool's shock home defeat by Crystal Palace, but Arsenal were desperately disappointing and well beaten as Villa boss Unai Emery made a winning return to his former club.

Arsenal were fortunate to remain on level terms for so long against the impressive visitors, who secured a deserved win to move three points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in fourth having played a game more.

The only surprise was that it took Villa until six minutes from the end of normal time to open the scoring – Ollie Watkins and Youri Tielemans hit the woodwork in each half before Leon Bailey finally broke the deadlock with a low finish at the far post.

Arsenal were kept out in the first half when Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez made a stunning save from Leandro Trossard, but the visitors wrapped up the win when Watkins raced clear in the 87th minute to loft a composed finish over David Raya.

It completed a perfect weekend for reigning champions Man City, with Pep Guardiola's side now two points clear of Arsenal who are ahead of third-placed Liverpool on goal difference.

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