The Gunners took the lead on six minutes as midfielder Santi Cazorla fired home at the second chance of asking.
Villa equalised on 68 minutes, Andreas Weimann running straight through the centre of the Arsenal defence, before producing an effort that Wojciech Szczesny really should have done better with. Arsenal pushed for a winner late-on and found it on 85 minutes.
Full-back Nacho Monreal broke forward and found Cazorla in the penalty area and the Spaniard fired past Brad Guzan. The victory moved Arsenal to within one point of Tottenham and two behind Chelsea.
Elsewhere, Manchester United moved 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 away win at rock-bottom QPR. United took the lead on 23 minutes through a fantastic volley from full-back Rafael from 25 yards out.
United had their chances to extend their lead, but didn’t until the 80th minute. Evergreen Ryan Giggs fired past Julio Cesar from Nani’s through ball. The home side remains seven points away from safety.
Norwich came back from a goal down to defeat Everton 2-1 at Carrow Road. The visitors took the lead on 39 minutes, Leon Osman heading home from Leighton Baines cross. Norwich left it late to equalise though.
On-loan striker Kei Kamara was the scorer, heading home from Robert Snodgrass’ cross. It got even better for the Canaries deep into stoppage time. Centre-back Sebastien Bassong headed Russell Martin’s cross back across the face of the goal and captain Grant Holt was there to apply the finishing touch.
The victory moved Norwich eight points clear of the relegation zone. Everton remain six points behind fourth place Tottenham.
Other Premier League results:
Fulham 1-0 Stoke
Reading 0-3 Wigan
West Brom 2-1 Sunderland
Is the Premier League title race now over?
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