Arsenal thrillingly took decisive control of their Premier League encounter with Aston Villa at Villa Park by scoring three goals in less than four first-half minutes. With the match goalless and Arsenal frustrated more than 30 minutes in, the visitors suddenly sprang to life in a breathtaking spell that left Villa with no answer.

First Mesut Özil took full advantage of being moved back to his favored No. 10 role by latching onto a through ball from Danny Welbeck and finishing coolly past Brad Guzan in the hosts’ goal. Less than 80 seconds later Arsenal’s lead was doubled when Özil returned the favor. A swift, incisive move from Arsene Wenger’s side ended with Özil putting a precise ball across the box from the left and Welbeck arriving to direct it into the roof of the net for his first goal since arriving from Manchester United.

The punishment wasn’t yet over for a Villa side that came into the match second in the Premier League after taking 10 points from their first four matches. In the 36th minute, Kieran Gibbs drilled in a shot that was heading a long way wide of the far post, but, fearing the presence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain behind him, Villa defender Aly Cissokho turned the ball into his own net. It left Arsenal in command and Aston Villa needing something incredible in the second half to avoid a first league defeat of the season.