From the vault

From the vault: 5 classic wins against Aston Villa

Mesut Ozil scores against Aston Villa in 2015

We have been taking on Aston Villa in league action for 120 years, and undoubtedly in that time we have enjoyed some thrilling wins against the Villans.

We’ve gone through the archives to dig out some of our biggest successes over the Birmingham outfit, as well as some topsy-turvey games we’ve managed to escape from on top and send our supporters home happy.

Here are five of the best wins, spanning the last four decades:

Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa
April 3, 1991

We showed our championship-winning credentials with this emphatic win at Highbury, however at half-time the game was still finely poised. Kevin Campbell put us in front on 37 minutes after latching onto Anders Limpar’s pass, but in the second half, all hell broke loose.

We netted three times in a devastating six-minute spell, with Paul Davis netting acrobatically before Alan Smith got in on the act with a brace to take the game away from the visitors. Campbell then put the seal on the win when he drove the ball past stand-in keeper David Platt with six minutes left after Nigel Spink was carried off injured.

Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa
October 16, 2004

The 49th and final game of the longest unbeaten run in English top-flight history came with this success against David O’Leary’s Villa, but we were forced to come from behind after Lee Hendrie blasted the Claret and Blues ahead after just three minutes. However, a rash tackle from Mark Delaney on Thierry Henry allowed Robert Pires to equalise from the spot.

Just before half-time Henry put us in front with a trademark finish into the bottom corner, and his compatriot Pires clinched the points on 72 minutes when he swept home following a scintillating passing move involving Mathieu Flamini, Dennis Bergkamp and Henry, taking us to the brink of an undefeated half-century.

Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa
April 1, 2006

Sandwiched between our Champions League quarter-final ties against Juventus, we put in this display to help boost our chances of participating in the competition again the following season. Emmanuel Adebayor had kicked off the rout before Henry again showed his class.

Firstly he plucked a Jose Antonio Reyes pass out of the sky and dinked it over Thomas Sorensen, and then effortlessly sent a laser of a strike into the top corner from 25 yards to make it 3-0. Robin van Persie then wriggled his way into a position to net our fourth, before Abou Diaby bagged his first Gunners goal to wrap up a convincing win.

Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa
February 1, 2015

Another five-goal haul was recorded in this fixture against the Villans, who were up against it after just eight minutes when Olivier Giroud was sent through on goal before clipping the ball over Brad Guzan, but we had to wait until the 65th minute for our second of the afternoon when the returning Mesut Ozil was inch-perfect with his finish.

Theo Walcott sealed the points when he linked up with Santi Cazorla to devastating effect, and the Spaniard got in on the act himself from the penalty spot when Chuba Akpom was fouled. There was still time for Hector Bellerin to thread in his first professional goal to add extra gloss to an already heavy scoreline.

Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa
September 22, 2019

Unai Emery’s Gunners managed to recover from being a goal down and a man short with 10 minutes left to win this early-season affair. John McGinn stole in to put the visitors ahead on 20 minutes, and before the break Ainsley Maitland-Niles was shown a second yellow card to leave us with a numerical disadvantage for over half the game.

But after initially battling back to equalise when Nicolas Pepe scored his first for the club via a spot-kick, 90 seconds later Wesley flicked home a Jack Grealish centre to put us behind going into the final stages. Calum Chambers diverted the ball home to give us hope, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang smashed a free-kick past Tom Heaton to cap a stunning turnaround in fortunes.

Watch more classic wins against Villa, including a cup comeback and Smith Rowe magic.

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