Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Aston Villa vs Arsenal. Premier League.

Villa ParkAttendance33,285.

Aston Villa 0

    Arsenal 2

    • O Giroud (8th minute pen)
    • A Ramsey (38th minute)

    Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal: Gunners go top of Premier League after comfortable victory

    Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal against Aston Villa
    Image: Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal against Aston Villa

    Arsenal cruised to a 2-0 victory at Aston Villa to move to the top of the Premier League, plunging Villa further into the relegation mire in the process.

    The Gunners looked in control right from the word go, and it wasn't long before they took the lead, with Olivier Giroud converting from the spot after Theo Walcott had been fouled by a clumsy Alan Hutton.

    Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech were delighted with the Gunners' win at Villa Park

    Aaron Ramsey then tapped in following a swift Arsenal counter to double his side's lead after 38 minutes - making the second half a mere procession.

    With Leicester in action against Chelsea in the Monday Night Football, another three points at Villa Park sees Arsene Wenger's men sit top of the pile, at least temporarily, but leaves Villa with an even tougher task ahead to preserve their Premier League status.

    Arsene Wenger says Arsenal's 2-0 win at Villa Park has completed a great week for the club

    Arsenal travelled north unbeaten on their last 16 visits to Villa Park, and they never looked in danger of having that run broken.

    Aston Villa players protest to referee Kevin Friend
    Image: Aston Villa players protest to referee Kevin Friend

    With their first real attack the Gunners were awarded a penalty, but it was referee Kevin Friend's actions that caused some controversy.

    Walcott's pace was too much to handle for Hutton, who pulled the England striker to the ground, but Friend took time to think before giving the decision, having initially looked to have decided against given the penalty.

    Also See:

    Villa-Arsenal talking points

    Villa-Arsenal talking points

    Records for Petr Cech and Aston Villa and more magic from Mesut Ozil, as Arsenal go top

    After Villa protestations had subsided, Giroud stepped up and converted with ease after eight minutes, sending Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan the wrong way.

    The Frenchman almost doubled his side's lead after 20 minutes, but his looping header was cleared off the line by Rudy Gestede.

    Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (left) celebrates
    Image: Giroud (left) points to sky after his penalty conversion

    However, the Gunners didn't have to wait too long for their second - a typical Arsenal goal on the counter.

    Ramsey won the ball himself in the middle of the park, and Villa couldn't keep up as Ozil carried the ball forward, and with the goal gaping, the German unselfishly squared for Ramsey to tap home.

    Aaron Ramsey celebrates scoring the 2nd Arsenal goal with (R) Mesut Ozil  during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal
    Image: Aaron Ramsey celebrates scoring second Arsenal goal

    After the break, the visitors took their foot off the gas, allowing Villa to come back into the game, but other than a Gestede header and a few long range efforts, they never seriously troubled Petr Cech's goal.

    Guzan had to be at his best to tip a deflected Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain effort wide, while Aaron Ramsey almost lofted the ball over Guzan late on to complete a perfect afternoon for the Gunners.

    Idrissa Gueye of Aston Villa holds off Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey
    Image: Idrissa Gueye holds off Ramsey at Villa Park

    Cech equalled David James's Premier League cleansheet record, Ozil's assist meant he has now supplied more than double the amount of goals of anyone else in the division and, most importantly, the Gunners have players back fit, and firing on all cylinders ahead of a busy festive period.

    Villa, on the other hand, are now eight points from safety, and after another meek display, they have left themselves with a mountain to climb to remain a Premier League outfit next season.

    Aston Villa manager Remi Garde says it was extremely disappointing to concede such an early goal

    Player Ratings

    Aston Villa: Guzan 6; Hutton 5, Okore 5, Lescott 5, Bacuna 6; Gana 5, Veretout 4, Sanchez 4, Sinclair 4; Ayew 5, Gestede 6.

    Subs: Traore 6, Gil 6, Grealish 6.

    Live Ford Saturday Night Football

    Arsenal: Cech 7, Bellerin 7, Mertesacker 8, Koscielny 7, Monreal 7, Flamini 7, Ramsey 8, Walcott 7, Ozil 8, Campbell 6, Giroud 8.

    Subs: Gibbs 6, Chambers 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7.

    Man of the Match: Aaron Ramsey

    Live Ford Monday Night Football

    Around Sky