Unlucky Villa miss out

Aston Villa were left wondering how they ended their game against Arsenal pointless after dominating much of the match.

The home side spurned a number of good chances before Theo Walcott was fouled in the box and Robin van Persie stepped up to blast home the resulting penalty.

But things changed when Marc Albrighton made the most of a defensive mix up between Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mretesacker.

The former was unable to find the latter with a simple pass and the Villa man nipped in, rounded Arsenal keep Tomas Szczesny and slotted home what was the Premier League’s 20,000th goal.

But there was heartbreak in store for the home side when with just four minutes left Arsenal substitute popped up to head home Van Persie’s corner. Anyone placing in-play Premier League bets will have been shocked.

To make matters worse for Villa, they were reduced to ten men in the closing stages of the game when Alan Hutton was booked twice in quick succession, first for dissent and then for a late tackle on Vermaelen.

Speaking after the game, Alex McLeish said he was disappointed with the way things had gone, but was still taking positives from the game.

“But it was much more a performance of the team I'm trying to coach. We were very dynamic and played as team with outstanding individual performances. It was a tremendous display,” the manager said.

The Arsenal defeat makes it back to back losses for the Midlands side and they will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they make the trip to Stoke on Boxing Day.