Agbonlahor surely killed off any lingering title hopes as Arsenal crashed to their fourth defeat this season and nine points off the the leaders Liverpool. Clichy scored an own goal (70) and Agbonlahor finished off proceedings (80) while Ashley Young missed a penalty in the first half.
Aston Villa certainly made their intentions show in the first few minutes as Ashley Young burst forward but his shot was straight at Almunia. Walcott showed his threat for the Gunners as his pace was causing problems for Luke Young getting behind him on one occasion and cut back across the goal. However the wide man gave away a free kick for handball and Ashley Young played an awkward ball to Davies who was penalised for fouling Almunia.
Aston Villa had a game plan and that was to pressure the Arsenal midfield high up denying any space, organising themselves in a line of turquoise shirts when Arsenal attacked and broke forward in numbers when they got the ball and/or look to free Agbonlahor.
Cesc Fabregas had Arsenal’s best chance in what was to be a frustrating first half, his shot spilled by Friedel and Gallas trying to get to the end of a rebound. It was all Villa in terms of chances soon after as Arsenal lacked their fluidity and movement expertly displayed by the youngsters midweek.
Ashley was brought down on the edge of the area, Walcott with a mistimed and somewhat naive challenge. The England winger stepped forward to take the resulting penalty however it was saved by Almunia diving to his right and Gallas clearing away the danger. The skipper looking like he entered the box before the shot was taken.
Sidwell, Young and Barry all went close towards the end of the half, Barry with the best of them as he recieved Agbonlahor’s cutback but shot straight at Almunia. Sidwell shot his striaght also while Young wide.
The second half was welcome relief for lackluster Arsenal but the second half proved no different. Walcott and Nasri switched sides but to no impact and Bendtner was woefully poor. It was no surprise then when the goal did come, Sagna loosing out to a challenge to Luke Young and injured himself in the process. Ashley Young ran away with the ball and crossed in back post where Clichy under pressure from Agbonlahor headed an own goal.
Adebayor header onto the post for Arsenal as they searched for a goal and acrobatically shot over. Agbonlahor then put the game to the sword as Vela was brought down on the edge of the Villa penalty area but ref Wiley waved play on. Barry smashed the ball forward to Agbonlahor who shrugged off Gallas before shooting past Almunia.
Arsenal had no answer and were suitably punished, condemned to their fourth defeat to the season and one which looks like there is no way back for the Gunners.