STAR MAN - Aaron Ramsey
Fresh from being drawn against England at Euro 2016 the Wales midfielder demonstrated his quality at Villa Park.
His tackle deep in his own half set up Arsenal's second - which he scored - to seal the points against Villa and send Arsenal top.
Ramsey will have more testing afternoons but he was combative and skilful in the heart of the Gunners' midfield, adding a goal to an all-action performance.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Aaron Ramsey started and finished the move which gave the Gunners breathing space just before the break.
The midfielder's strong tackle on Idrissa Gana had Villa complaining but they were then carved apart as Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and then Mesut Ozil dismantled the hosts.
Ozil's dummy as he ran onto Walcott's pass sold the Villa defence and he was unselfish enough to pass for Ramsey to tap in.
MOAN OF THE MATCH
Villa were incensed with the award of Arsenal's early penalty which referee Kevin Friend took his time to award.
Alan Hutton was guilty of giving the referee a decision to make after he tangled with Theo Walcott in the area.
At first glance it looked a clear cut call for Friend but replays suggested Villa can rightfully feel aggrieved about the decision which put them on the back foot inside the first 10 minutes.
VIEW FROM THE BENCH
Arsenal motored to the top of the Premier League and their perfect first half display would have pleased Arsene Wenger, although he would have been less satisfied with how they took their foot off the gas after the break.
Wenger admitted pre-game it was a risk for his former midfielder Remi Garde to take the Villa job in November and Garde is now staring down the barrel of the Championship - even in December.
Villa will be bottom at Christmas and while Garde would have been pleased with their effort, he needs to be a magician to keep them up.
WHO'S UP NEXT
Newcastle v Aston Villa (Premier League, Saturday 19 December)
Arsenal v Manchester City (Premier League, Monday 21 December)
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies