EPL: Astonishing loss for Arsenal

Updated: 23 July, 2020 08:45 IST | AFP | Birmingham

After victories over Liverpool and Man City, Gunners suffer shock 0-1 defeat to Villa; minnows handed a lifeline in EPL survival battle

Aston Villa's Trezeguet is ecstatic after scoring against Arsenal during their EPL match on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
Aston Villa's Trezeguet is ecstatic after scoring against Arsenal during their EPL match on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

Aston Villa climbed out of the English Premier League (EPL) relegation zone as Egypt winger Trezeguet clinched a priceless 1-0 win against Arsenal on Tuesday. Dean Smith's side have their survival fate in their own hands after Trezeguet's first-half strike at Villa Park. Watford's 4-0 thrashing against Manchester City earlier on Tuesday had opened the door for Villa to escape the bottom three. And Villa seized their chance with a first home EPL win over Arsenal in 18 attempts dating back to 1998. Villa are now fourth from bottom and have moved ahead of third-from-bottom Watford on goal difference, with Smith's men on 26 compared to the Hornets's 27.

Villa face West Ham next

They head to West Ham for their final game of the season on Sunday. "It is a big boost, that's for sure. We knew we had to get that win to catch Watford and now we have got the season in our own hands," Smith said. "That's all you can ask going into the last game. It was a great performance and an even better result against a good team who just beat two of the best teams in Europe. We have taken the season to the last day. Watford can go and win at Arsenal so we have to make sure we win at West Ham."

'Physically demanding week'

Having secured an FA Cup final place by beating Manchester City on Saturday, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta made six changes and Arsenal looked a shadow of the team who impressed at Wembley. Arsenal cannot finish higher than eighth and must win the FA Cup final against Chelsea to qualify for next season's Europa League. "Emotionally and physically it's been a very demanding week but I saw a team who wanted to fight until the end,"Arteta said.

The defeat has ensured Arsenal will finish below their north London rivals Tottenham for a fourth successive season.

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First Published: 23 July, 2020 06:41 IST

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