skip to content
Gabriel Agbonlahor is booked.
Gabriel Agbonlahor concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Wilshere.
Ron Vlaar makes a clearance.
Lukas Podolski replaces Bacary Sagna.
Clearance made by Ciaran Clark.
Jack Wilshere restarts play with the free kick.
Bacary Sagna fouled by Christian Benteke, the ref awards a free kick.
Clearance by Bacary Sagna.
Unfair challenge on Jack Wilshere by Leandro Bacuna results in a free kick.
(Aston Villa) makes a substitution, with Leandro Bacuna coming on for Andreas Weimann.
Antonio Luna grabs a goal with a left foot finish. Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa.Assist on the goal came from Andreas Weimann.
Corner taken by Theo Walcott from the right by-line.
Clearance made by Per Mertesacker.
Shot by Aaron Ramsey. Bradley Guzan makes a block.
Clearance by Ciaran Clark.
Karim El Ahmadi makes a clearance.
Foul by Karim El Ahmadi on Tomas Rosicky, free kick awarded.
Christian Benteke takes a shot and went wide left of the net.
The ball is swung over by Bacary Sagna.
Wojciech Szczesny takes the free kick.
Free kick taken by Bradley Guzan.
Ashley Westwood makes a clearance.
Ciaran Clark manages to make a clearance.
Karim El Ahmadi takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Wojciech Szczesny catches the ball.
The ball is crossed by Bacary Sagna.
Santi Cazorla takes a shot. Bradley Guzan parries the ball but the danger is not over.
Free kick taken by Per Mertesacker.
Fabian Delph concedes a free kick for a foul on Carl Jenkinson.
Clearance by Ron Vlaar.
Tomas Rosicky takes the chance to get an effort at goal.
Clearance by Theo Walcott.
Free kick taken by Ron Vlaar.
Theo Walcott shoots direct from the free kick and goes left of the target.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ron Vlaar on Tomas Rosicky.
Matthew Lowton restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andreas Weimann by Laurent Koscielny.
Fabian Delph manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey by Ashley Westwood.
The ball is crossed by Tomas Rosicky.
The ball is sent over by Theo Walcott.
Christian Benteke scores a penalty. Arsenal 1-2 Aston Villa.
Laurent Koscielny receives a yellow card.
Christian Benteke is booked.
Clearance by Aaron Ramsey.
Clearance made by Santi Cazorla.
Header by Olivier Giroud misses right.
Tomas Rosicky delivers the ball.
Tomas Rosicky takes a shot. Blocked by Ron Vlaar.
Antonio Luna manages to make a clearance.
Free kick taken by Bacary Sagna.
Matthew Lowton concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Wilshere.
Free kick taken by Antonio Luna.
A cross is delivered by Carl Jenkinson.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andreas Weimann by Bacary Sagna.
Fabian Delph takes a shot and bounces off the post.
Tomas Rosicky takes a shot and cleared the bar.
Olivier Giroud takes a shot. Blocked by Ciaran Clark.
Antonio Luna is cautioned.
Antonio Luna gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Carl Jenkinson makes a clearance.
Andreas Weimann makes a clearance.
Aaron Ramsey restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jack Wilshere by Ashley Westwood.
Santi Cazorla is brought on as a substitute for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Ashley Westwood gets a block in.
Corner taken by Ashley Westwood from the right by-line.
Bacary Sagna manages to make a clearance.
Aaron Ramsey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Fabian Delph.
Headed chance falls to Olivier Giroud. Ciaran Clark gets a block in.
A cross is delivered by Theo Walcott.
Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor on Aaron Ramsey, free kick awarded.
Ashley Westwood gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tomas Rosicky.
Header by Christian Benteke misses left.
Ashley Westwood has an effort at goal. Wojciech Szczesny parries the ball away.
The ball is sent over by Carl Jenkinson.
Bradley Guzan restarts play with the free kick.
Tomas Rosicky gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Unfair challenge on Jack Wilshere by Karim El Ahmadi results in a free kick.
Aaron Ramsey makes a clearance.
Clearance made by Theo Walcott.
Jack Wilshere booked.
Ron Vlaar is cautioned.
