VIDEO: Super-sub Fabregas inspires Arsenal victory against Aston Villa

Arsenal 3 – Aston Villa 0 (Premier League, December 27, 2009) (Longer highlights here and MOTD highlights here.) Arsenal and Villa were nip/tuck throughout a highly competitive first half (highlights here), which forced Wenger to introduce captain Fabregas ten minutes after the break. And it didn’t take long for the substitution to pay dividends as Cesc Fabregas curled a right-footed free-kick past Friedel in the 64th minute. With Villa scrambling for an equaliser ten minutes from time Traore collected a loose ball in defence, pinged a cross-field pass to Walcott who in turn threaded a pass forward to Cesc Fabregas, and the Spaniard slid home his second of the match. Worryingly, the Arsenal captain was soon forced off with an injury picked up from his second goal. As the match ticked into injury time Abou Diaby picked up the ball in Villa’s half, advanced unchallenged, and coolly curled home a killer third to thrust the Gunners firmly back in the title race.