LONDON (Reuters) – Mesut Ozil helped Arsenal shake off the hangover of a midweek pounding in Germany with a starring role in a 3-0 win at Aston Villa but stuttering Liverpool lost 3-1 at West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday.
Arsenal’s record signing came in for particular criticism after his team’s lame 2-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday, but he came alive before halftime at one of the London side’s happiest hunting grounds.
Ozil’s first away goal in an Arsenal shirt put them ahead after 32 minutes, he then teed up Danny Welbeck to open his account for the club two minutes later before an own goal by Villa’s Aly Cissokho ended the game as a contest after 36.
Victory extended Arsenal’s unbeaten run at Villa Park to 16 matches and lifted them to nine points from five games – three points behind leaders Chelsea who on Sunday visit a Manchester City side in sixth spot on seven points.
Last season’s runners-up Liverpool, who unlike Arsenal enjoyed a winning start to their Champions League campaign this week, slipped to defeat against West Ham after conceding two goals in the first seven minutes at Upton Park.
Winston Reid and Diafra Sakho put the Hammers ahead and, although Raheem Sterling replied before halftime, Morgan Amalfitano’s late goal condemned Liverpool to a third league defeat in five games this season.
Southampton are a point ahead of Arsenal after a 1-0 win at Swansea City, who had Wilfried Bony sent off in the first half.
Victor Wanyama’s 80th-minute goal moved the impressive Saints into second place with 10 points, the same as Villa who until Saturday’s first-half capitulation had been unbeaten.
Alan Pardew’s job prospects looked gloomy as Newcastle United trailed 2-0 at home to Hull City but two late goals from Papiss Cisse earned a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park where fans waved “SackPardew.com” posters.
A sensational Nikica Jelavic volley and a thumping strike from Mohamed Diame had put Hull in control but Cisse’s double lifted winless Newcastle off the bottom with three points.