Arsenal took their all-time Premier League goal tally to 2,000 as Bukayo Saka fired his side to a comfortable 1-0 win over Aston Villa.
The first chance of the match fell to Emile Smith Rowe a few minutes later. Saka found Martin Odegaard and the Norwegian threw the ball to Smith Rowe, but the team’s top scorer could not put his effort down.
Former Gunner Emi Martinez was called up a few minutes later to do a good save job after the ball was hit in his lower corner by returning Ezri Konsa.
It was all Arsenal in the first round, Saka, Odegaard, and Smith Rowe running the program completely. Their complicated passing was a major problem for Villa’s backline, which made it clear that they were expecting their lives at some point.
It was always a matter of time before Arsenal took the lead and, as predicted, came through Saka. The defender was waiting at the edge of the box and ran past the knockdown to drive a low effort with a lot of bodyweights and above Martinez – Arsenal’s 2,000 goal in the Premier League.
Villa threatened to show more after the goal, but they finished the first half without asking Bernd Leno’s real questions. They only touched twice in the Arsenal box in the first 45, telling you everything you need to know.
Athletes were very intimidating after the break. A whipped cross from Ashley Young was dangerously close to crossing Ollie Watkins, but Gabriel made a very good header to deflect the ball.
The pressure did not go down and the next chance fell on John McGinn, his curved effort from outside the box that could not get back on the post. The same can be said of Saka, who failed in a similar attempt after that.
Arsenal overcame half the storm and lowered the temperature. Both teams enjoyed playing football but neither made a real threat to each other’s goal.
Substitute Danny Ings came close to scoring late as he connected with McGinn’s ball, but he could not bend his head hanging down and watched as he lay on Leno’s net.
Villa continued to push but just lacked quality in third-place finish and Leno never looked to agree.