Clearance made by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Carl Jenkinson on for Kieran Gibbs.
Bradley Guzan takes the free kick.
Clearance made by Andreas Weimann.
The ball is sent over by Bacary Sagna.
Christian Benteke scores with a header. Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa.
Penalty awarded for a foul by Wojciech Szczesny on Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Andreas Weimann sends in a cross.
Jack Wilshere crosses the ball.
Shot by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Blocked by Ciaran Clark.
Free kick taken by Fabian Delph.
Bacary Sagna challenges Fabian Delph unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Ciaran Clark on for Nathan Baker.
Unfair challenge on Matthew Lowton by Olivier Giroud results in a free kick.
Ron Vlaar takes the free kick.
Foul by Aaron Ramsey on Karim El Ahmadi, free kick awarded.
Gabriel Agbonlahor produces a cross.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Westwood by Tomas Rosicky.
Clearance by Fabian Delph.
Header at goal by Olivier Giroud goes right of the post.
Corner taken by Jack Wilshere.
Clearance by Olivier Giroud.
Olivier Giroud scores a left footed goal. Arsenal 1-0 Aston Villa.The assist for the goal came from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Ron Vlaar restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Christian Benteke by Aaron Ramsey.
Foul by Tomas Rosicky on Fabian Delph, free kick awarded.
Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor on Jack Wilshere, free kick awarded.
Christian Benteke manages to make a clearance.
Theo Walcott takes a short corner.
Nathan Baker manages to make a clearance.
Arteta absent for Arsenal
Arsenal will be without midfielder Mikel Arteta (thigh) for the opening game of the new Barclays Premier League season against Aston Villa, but England forward Theo Walcott (knee) will be available.
Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey missed the midweek international against the Republic of Ireland because of an ankle injury, but is expected to feature.
Full-back Nacho Monreal (back) is to resume full training next week, while captain Thomas Vermaelen (also back) continues his rehabilitation, along with midfielder Abou Diaby (knee).
Following Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, Arsene Wenger is now the longest-serving manager in the Premier League. The Frenchman, 63, feels this season's championship could be one of the most open, arguing six teams were good enough to mount a challenge.
He said: "You have to consider all the teams that made over 70 points last year have a chance. That's a benchmark for me - 70 points.
"If you make 70 points, it means that there is not a lot of difference between you and the (team that finishes) first."
The full extent of Arteta's problem is still to be diagnosed, but Wenger did at least receive a boost regarding the fitness of Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey.
Walcott limped out of England's 3-2 friendly win over Scotland with a knee injury while Ramsey did not feature for Wales at home to the Republic of Ireland due to an ankle problem.
"It could be as long (as six weeks for Arteta), but honestly we don't know yet. We have to check the severity with the doctor," Wenger said.
Given Wenger has also jettisoned several fringe players this summer to free up the wage bill, Arsenal could find themselves somewhat stretched in terms of numbers ahead of their crucial Champions League play-off against Fenerbahce.
"I don't disagree that we are a bit light at the moment," the Arsenal boss added.
"There are 18 days to go until the end of the transfer market and we are of course looking to strengthen our squad."
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert expects to be without midfielder Yacouba Sylla.
The energetic Mali international is struggling with a twisted ankle suffered in a youth-team game earlier this week and is unlikely to have overcome it in time for the trip to north London.
Versatile midfielder Chris Herd (calf) is also highly unlikely to feature but Lambert has no other concerns unless any of his men return from international duty with new injuries.
Despite Villa's fraught season last year, when they were relegation candidates throughout until a late push saw them beat the drop, many fans are talking about a top-10 finish this campaign.
Lambert is wary of setting such lofty targets.
"I don't know," he said. "You never can predict anything about what's going to happen next season.
"I certainly hope it won't be as tough as last season.
"You give it a right good go. I'm excited by it, I can't wait to get going.
"We can't start games the way we did at times last year. We've got to be bang at it from that first minute. You don't have time in this league to bed yourself in 15 minutes or so.
"We have to be ready and I think that's the big thing that we've learned. We have to be right on it straight away."
The former Celtic and Borussia Dortmund player is understandably enthusiastic about the new campaign.
