Villa goal after 74 seconds enough to beat Arsenal 1-0
Jack Grealish is thwarted by the Arsenal ‘keeper. Photograph: Shaun Botterill [AFP/Getty Images]

An early goal from Ollie Watkins helped Aston Villa beat a sloppy Arsenal 1-0 on Saturday to move up to eighth in the Premier League standings, consigning the visitors to a second defeat in as many games.

Villa took the lead after 74 seconds when Bertrand Traore pounced on a loose back pass by full back Cedric Soares and cut the ball back to Ollie Watkins, whose first time effort was deflected past Arsenal’s debutant goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

Arsenal’s best opportunity to score an equaliser came from a Granit Xhaka free kick which looked destined for the top corner until their own former goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez at full stretch pushed it around the post with a fingertip save.

Villa goal after 74 seconds enough to beat Arsenal 1-0
Emile Smith-Rowe jinks into the Villa box. Photograph: [Getty Images]

While Villa leapfrogged struggling Tottenham Hotspur, the result left Arsenal in 10th with 31 points, two points behind their north London rivals having played two games more.

Other Premier League results on Saturday:

Villa goal after 74 seconds enough to beat Arsenal 1-0
[Photo: Courtesy]

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