Meanwhile, debutant goalkeeper Maty Ryan excelled himself.
So which players stood out most?
✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCE
Ollie Watkins: 7.6
On an afternoon in which Jack Grealish was surprising quiet, Ollie Watkins continued his excellent recent form by scoring his fourth goal in five games.
He was alive in the early stages of the game to make a smart near-post run to latch onto a driven Bertrand Traore cross and fire past Mat Ryan. The striker was a constant menace throughout and would have added to his tally had it not been for the goalkeeper's excellence later in the game.
Four of his five efforts work the keeper, with the last flashing an inch by the post.
❌ BAD PERFORMANCE
Alexandre Lacazette: 5.5
Lacazette's selection was one of the big pre-game talking points, yet his performance failed to justify the faith the manager Arteta had put in him. Indeed, after 59 minutes he was hauled off, having made a minimal contribution.
He had 30 touches of the ball but not one of these came in the Aston Villa half, while he failed to get away a shot of any kind.
Arguably worse, he won only one of seven duels and one of four headers he competed for. This was a very flimsy display.
⭐ STAR MAN
Maty Ryan: 8.2
Former Brighton keeper Ryan started at the expense of Bernd Leno and enjoyed a fantastic debut after picking the ball out of the net with his first touch.
An Arsenal fan since he was a boy, he played a vital role in keeping the score down and did not deserve to be on the losing side as he made a string of excellent saves. Notably denied Watkins in the first half.
Made six saves after the early concession - and few of them were routine.
On a difficult day for the Gunners, he was a clear positive.