"You always do have that excitement," he said. "When you're traveling down to London you know you're going to be involved in it and once you get to the stadium it really starts to kick in.
"You'll either be excited about it or you'll go and give it a right go so we'll go there with no fear and we'll try to win. We've got a threat, that's the big thing."
Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
Villa stun 10-man Gunners
Arsenal had defender Laurent Koscielny sent off as they crashed to a 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had failed to land any major summer transfer targets but that did not stop his side racing into an early lead through Olivier Giroud.
However, Villa - who spent much of last season battling against relegation - hit back when Christian Benteke equalised from a penalty rebound.
The visitors were awarded a controversal penalty on the hour when Koscielny looked to have won the ball in his challenge with Gabriel Agbonlahor before Benteke netted from the spot.
The France defender, booked for his challenge by referee Anthony Taylor, was then soon shown a second yellow for clattering into Andreas Weimann
Arsenal, who face a crucial Champions League play-off first leg away to Fenerbahce next week, rallied with 10 men but were not able to break down a determined Villa defence, as goalkeeper Brad Guzan made a couple of smart saves.
Antonio Luna added a late third for the visitors before unhappy chants of "spend some money" rang out from the home support at full-time.
The match was also notable for featuring the first use of the Premier League's new goal decision system (GDS) when a 52nd-minute effort from Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph struck the inside of the right-hand post and rolled across the line.
GDS came into play as television replays shown in the press box showed the referee Taylor had been notified that the ball did not cross the line at any point.
Arsenal has started brightly and it was no surprise when they swept into the lead after six minutes.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain broke down the left and the England midfielder cut the ball back across the six-yard box where Giroud guided it into the far corner.
Villa, though, were level after 22 minutes. Agbonlahor cut through the centre of the Arsenal defence and darted in on goal.
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was out quickly but could only pull down the Villa forward as they went for the loose ball, which dropped to Weimann and he could only fire it into the side-netting.
Play was correctly called back by referee Taylor for a penalty, with the Arsenal keeper fortunate to have only been shown only a yellow card.
Benteke struck the penalty low to the left where Szczesny made a superb save, only for the ball to bounce back up and the Belgian striker headed in.
Suddenly the atmosphere of the match changed, with plenty of heavy tackles from both sides to test the referee's patience.
Arsenal then had to make a substitution as Kieran Gibbs suffered a cut above his eye and, with blood pouring from his head, was replaced by Carl Jenkinson after 29 minutes.
Villa captain Ron Vlaar and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere then squared up after a clash on the half-way line, with both men booked.
Szczesny lost his cool after rushing out to make a hash of his clearance, which he then headed away. The Polish keeper went on to tackle Benteke before darting back into his goal to produce a full-length diving save as Ashley Westwood's 25-yard drive looked to be floating in.
Arsenal made a change at the start of the second half when the lively Oxlade-Chamberlain, who looked to have picked up a knee problem, was replaced by Santi Cazorla.
Tomas Rosicky blasted over after a neat one-two with Giroud on the edge of the 18-yard box.
Villa were almost ahead after 52 minutes when, following a quick break, Delph's low drive beat Szczesny, but bounced back off the inside of his right-hand post and across goal.
GDS, introduced into the Premier League for the first time this season, came into play as the TV replays in the press box showed the referee had been notified the ball struck the base of the post and was not over the line before it rolled away.
The match officials, though, could have done with the benefit of a second look at the award of a second penalty for Villa on the hour.
Agbonlahor sprinted into the Arsenal area but Koscielny looked to have made afine recovering tackle, getting a touch on the ball before the Villa man. However, referee Taylor decided otherwise and pointed to the spot.
This time, Benteke made no mistake, crashing the ball past Szczesny.
It got worse for Arsenal after 67 minutes when Koscielny, who had been booked for the penalty, was shown a second yellow card when he clattered into Weimann.
To their credit, Arsenal rallied, and Rosicky was denied by a good reaction save from Guzan, who deflected Cazorla's half-volley up onto the crossbar.
But with Arsenal pressing forwards, they were hit on the break as Villa's summer signing Luna darted clear to slot past Szczesny with five minutes remaining.
"Will David Moyes be able to turn it around at Ma..."
© 2004 - 2013 football.co.uk