Arsenal suffers successive defeats, loses 0-1 to Aston Villa

While Villa leapfrogged struggling Tottenham Hotspur, the result left Arsenal in 10th with 31 points, two points behind its north London rival having played two games more.

Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez following the Premier League match at Villa Park.   -  GETTY IMAGES

An early goal from Ollie Watkins helped Aston Villa beat a sloppy Arsenal 1-0 on Saturday to move up to eighth in the Premier League standings, consigning the visitor to a second defeat in as many games.

While Villa leapfrogged struggling Tottenham Hotspur, the result left Arsenal 10th on 31 points after a midweek loss at Wolverhampton Wanderers, two points behind its north London rival having played two games more.

"It's a big result. We've played some good stuff but not got the results so delighted today. We had to grind it out and that's what it's all about," Watkins told BT Sport. It was the 25-year-old's 10th goal of the season.

Neymar sick, misses PSG training ahead of Marseille game

Villa took the lead after 74 seconds when Bertrand Traore pounced on a loose back pass by full back Cedric Soares and cut the ball back to Ollie Watkins, whose first time effort was deflected past Arsenal's debutant goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

Arsenal's best chance to equalise came from a Granit Xhaka free kick which looked destined for the top corner until the Gunner's former keeper Emiliano Martinez at full stretch pushed it around the post with a fingertip save.

Mikel Arteta introduced Martin Odegaard for Cedric but though the visitor had plenty of promising attacks in the second half, it failed to find the final pass or cross to test Martinez again.

Bukayo Saka's move from midfield to left back provided Arsenal with a left-footed presence on the flank, and he nearly assisted Odegaard for his first goal for the club. But the Norwegian skied it over the crossbar.

Ryan was also kept busy with Watkins, Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley regularly testing the Australian, who made six saves.

"The values of being a good team, the work ethic... I thought we saw that in bundles today against a really good offensive team," Villa manager Dean Smith said.

"We started with a good intensity that set us up well. It had to be a good defensive performance but their keeper had to make some really good saves as well."

High-flying Brighton held 1-1 at Burnley

Brighton & Hove Albion was held to a 1-1 draw at Burnley in its Premier League match on Saturday after Johann Gudmundsson cancelled out a first half header from Lewis Dunk.

Brighton, which won three of its last four games, including wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, was forced to share the spoils after failing to hold on to a lead yet again this season.

Burnley started brightly, with Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez tested twice in the first half, first going low to deny Dwight McNeil's free kick before denying James Tarkowski on the line at the back post following a corner kick.

Also read: Real Madrid's Asllani bags ruthless three-minute hat-trick  

But despite Burnley's ascendancy, it conceded the opener at the other end from a corner in the 36th minute when Brighton skipper Dunk rose over the defence and powered a header home for his third league goal of the season.

Brighton then conceded its first goal in five games eight minutes after the restart when Sanchez parried a save into the path of Gudmundsson and the unmarked Icelandic winger had time to control the ball to strike it into the bottom corner.

Burnley is 17th in the standings with 23 points, nine points above the relegation zone, while Brighton is two points above in 15th.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :