Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal: Egyptian international Trezeguet boosts Premier League survival hopes for Villians at Villa Park.
With Watford having been hammered 4-0 by Manchester City earlier on Tuesday, the Villains knew victory would take them out of the relegation zone on goal difference heading into the final day of the season and took full advantage, Trezeguet’s first-half strike earning a priceless three points.
Mikel Arteta made six changes to the side that had won so many plaudits with their resolute victory over Man City in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, with Eddie Nketiah – available again after a three-match ban – among those to return.
Dean Smith, by contrast, stuck with the same XI that had started the 1-1 draw with Everton, and his side looked solid from the outset, Arsenal struggling to create any clear chances despite plenty of possession.
A plane trailing a banner which read: “Back Arteta, Kroenke Out” – criticising Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke – was the main talking point of the opening exchanges before the hosts took the lead on 27 minutes.
Arteta sent on Granit Xhaka for the cautioned Lucas Torreira at the break, before switching to a back four and adding Kieran Tierney and Nicolas Pepe into the mix on the hour mark, with his side still yet to muster a shot on target in search of a leveller.
They were almost punished, Nketiah heading beyond Pepe Reina from a corner, only to see the ball bounce back off the post and into the grateful ‘keeper’s arms.