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firing blanks Mikel Arteta's future under the spotlight as Aston Villa complete double over Arsenal

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Mikel Arteta showed his frustartion on the touchline. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta showed his frustartion on the touchline. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta showed his frustartion on the touchline. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted his side are not learning from their mistakes as they lost a second away game of this week with a 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa.

After their comprehensive 3-0 win over Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in November, Villa completed a first league double over the Gunners for the first time since Paul McGrath was a part of their defence at the start of the 1990s as Ollie Watkins grabbed the winner at Villa Park.

Watkins’ deflected shot was all that separated the sides in the final analysis, with his effort beating Arsenal’s debutant keeper Mat Ryan via a deflection.

Arteta appeared to be frustrated as Ezri Konsa was not shown a red card for his first half challenge on Bukayo Saka, but his side's lack of cutting edge was highlighted once again.

“I’m extremely disappointed to lose and the way we lost it,” declared Arteta, whose side could be 12 points off a top four place by the end of this weekend’s action.

“We were the better team. We controlled every department but we gave them the ball.

“We gave them another three big chances. Then when we had to score the goal, we didn’t find the right pass or the right shot.

“They were better in the boxes and that’s how you win games. We created enough opportunities. We didn’t score, we cannot win the game.

“We just gave them the ball, a moment you make a mistake and they punish you.

“You cannot win football matches if every week you do something like that. Four or five times we’ve played with 10 men.

“Against Wolves, we deserved to win both games by far but we lost both. Now we have to try and bounce back.”

It was a 10th league goal of the season for Watkins, and his fourth in five games, with Villa now boasting an impressive 14 points more than they had at this stage of last season.

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Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins (right) celebrates his goal in the win over Arsenal. Image credit: PA.

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins (right) celebrates his goal in the win over Arsenal. Image credit: PA.

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins (right) celebrates his goal in the win over Arsenal. Image credit: PA.

“That’s the first time we’ve done the double over Arsenal since the inception of the Premier League in 1992-93,” declared Villa boss Dean Smith.

“These players like to make history as we’ve seen in the last couple of years.

“It was a real hard-working performance. We got away from that against West Ham on Wednesday.

“We’ve got the quality to score goals but that was more like us – a real dogged display against a good offensive team.”

Smith insisted he was not targeting a European finish with Villa despite their impressive form this season as he added: “We’re not looking that far ahead.

“People talk about Europe and you fall flat on your face, so we keep our heads down and go on to the next game.”

Unai Emery was sacked last season when Arsenal were in a much better position than they are now, with a tough run of games that includes clashes with Man City, Leicester and Spurs offering the potential to push Arteta to breaking point.

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