Victory at Villa Park sends Arsenal back to the summit
Quickfire goals from Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud sent Arsenal back to the top of the Barclays Premier League with a 2-1 win at Aston Villa.
Wilshere put Arsenal ahead in the 34th minute at Villa Park and then provided the pass for Giroud to double the lead just a minute later.
Villa rallied late on and pulled one back with Christian Benteke's first goal in four months, but they could not force an equaliser.
The hosts overcame a sickening injury to defender Nathan Baker and were enjoying a strong spell when the Gunners hit them with their double blow.
But after that the game seemed to be drifting away from Paul Lambert's men until Benteke, who had again been looking ineffective, suddenly rediscovered his scoring touch after 76 minutes.
The closing stages were scrappy and frantic - amid which Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his long-awaited Arsenal comeback - but there were no further goals.
Arsenal's record of having not lost at Villa Park since 1998 was maintained but Villa's finish, despite a run of just one win in seven games, will offer encouragement.
Baker was carried off on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask after being struck in the face by a Serge Gnabry shot. He suffered mild concussion and initial reports suggested the problem was not too serious.