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Aston Villa vs Arsenal. Premier League.

Villa Park.

Aston Villa 1

  • Trezeguet (27th minute)

Arsenal 0

    Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal: Trezeguet winner moves Villa out of drop zone

    Match report and free highlights as Villa leapfrog Watford to move up to 17th in the Premier League table

    Wednesday 22 July 2020 09:51, UK

    Aston Villa v Arsenal highlights 2:50
    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Aston Villa's win over Arsenal in the Premier League

    Aston Villa took a giant leap towards Premier League safety as Trezeguet's goal took them out of the bottom three with a vital 1-0 win over Arsenal at Villa Park.

    Villa were boosted before kick-off by relegation rivals Watford's 4-0 defeat by Manchester City, and the positivity continued as Trezeguet scored his third goal in three games, lashing home at the far post from a corner (27).

    Sub Keinan Davis had a golden chance to double Villa's lead in the second half, slipping the ball wide from an angle, moments before Eddie Nketiah headed onto the post from a corner as Villa's lead hung by a thread.

    Villa clung on for their first win over Arsenal at Villa Park since 1998, with the Gunners failing to register a shot on target in the entire game.

    Trezeguet fires Aston Villa ahead against Arsenal
    Image: Trezeguet fires Aston Villa ahead against Arsenal

    Player ratings

    Aston Villa: Reina (7), Elmohamady (6), Mings (7), Konsa (8), Targett (6), McGinn (6), Hourihane (6), Luiz (7), Grealish (8), Trezeguet (7), Samatta (6)

    Subs: Guilbert (7), Davis (5), Nakamba (6), Lansbury (NA)

    Arsenal: Martinez (5), Soares (4), Holding (6), Luiz (6), Kolasinac (5), Ceballos (5), Torreira (4), Saka (5), Nketiah (6), Lacazette (5), Aubameyang (5)

    Subs: Xhaka (6), Pepe (5), Tierney (6), Willock (NA)

    Man of the match: Jack Grealish

    Relegation and European picture: As it stands

    The state of play ahead of the final day
    Image: The state of play ahead of the final day

    The result means Villa (GD -26) are out of the relegation zone, sitting level on points with 18th-placed Watford (GD -27), but with a one-goal advantage. Bournemouth (GD -27) are 19th, three points further back.

    Villa go to West Ham in their final game on Sunday at 4pm, Watford go to Arsenal, and Bournemouth are at Everton.

    Arsenal now cannot finish seventh in the final Europa League spot, sitting five points behind Tottenham with one game remaining. They can however qualify if they win the FA Cup against Chelsea on August 1, which would rob Tottenham of their spot in Europe if they finish seventh.

    More on this story

    How Villa stopped Arsenal for massive victory

    Watford's heavy defeat by City at Vicarage Road meant any win for Villa would bring them out of the relegation zone going into the final game of the season, but they opted for a more conservative approach against Mikel Arteta's FA Cup finalists.

    Stan Kroenke banner
    Image: A banner protesting against Stan Kroenke was flown over Villa Park

    Arsenal fans made their feelings clear to owner Stan Kroenke with concerns over the upcoming transfer budget, flying a banner over Villa Park reading 'Back Arteta Kroenke Out.'

    There was more reason for concern among Gunners fans as they conceded from another set-piece. Conor Hourihane's corner was flicked on at the near post by Tyrone Mings, and Trezeguet was on hand 12 yards out at the back post to fire a fine low shot into the bottom-right corner.

    preview image 0:38
    Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was caught laughing as Tyrone Mings beat him to a flick on at the front post before Trezeguet fired in the opener for Aston Villa

    Arsenal looked to respond immediately, but Dani Ceballos blazed over from a Cedric Soares free-kick, before, at the other end, Jack Grealish fired just high and wide from the edge of the box.

    Villa, sitting outside the bottom three for the first time since before lockdown, were understandably nervy and retreated slightly after the break, as Bukayo Saka snatched at an effort at the far post, sending it over the bar.

    Team news

    Villa were completely unchanged from their 1-1 draw at Everton. Despite Hause returning, Elmohamady stayed right-back, with Konsa staying in the middle.

