LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Arsenal scored four goals in the second half in a 5-0 battering of Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium to move within goal-difference of a Champions League place on Sunday.
The Gunners moved to 42 points and pulled level on points with fourth place Southampton, who will play Swansea City at home later today.
Arsene Wenger’s side ran all over Aston Villa in the opening minutes of the game and was rewarded with an early goal when striker Olivier Giroud kept his head to beat Brad Guzan with a tidy finish after he was played through by Mesu Ozil in the eighth-minute.
The hosts continued to push for more goals and was unlucky not to increase their lead before the halftime break, after Santi Cazorla saw his strike bounced back off the left post.
After the interval, Ozil, Theo Walcott, Cazorla and Hector Bellerin all scored.
German World Cup winner Ozil netted the second goal for Arsenal in the 56th minute when Giroud turned provider to find the playmaker with an excellent pass that he guided home low into the bottom corner past Guzan.
Walcott made it 3-0 with a wonderful bending strike in the 63rd minute before Cazorla grabbed his goal from the penalty spot.
Bellerin completed the five-star outing for Arsenal with a fifth goal two-minutes into time added on.
“The first half was cautious,” Walcott admits on Sky Sports. “Aston Villa came at us with a game plan and pressured us, so at the break 1-0 was just deserved.
“But in the second half, I can’t think of a more one-sided game. At the end Ashley Westwood had a shot and I think all the Villa fans were cheering.
“It’s a great victory. The crowd here is buzzing. When a team is at the top of their game then everything happens for them.”
Aston Villa’s failure to score again on Sunday, means they go six games in the English Premier League without finding the back-of-the-net.