Arsenal briefly went top of the league on Saturday but their fans were probably too busy calming their racing pulses to celebrate their fleeting stay at the summit.

Once again Arsene Wenger’s men were delightful to watch in spells, their crisp incisive passing running rings round Aston Villa.

But beyond the pretty façade is a soft centre that looks liable to shoot itself in the foot at any given moment.

That was the case last week against Spurs, when a comfortable 2-0 lead was thrown away in the most painful of circumstances.

With 2-0 also being the score at the break at Villa Park, you could forgive Gooners following the latest scores for feeling more than a bit twitchy when play resumed.

Especially when young Ciaran Clark was given the freedom of the Villa Park to control the ball, size up a shot, have a cup of tea and then volley home to halve the deficit seven minutes into the second half.

Their vibrant attacking flair won out in the end, though again their next two goals sandwiched another piece of poor defending, with Villa winning two headers from a corner to drag themselves back into the game.

Those that study football live scores will be aware that nerves and entertainment are vital part of the game I admit and Arsenal fans got that in bucketloads in the Midlands. But they also know that if they want to challenge for the title this season things need to tighten up at the back – their North London derby defeat is evidence of that.

Six-goal thrillers are great, but I’m sure Gooners would take a few “1-0 to Arsenal’s” in the coming weeks as well.

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