Skipper prevents Villa from holding out at Arsenal
By Villa reporter
Sunday 27 Dec 2009 16:08:00
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Villa failed to complete the grand slam over the ‘Sky four’ when they slipped to a 3-0 devfeat at the Emirates as Arsenal produced a superior second-half display.

Martin O’Neill’s men held their own until Arsene Wenger brought on Cesc Fabregas midway through the second half, and the Arsenal skipper inspired his team to a victory that took them within four points of leaders Chelsea. Villa remain fourth, but have Spurs and Man City close on their heels ahead of Liverpool’s visit to Villa Park on Tuesday evening.

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After a goalless first half which was fairly even in terms of possession and half-chances, Fabregas had been on for just seven minutes when he won a free kick on the edge of the area in the 65th minute, when he was fouled by Richard Dunne.

The perfectly-flighted free kick from 25 yards curled into the top corner past Brad Freidel's desperate dive.

Fabregas made the points safe for the Gunners in the 81st minute after a Theo Walcott pass.

Abou Diaby made it 3-0 for in the 90th minute when he muscled through and fired a low shot past Friedel.

It was a big disappointment for Villa after their victories earlier in the season over Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd – but they have another chance to show they can live with the so-called biggest teams in the land when Liverpool head for Villa Park.

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