Arsenal scores three goals in four minutes in win over Aston Villa
BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Arsenal scored three goals in a four-minute span to beat Aston Villa 3-0 on Saturday and halt the host's good start to the Premier League season.
Mesut Ozil answered critics by scoring the first goal in the 32nd minute and then setting up Danny Welbeck two minutes later for the former Manchester United striker's first goal for Arsenal.
The third came shortly afterward, when Kieran Gibbs' low cross into the area was turned into the net by Villa defender Aly Cissokho as the hosts' resistance collapsed.
Arsenal rested new signing Alexis Sanchez but still looked vastly improved from its midweek loss to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and now has nine points from five games. It still trails Villa by one point after handing Paul Lambert's team its first loss of the season.
Villa would have gone provisionally top of the league with a win but despite a bright start they were carved apart in front of watching American chairman Randy Lerner — his first home game for almost two years.
Arsenal made three changes from their 2-0 loss to Dortmund as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla and Calum Chambers came in.
Villa took advantage of Arsenal's overall indecisiveness as they made a strong start. Fabian Delph forced Wojciech Szczesny into a low save after just two minutes following the goalkeeper's poor clearance.
Alan Hutton nodded over on 17 minutes as Villa continued to carve out the best chances — and they should have taken the lead five minutes later. Chambers was booked for bringing down Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ciaran Clark met Tom Cleverley's delivery at the far post, only to be denied by a point-blank save from Szczesny.
But the Gunners stunned Villa with three quickfire goals to win the game.
The hosts had been edging the contest but collapsed suddenly, starting when Welbeck teed up Ozil to run through and coolly roll past Brad Guzan for his first goal of the season.
Then the World Cup winner repaid the favor when he crossed from the left and Welbeck smashed in from four yards.
Villa was bypassed again Gibbs' cross was turned in by the sliding Cissokho.
Aaron Ramsey then shot wide with Villa dazed.
Clark had a chance to haul Villa back into the game on 57 minutes but was thwarted by Oxlade-Chamberlain after Ramsey needlessly conceded a corner.