Arsenal sent out a title warning as they moved top of the Premier League after clinically dispatching a sinking Aston Villa.
Olivier Giroud’s penalty and Aaron Ramsey’s tap-in moved them to the summit, a point ahead of Manchester City and Leicester, following a 2-0 win.
The Foxes could regain top spot if they beat Chelsea on Monday but with Manchester United losing at Bournemouth and City struggling to find a rhythm, the Gunners have the title advantage.
In contrast, defeat left hosts Villa marooned eight points from safety at the bottom of the table with manager Remi Garde, who won the title with Arsenal in 1998, facing an impossible job.
Villa, one of just seven ever-present teams in the Premier League, look all but down even with half the season remaining.