Arsenal's stuttering form away from Highbury continued in a tame draw which saw Aston Villa have the better of the play without managing to score
Arsenal were without Abou Diaby who missed out due to a calf injury but welcomed back Bacary Sagna, William Gallas, Thomas Vermaelen and Gael Clichy who all resumed their usual places in the back four after being rested at the weekend.
Midway through the second half Andrey Arshavin showed his class with a superb run into the Villa box and then forced a good block out of Brad Friedel
Cesc Fábregas hit the post and Tomas Rosicky thundered a shot against the crossbar that bounced down on to the goalline in the 61st minute with Brad Friedel beaten but Villa also carried a threat. Excellent chances were squandered and Stewart Downing will wake up this morning wondering how he failed to score in the second half when he met the impressive Ashley Young's right-wing cross but inexplicably headed wide with the goal yawning in front of him.
Villa's Milan Baros and Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini both failed to hit the target after being played through.
Freddie Ljungberg hit the crossbar for Arsenal, while Kolo Toure missed from close range in the final minutes.
Arsenal dropped two level last night, according to the manager. The result itself, while disappointing, was hardly a disaster. The injuries we've picked up, especially to Thomas Vermaelen, could very easily fit into that category.
At the end of the day, it’s not an ideal result but it’s not a disaster either. Our unbeaten run in the league continues and we can build on it against United.
Teams Line Up :
Aston Villa: Friedel; Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, L. Young, Petrov, Milner, Downing, A. Young, Heskey (Delph 77), Agbonlahor
Arsenal: Almunia, Vermaelen (Campbell 34 '), Gallas, Clichy, Sagna, Denilson, Ramsey, Fabregas, Rosicky (Nasri 79'), Arshavin, Eduardo (Bendtner 62 ')