Full time: Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

10 wins in 16 for Arsene Wenger's side; they move top of the Premier League for at least 24 hours.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is given acres of space to trot into down the left and pings a cross into the six yard area. Of all people, Bellerin is in the six yard area to meet the cross with a stooping header, but he arrows it straight at Guzan.

Nearly a moment of brilliance from Traore! In his own half out on the right he suddenly springs forward past Monreal and Flamini and then across Koscielny inside the box. From a tight angle, he tries the shot with little other options available, but can only find the side netting.

Four minutes of stoppage time added on.

Villa look to have run out of fight now, encapsulated by a really poor attempt from Grealish to curl a cross into the box. I would say he is showing signs of tiring, but he's only been on 15 minutes.

A change for both sides as we enter the final few minutes of normal time; Ozil goes off to a standing ovation for Arsenal fans as Calum Chambers replaces him while Adama Traore comes on for Sinclair.

Arsenal pass up a chance to finish Villa. Sinclair is robbed of possession by Ramsey who works it to Ozil on his left. He cuts a cross back into the box where Oxlade-Chamberlain is following up but his effort is deflected wide.

Jack Grealish is back from his exile, he has entered the fray with 10 minutes remaining. There is a bit of concern for Carlos Sanchez who is down clutching his jaw, already wearing a protective mask today, but after some treatment he is okay to continue.

Villa come down the right again, with Veretout sliding a wonderful pass down the right for Hutton but his cross is just about intercepted by Koscielny.

That Villa fightback has quietened a tad in the last five minutes but they are still enjoying the greater share of possession. Whatever Remi Garde said at half time appears to have worked.

Another decent chance for Villa as Hutton stands up another decent cross from the right but Sinclair this time can't keep his effort on target. The home side are now having a bit of joy down that side of the pitch.

Another decent chance for Villa as Hutton stands up another decent cross from the right but Sinclair this time can't keep his effort on target. The home side are now having a bit of joy down that side of the pitch.

Villa have definitely been lifted this half and the crowd is responding to it. Arsenal aren't exactly panicking, but the home side are now playing with a lot more urgency, finding those passes that were going astray in the first half.

Bit better from Villa, this. Sinclair races down the inside right channel before shifting the ball out to Hutton who clips an inviting first time cross in Gestede. He has a yard of space in the six yard box but doesn't time his leap correctly and nods a poor header well wide.

And we are back underway for the second half.

Half time: Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Walcott finds the back of the net with a wonderful curling effort, but it won't count. Sanchez was caught in possession by Giroud after dawdling on the ball, allowing the Arsenal striker to shift the ball onto his teammate to score, but the whistle has already been blown for a foul. Not sure what he did wrong there, lucky break for Villa.

Sanchez cuts a ball inside to Gestede who has popped up on the edge of the box. He tries to flick it on first time to Sinclair, but again, there is too much on the pass and it rolls harmlessly out of play. Villa have woeful in every department today.

After a wonderful spell of possession Arsenal nearly creep in again down the right with Bellerin finding Campbell but his cross his just about hacked away.

Villa are an absolute shambles. Gueye receives the ball 30 yards out from goal but loses it when tackled by Ramsey. He cries foul, but Arsenal are already on the counter with Ozil in acres of space down the inside right. It's suddenly three on one in the Gunners' favour and the Germany internationally has the simple task of sliding the ball across goal for Ramsey to tap home.

Goal! Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal (Aaron Ramsey)

Ayes plays the ball inside to Gueye who tries to thread one down the right for Sinclair. Again, he overhits it, however, forcing the winger to scamper towards the corner flag and dig it out for an Arsenal throw in rather than a goal kick.

Monreal fails to clear and is caught in possession just outside his half and is dispossessed by Gueye who tries his luck from 25 yards out. That's not troubling anyone.

Campbell wins a free kick about 25 yards out from goal which Ozil expertly clips into a dangerous area but Villa just about manage to hack away.

Ayew cuts in from the left at pace, working the ball onto his right foot but Mertesacker comes across and expertly blocks him before moving the ball to safety.

Another Villa spell of possession comes to nothing when Gueye's pass doesn't find anyone. The home side are really lacking ideas at the moment, with Scott Sinclair looking like he is the only one who might make something happen.

Sanchez flings another cross in from the right, aiming for bonce of Gestede inside the box. Cech comes out to battle with the striker and punches the ball away. It falls to Ayew but it comes too quickly for him to get any kind of control on his volley, lifting his effort over the bar.

Arsenal now have a free kick in a similar position and try the same tactic. Giroud is able to get is head to this one and Guzan comes rushing out unconvincingly. Fortunately for him, the Frenchman's header loops up and Villa clear for a corner which Hutton clears.

Veretout clips it on, trying to catch the run of Gestede towards the far post but it is overhit and rolls out of play.

Sinclair suddenly comes alive when given a couple of yards of space to run into, but veers straight into trouble on the edge of the D and loses the ball. He keeps up the fight, however, winning it back and winning a free kick for his side about 35 yards out.

Bellerin clips a ball inside from the right that Campbell is inches away from latching onto but Guzan read it well to come out and collect. Villa haven't shown much to suggest they are going to get back into this.

A promising move down the right for Villa breaks down when Hutton slides a simple pass out of play. Not a good spell for the full back, this.

That's 50 Premier League goals for Giroud, by the way.

Well, that came out of nowhere. Walcott bursts inside the box with Hutton on his tail and appears to be tugged back by the Scot. Walcott demands a penalty, but initially the referee looks to dismiss his claims. After about 20 seconds r so, he then decides to pull it back and award the spot kick! Giroud, who sealed his hat-trick from the spot mid-week steps up and tucks it home.

Goal! Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal (Olivier Giroud (7)

PENALTY - Arsenal

Monreal stands off Sinclair as he receives a pass from Sanchez, inviting him inside to take the shoot. He obliges, but his effort is straight at Cech.

Bacuna launches a huge cross from deep on the left, looking for Gestede who has crept in at the far post. He is able to knock it back across goal but with no other Villa players in sight, Arsenal clear.

Bit of a scrappy start from both sides in the opening few minutes with Villa enjoying a spell in the opposition half. Arsenal try to work a counter when they get the ball back with Bellerin finding Campbell down the right but he is unable to keep the ball in play.

And Arsenal get the ball rolling.

We are minutes away from kick off at Villa Park. Can the Gunners move to the top of the league this afternoon? Or can Villa provide another huge shock this weekend?

Arsene Wenger has opted for the same XI that eased to victory in Greece four days ago. He isn't exactly blessed with alternative options anyway.

BREAKING: Arsenal are unchanged from the side that beat Olympiakos 3-0 on Wednesday.

BREAKING: Rudy Gestede leads the attack for Villa this afternoon but Micah Richards misses out with Jores Okore coming into replace the captain. Jack Grealish takes a spot on the subs bench.

Those confirmed line ups are expected any minute now. Surely Olivier Giroud's mid-week heroics guarantee him another start this afternoon?

Arsenal emerged from their crucial mid-week Champions League showdown with the three points they needed to qualify for the knock out stages, but equally as important, no fresh injury problems. Arsene Wenger is still without Alexis Sanchez, although he is hopeful the Chilean will return in time for next Monday's showdown with Manchester City. Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey are expected to continue in midfield in the absence of Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla, while Mikel Arteta, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere all remain out.

Arsenal can move to the top of the Premier League this afternoon - if they can leave Villa Park with three points.