    Arsenal made six changes from the side that beat Man City in the FA Cup semi-final. Soares, Saka, Holding, Kolasinac, Torreira and Nketiah came in, replacing Bellerin, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi (injured), Tierney, Pepe and Xhaka.

    There was no room in the matchday squad for Ozil or Guendouzi.

    Moments after coming on, Davis was slipped through by Grealish at an angle in front of Emiliano Martinez, but the young striker could not find the far post, slipping inches wide.

    Just seconds later he was almost punished as Nketiah headed against the post from a Granit Xhaka corner, and the ball fortuitously bounced into the grateful hands of Pepe Reina.

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
    Image: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta endured a frustrating evening

    John McGinn stung the hands of Martinez after more good work from Grealish, and, despite an inevitably nervy final few minutes, Villa held on for their biggest win and most resolute performance of the season at the best possible time.

    It means Sunday's final day is in their own hands, more than they could have hoped for when the picture was dour just 10 days ago.

    What the managers said...

    Villa boss Dean Smith: "It was a great performance but an even better result. We knew we had to show a lot of courage, heart and work-rate and we did that. I can't remember our 'keeper making saves. We'd love to have had our fans getting us over the line but you could hear enough from the non-playing staff to do that.

    preview image 2:50
    Aston Villa's Dean Smith says the performance was great but the result was better as their win over Arsenal took them out of the relegation zone

    "We've been much better defensively over these eight games. We wanted to be better and the players were engaged with the video sessions we did [during lockdown]. We needed this. We've got to go and do the same against West Ham on Sunday.

    "It's a big boost, that's for sure. We knew we had to win to catch Watford up. Now we've got the season in our own hands and that's all you can ask for. Watford can go and win at Arsenal so we have to make sure we win at West Ham."

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta: "Congratulations to Villa because they were put under a lot of pressure and they managed to win the game. We were in some really good positions but we didn't manage to deliver the ball.

    "Emotionally and physically it's been a very demanding week but I saw a team who wanted to fight until the end. I'm not disappointed about the attitude. I know where we are in certain areas and where we need to improve more. We will get that."

    preview image 2:24
    Mikel Arteta reacts to Arsenal's defeat after the game

    On finishing outside of the top six for the first time in 25 years: "It tells you the gap doesn't lie. We have to make that smaller and smaller."

    On the "Back Arteta, Kroenke Out" banner: "The Kroenkes and the board and the sporting director, I have their full backing. I have that 100 per cent - the fans have to believe what I'm saying."

    Grealish's last Villa Park game?

    Speaking to Sky Sports after the game Villa's man of the match Jack Grealish was asked if this was his last home game for the club...

    "I'm not too sure at the moment. I have one aim and that's to keep this club in the Premier League where this stadium, this club and fanbase know where we belong.

    preview image 3:16
    Jack Grealish says keeping Aston Villa in the Premier League would mean everything to him following their win over Arsenal at Villa Park

    "That's all I'm thinking about at the moment, keeping this club in the Premier League and hopefully we can do that on Sunday."

    Opta stats

    • Aston Villa have beaten Arsenal at Villa Park in a Premier League game for the first time since December 1998 under John Gregory, ending a run of 17 home games without a win against the Gunners.
    • Arsenal have lost four of their six away Premier League matches since the restart (W2), one more than in their first 13 away matches of the 2019/20 season.
    • Aston Villa will end the day outside of the Premier League relegation zone for the first time since 28 February.
    • Arsenal have lost 10 league matches for a third consecutive season for the first time since a run of seven between 1981/82 and 1987/88.
    • 46% (21 of 46) of the goals Arsenal have conceded in the Premier League have come via set pieces, the highest percentage in the league.
    • This was the first time Aston Villa haven't faced a shot on target in a Premier League match since West Bromwich Albion failed to have one against the Villans back in January 2016.

    What's next?

    Aston Villa now finish the season at West Ham on Sunday at 4pm, while Arsenal host Watford at the same time at the Emirates, before their FA Cup final at Wembley against Chelsea on Saturday August 1 at 5.30pm.

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    Super 6: Who makes play-offs? Who goes down?

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