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Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal: Giroud, Ramsey send Gunners top

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Goals from Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey have sent Arsenal top of the Premier League

Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal are top of the league after comfortably winning 2-0 against a spirited but very bad Aston Villa side. Villa have now not won since the opening day of the season, and are on a fast-track to the Championship. Arsenal, on the other hand, are top for the first time this season, and will remain so if Chelsea gain some ground on fellow relegation-battle sides Swansea, Sunderland, and Norwich.

Arsenal took the lead early and never looked like relinquishing it. After midfield play between Ramsey and Flamini, the latter sent Theo Walcott away into the area. Walcott was rugby-tackled by Alan Hutton, and after an inexplicable delay, Kevin Friend gave Arsenal the penalty, which Olivier Giroud calmly dispatched.

In the 38th minute, Arsenal doubled their lead. Aaron Ramsey won the ball in central midfield, and then finished off the move, after Theo Walcott had split open the Villa defence with a perfectly weighted through-ball, and an Özil body-feint fooled Joleon Lescott, allowing the German to present Ramsey with a tap-in. That's now Ramsey's second goal in as many Premier League games, and Arsenal look a much more potent counter-attacking force with him in his rightful central midfield position.

Arsenal allowed Villa to have control in the second half, but aside from one Carlos Sanchez shot, Petr Cech's goal was never threatened. Cech has now tied David James' clean-sheet record, and will look to break the record next Monday, when Arsenal play Manchester City.