Danny Welbeck netted his first goal in an Arsenal shirt as he helped his side to romp to a 3-0 victory against an illness blighted Aston Villa side.
The former Manchester United striker set up the Gunners’ first goal and tucked in a cross from the left to ensure his side relinquished any symptoms of a hangover following their midweek defeat in the Champions League.
The first half hour was an even contest with the Villa midfield battling well with their more experienced opponents as they looked to build on their excellent start to the season. But on 32 minutes a defence, which had only conceded one goal in four games, was made to look very ordinary.
Welbeck left the Villa back four completely flat with an inch perfect pass which sent Mesut Ozil clear on the left of the area and the German finished coolly one on one with ‘keeper Brad Guzan.
Two minutes later, with Villa still reeling, Arsenal struck again as Ozil turned provider. His cross from the left hand side was met by Welbeck on the six yard line to steer in his first goal for the Gunners to ease the pressure from his critics after missing good chances in his previous two matches.
On 36 minutes, the game was over as Arsenal crushed any hopes of a Villa comeback after defender Aly Cissokho turned a Kieran Gibbs shot from the left hand side into his own net.
In the second half, the Londoners looked the more likely to score as Villa embarked on a damage limitation exercise but both goalkeepers had little to do as the players failed to create any clear-cut chances.
After the match, manager Paul Lambert said his team were ‘running on empty’ after being decimated by a bug which had swept through the training complex all week.
Defender Nathan Baker and striker Darren Bent pulled out before the game while midfielder Ashley Westwood was struck down after being sick during the warm up and striker Andreas Weimann was substituted after he was sick at half time.
“We’ve had so much bad luck this week and before the game,” said Lambert. ”It’s a tough game when everyone is fit but after what happened this week and this morning, the lads are running on empty.
“I’ll probably shut the training ground for a day or two to try and eradicate the problem.”
Despite the defeat, the Villa boss was quick to praise his players for their excellent start to the season.
“I’m delighted with the start we have had. Ten points in five games is a good return so we go on to the next game.”
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said he was pleased with his team’s response after the midweek 2 -0 defeat by Borussia Dortmundin the Champions League and delighted that new signing Danny Welbeck scored his debut goal.
“I think Danny’s performance was very good today. He kept the ball well and had a good all round game for a central striker.”