Aston Villa lifted themselves out of the bottom three after holding Arsenal to a goalless draw at Villa Park.
Taking a point from the Gunners will be viewed as a step in the right direction by Paul Lambert as they entered the game looking to avoid a third Premier League defeat on the spin.
Last weeks 5-2 demolition of North London rivals Tottenham followed by Wednesday’s victory over Montpellier, which secured passage to the last-16 of the Champions League, had lifted the Gunners after a poor start to November.
However they struggled to contain Villa’s vibrant young attack of Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke, once again preferred to the fully fit Darren Bent, in the opening stages.
Weinmann tested Wojciech Szczesny in the visitors goal with a cross-cum-shot before Benteke headed Ashley Westwood’s corner wide as they looked to strike the crucial first blow.
It only served to break the away side from their early malaise and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came close to breaking the deadlock, shooting wide on 20 minutes, while Aaron Ramsey was denied by a good save from Brad Guzan.
Villa then had a goal disallowed when Weinmann turned in Ciaran Clark’s drive from an offside position. Laurent Koscielny then wasted a glorious opportunity at the other end after connecting with Oliver Giroud’s cross.
Santi Cazorla lashed narrowly wide just after the break as Arsene Wenger’s side instigated their usual second half gear change and should have been in front had it not been for Ramsey’s poor finishing.
The hosts were still in with a shout and Brett Holman brought the best out of Szczesny as the Polish keeper produced an excellent fingertip save to keep out his stinging long range drive.
Andrei Arshavin was thrown on to try and conjure a goal but the game ended goalless leaving Arsenal 10 points shy of league leaders Manchester United in sixth.