Arsenal took an early lead when Alan Hutton brought down Theo Walcott in the penalty area, allowing Olivier Giroud to net his 50th Premier League goal from the spot.
The Gunners doubled their advantage on 38 minutes when Mesut Ozil set up Aaron Ramsey for a simple finish following a swift counter-attack.
Villa showed signs of improvement after the break but could not beat Arsenal keeper Petr Cech, who matched David James’ Premier League record for clean sheets.
The result leaves Arsene Wenger’s men a point clear of Manchester City and Leicester, with Claudio Ranieri’s side due to face Chelsea on Monday.
Liverpool salvaged a 2-2 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion thanks to Divock Origi’s goal deep into injury time.
Liverpool took the lead on 21 minutes when Adam Lallana nodded a Philippe Coutinho cross down for captain Jordan Henderson to finish.
The lead did not last long, though, with Craig Dawson pouncing on the loose ball after Simon Mignolet failed to claim a corner with half an hour played.
West Brom thought they had the advantage going into the break, but Jonas Olsson saw a goal chalked off for offside.
However, Olsson made amends on 73 minutes when he headed home from Chris Brunt’s corner, and the Reds’ afternoon worsened soon afterwards when Dejan Lovren was stretchered off following a reckless challenge from Craig Gardner.
With eight minutes’ injury time added on at the end, Liverpool were able to rescue a point thanks to substitute Origi’s deflected strike.
Newcastle United battled back to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at White Hart Lane thanks to Ayoze Perez’s injury-time goal.
Spurs had the better of the first half and Erik Lamela, who scored a hat trick in the Europa League this week, nearly broke the deadlock twice in quick succession only to be denied by superb stops from Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot.
However, Elliot could do nothing to prevent Eric Dier heading home from a corner moments later to give Spurs the lead.
Newcastle hit back on 74 minutes when substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic was able to knock the ball over the line from close range, with Spurs having been unable to clear following Fabriccio Coloccini’s header across the face of goal.
Perez then did superbly well to control the ball from Mitrovic and send a shot past Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris to secure victory.
The result lifts Newcastle up to 15th — a point ahead of Chelsea prior to the champions’ meeting with Leicester on Monday — while Spurs remain three points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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