Take a stroll down memory lane with a look back at the last five games between Arsenal and Aston Villa.
As Premier League mainstays, we play Aston Villa at least twice every year, but they’ve been teetering on the edge of relegation battles in recent seasons and this year has been no different.
Our recent record against them has been good, but isn’t without the odd blip.
So, how have we fared against them in the last five meetings between the two sides?
20th September 2014 Result: Won 3-0
Our win at Villa Park earlier in the season was one of the most comfortable we’ve had all season.
After a bad month or so in the new formation Arsène Wenger left out Alexis Sánchez and moved Mesut Özil back to a central position.
After about 20 minutes Wojciech Szczęsny kept the scores level with a brilliant save to deny Ciaran Clark who had lost his marker at a free-kick.
Arsenal capitalised when Danny Welbeck put Özil through on goal to give us the lead in the 33rd minute.
A minute later Özil returned the favour and Welbeck scored to round off a great counter.
Our third goal in as many minutes killed the game as Aly Cissokho diverted an effort from Gibbs beyond Brad Guzan and into his own net.
Maybe it’s notable that a rare Arsenal clean sheet at this stage of the season came with Laurent Koscielny pairing Per Mertesacker at the back.
Arsenal XI: Szczęsny; Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Arteta, Ramsey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Özil, Cazorla; Welbeck.
13th January 2014 Result: Won 2-1
Our great form was still going at this stage of the 2013/14 and once again it was a short period between goals which helped us take the points from Villa Park.
After a slow start Villa were forced to change formation due to an injury and the game opened up a bit.
Özil was once again involved, playing the ball through to Nacho Monreal who found Jack Wilshere to steer the ball home in the 33rd minute.
A minute later Wilshere was celebrating teeing up Olivier Giroud who also took his goal excellently that evening.
Christian Benteke scored to make the last 15 minutes interesting but we held on fairly comfortably.
Arsenal XI: Szczęsny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Wilshere; Gnabry, Özil, Cazorla; Giroud.
17th August 2013 Result: Lost 1-3
Well. Yeah. Anthony Taylor is in charge of the game this weekend and also controversially oversaw this result on the opening day of last season, and was the main talking point.
It was the first day of the season and Olivier Giroud finished a flowing move to give us the lead after just five minutes.
In the 22nd minute Szczęsny brought down Gabriel Agbonlahor and despite saving the penalty the Pole couldn’t prevent Benteke scoring from the rebound.
Benteke converted from the spot after an hour when a penalty was (wrongly) given and Koscielny received the first of two bookings – neither of which was deserved.
A Villa goal on the break as we chased a draw made it 1-3, and we ended the game with 10 men, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain off injured and out for half the season, while Lukas Podolski and Aaron Ramsey ended up as part of the defence.
A day to forget.
Arsenal XI: Szczęsny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Ramsey, Wilshere; Walcott, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Giroud.
23rd February 2013 Result: Won 2-1
Santi Cazorla led us to victory.
In a period when we really needed results, Santi came up trumps.
It looked like it would be plain sailing when he scored after just fice minutes, drilling a low effort past Guzan with his right foot having had a left foot effort blocked.
Andi Weimann scored an equaliser form a second half counter-attack and it looked like we would end the afternoon disappointed until Santi struck a winner in the 85th minute.
Wilshere lofted a lovely pass down the channel for Monreal, who cut it back to find his fellow Spaniard. Santi stroked the ball into the corner with his left foot, and gave us all three points.
This game really summed up our run at the end of this season – a tight game where we created little but took our chances, while remaining pretty tight at the back.
Arsenal XI: Szczęsny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal; Arteta, DIABY(!!!); Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla; Giroud.
24th November 2012 Result: Drew 0-0
There really isn’t all that much to say about this dreary day in the Midlands.
I was there, we got soaked; the football was awful.
If the game later that season epitomised our late run, this was a bit of a microcosm for our attacking play for the first half the campaign.
Chances were few and far between.
The lasting memory of the day is probably the late introduction of Francis Coquelin instead of Jack Wilshere, leading to roughly half the away support chanting, “You don’t know what you’re doing” at the manager.
Arsenal XI: Szczęsny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Arteta, Ramsey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud.