John McGinn’s early goal led surging Aston Villa to a club-record 15th consecutive home Premier League victory, a breathless 1-0 win over Arsenal that prevented Mikel Arteta’s Gunners from reclaiming top spot in the table.
Unai Emery’s Villa, who shocked champions Manchester City in a dominant 1-0 win on Wednesday as part of what McGinn called a “monumental week,” are now third on 35 points after 16 games in a jam-packed title race. Arsenal, who were overtaken by Liverpool earlier on Saturday, are second with 36.
Emery also cautioned that the season was young.
Villa Park was rocking in the seventh minute after Leon Bailey sprinted down the right wing before cutting back the ball and picking out McGinn. Villa’s captain took one touch, turned sharply and fired past keeper David Raya.
Arsenal thought they had equalised in added time before VAR determined Kai Havertz had handled the ball while firing it past keeper Emi Martinez from a goalmouth scramble.
Delighted fans sang “Hi Ho Aston Villa” at the final whistle.
Arsenal had numerous chances to level, including several from Martin Odegaard. The Norwegian fired a low shot inches from the post, then another right at Martinez in the first half. Odegaard’s frustration continued after the interval, when he poked a shot from close range just wide of the post.
Bukayo Saka beat Martinez to fire into the empty net in the 61st minute but he was flagged for offside.
Arteta, whose north London team arrived on the heels of four successive wins, was relegated to the directors’ box for the game while he served a one-match ban after picking up his third yellow card of the season.