Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Gunners beat Villa

Marouane Chamakh
Marouane Chamakh

Arsenal survived a second-half onslaught from Aston Villa to record a 4-2 win.

The Gunners looked to be cruising to victory after dominating the opening 45 minutes and netting through Andrey Arshavin and Samir Nasri.

But Villa were transformed in the second period and Ciaran Clark struck twice either side of Marouane Chamakh's 10th goal of the campaign before Jack Wilshere's injury-time clincher. It enabled Arsene Wenger's side to end an unhappy week on a high note after the derby defeat by Tottenham and the Champions League setback away to Braga.

The Gunners were first to settle and Nasri's perfectly weighted pass left Tomas Rosicky with only Brad Friedel to beat but he drilled his shot across the face of goal.

It was no surprise when Arshavin put the Gunners ahead after 39 minutes. The Russian picked the ball up on the left and cut inside and past the challenge of Richard Dunne before firing a low shot into the far corner of the net.

A minute before half-time Nasri made it 2-0 with a superb volley direct from Arshavin 's corner.

After 52 minutes Clark reduced the arrears with his first senior goal for the club. Barry Bannan's cross was only half cleared by Sebastien Squillaci to Clark on the edge of the box and his left-footed drive flew past Lukasz Fabianski into the roof of the net.

Villa were transformed after their ineffective first half performance but in the 56th minute Chamakh restored Arsenal's two goal advantage. Rosicky played the ball into the path of the striker who managed to flick the ball under Friedel's body.

Clark had a golden chance to net a second goal but screwed his shot wide from 10 yards out. After 71 minutes though, Ashley Young's corner was flicked on by Dunne and Clark forced the ball over the line.

The Gunners looked nervy when Villa ventured forward in a tense finish, however, Wilshere settled things from Chamakh's cross in injury-time.

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