Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League with a straight forward 2-0 victory over rock bottom Aston Villa this afternoon.
The Gunners took control early on as Olivier Giroud slotted home his 50th Premier League goal for the club after Alan Hutton bundled over Theo Walcott in the box after just eight minutes.
And then an impressive through ball by Theo Walcott split open the Villa defence in the 38th minute, which led to Mesut Ozil squaring the ball to Aaron Ramsey to pass in to an empty net.
Villa had a bit of a revival in the second half and couldn’t found themselves a way back in the game on a number of occasions, but their lack of a clinical finisher in front of goal ultimately summed up why they’re bottom of the league with just six points from 16 games.
Arsenal, though, will truly believe their capable of winning the title this season. With Chelsea completely out of the race already and both Manchester clubs prone to dropping points – Man United did so against Bournemouth yesterday – the Gunners could now be seen as the favourites.
So here are three things we learned from Arsenal’s impressive victory over Villa today…
Making the easy games easy. Title winning behaviour… #Arsenal
— Le Grove (@LeGrove) December 13, 2015
Not a key learning from today, but a trip to a struggling Aston Villa did provide something of a banana skin for Arsenal today.
Having played in the Champions League in mid-week and with one eye on their game with Manchester City next week, you could’ve forgiven the Gunners for perhaps being a bit off the boil today. But instead they got the job done professionally and returned to the top of the league, albeit for what could be a short 24 hour period.
And if they can follow this up with victory over City next week, then perhaps it’ll be time to crown Arsene Wenger’s men as title favourites…
— Alan Alger (@Alan_Alger_) December 13, 2015
Giroud’s eighth minute penalty was his 50th Premier League goal for the Gunners, and it continued a superb run of form for the France international.
With Alexis Sanchez out injured, all eyes have been on Giroud as Arsenal’s most important source of goals and with so much criticism thrown his way over the years, he has instead silenced his critics this season.
He may be the most unappreciated striker in the league, but he’s also the most underrated.
Mesut Özil's recent form: Games: 15 Assists: 11 Goals: 4 pic.twitter.com/OSrCC7kulY
— Sunday League FC (@SundayLeagueFC) December 13, 2015
But if you already knew that, didn’t you?
Before the game David Moyes claimed “the jury is still out” on the German playmaker. Half an hour later Ozil registered yet another assist to take his season tally to 12 in the Premier League, as he squared an easy ball to Aaron Ramsey to slot in to an empty net.
Over the years many people have claimed the £42m Wenger paid for Ozil was a bit excessive. But this season Ozil has proven those critics wrong and is becoming more and more crucial to Arsenal’s title dreams as each week passes by.