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Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa

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Cazorla: Fires home both goals

Cazorla: Fires home both goals

A brace from Santi Cazorla took Arsenal to within one point of fourth as they edged Aston Villa 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

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The Spain international opened the scoring for the Gunners after just six minutes, although Andreas Weimann levelled matters midway though the second-half.

However, the hosts continued to plug away and were rewarded in the 85th minute as Cazorla swept home his second to wrap up the points.

Arsenal had suffered back-to-back home defeats to Blackburn and Bayern Munich going into the game against but got off to a flying start when Cazorla drove a low shot into the bottom corner after six minutes.

Aston Villa responded well to going behind and Gabriel Agbonlahor almost pulled them level immediately when his powerful strike from 20 yards stung the palms of Wojciech Szczesny.

The warning signs were there for Arsene Wenger's side after half-time when Ciaran Clark steered a free header over from Ashley Westwood's corner before Agbonlahor headed wide following a quick counter attack.

Weimann equalised after 68 minutes with a magnificent solo effort as he drove from inside his own half and beat Szczesny from 25 yards, although fingers will be pointed at the Arsenal keeper who should have done better.

It looked like the Gunners would have to settle for a point when Olivier Giroud saw a header turned onto the crossbar but with five minutes remaining Cazorla came to the rescue as he poked Nacho Monreal's cross past Brad Guzan from close range.

The win leaves Arsenal one point behind fourth-placed Tottenham who play West Ham on Monday night while Aston Villa drop behind Wigan on goal difference into 18th place.

Posted: 23/02/13 16:52

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