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Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal: Early goals boost Gunners atop the table

Arsenal eased back atop the Premier League with a comfortable-enough 2-0 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.

Olivier Giroud converted an early penalty kick, and Aaron Ramsey doubled the lead before halftime as the Gunners cruised to three points.

The Gunners are a point ahead of Manchester City, and will lead the league through Sunday. Leicester City is a point back of Arsenal and faces Chelsea on Monday.

Villa remains dead last in the Premier League, eight goals shy of safety and holding the worst goal differential in the league (minus-17). They haven’t won in 14 PL matches.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Theo Walcott beat Alan Hutton to a tackle, and the Scottish defender wrapped his arms around Walcott in the box. Referee Kevin Friend had no problem giving the penalty, and Brad Guzan guessed wrong on Giroud’s spot kick.

There wasn’t much defending on Arsenal’s second goal, as the Gunners blitzed through a confused and disorganized Villa back line to lead a 3v1 break that ended with Mesut Ozil’s assist to Ramsey.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

9 - Giroud has now scored nine goals in his last nine away games for Arsenal in all competitions. Voyager.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 13, 2015

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

To its credit, Villa was committed and did not quit. Scott Sinclair was among the Villa players to flash a chance over the frame.

Follow @NicholasMendola