The Premier League title race was smashed wide open after Unai Emery’s in-form Aston Villa put out another statement win, this time against Arsenal.

On Wednesday night, Aston Villa dominated Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to assert their authority in the top-four race, but now they might have taken it up a level against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal on Saturday.

John McGinn scored the only goal of the game in the first half, in what was a cagey and aggressive showdown at fortress Villa Park – The Midlands side have now won a club-record 15 straight home league wins.

But it came with its controversy, which left Ian Wright annoyed after Kai Havertz had a late equaliser ruled out for handball.

Gary Lineker agreed with his colleague, as they stated that the handball rule, which states that a goal will be ruled out if hits the hand/arm of the goalscorer whilst leading to a goal.

That was the case here, with Gary Lineker calling it ‘bizarre’ and questioning ‘why are they trying to stop goals?’, with Ian Wright adding that it’s ‘the most ridiculous law in all of law’, as they told Match of the Day.

It needs to be noted that on-field referee Jarred Gillett initially gave it handball, before he was backed up by VAR, so the right call was made in that sense, it’s just an issue with the actual ruling.

Kai Havertz’s goal ruled out for Arsenal at Aston Villa

“This is the moment for me,” said Wright. “The ball is so close to everybody. It has hit Matty Cash’s hand and Havertz’s hand.

“But the law says ‘it can’t hit your hand anywhere if it leads to the goal and you score’. It’s the most ridiculous law.”

Aston Villa make statements against Manchester City and Arsenal

Undoubtedly, Manchester City and Arsenal are two of the best teams in the country, as they proved last season.

But Villa, within the space of a few days, have beaten them both to surprise the footballing world and perhaps indicate that they are title challengers this season.

After 16 Premier League games, they are two points behind leaders Liverpool. But there is a long way to go.

However, if they are in and amongst it, come March, then things might just become very, very interesting.

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