It appears Aston Villa's 2015-16 will end with a whimper and not a bang. It took only 5 minutes for Olivier Giroud to open the scoring with a thumping header past Mark Bunn, as Villa's chronic inability to get through the first 10 minutes unscathed resurfaced once more. Following the goal, Villa actually began to establish a foothold in the game, with Jordan Ayew serving as the main catalyst for Villa's attacks down the left flank, repeatedly leaving Arsenal center back Gabriel in his rear view mirror.
However, with Villa unable to capitalize in the closing stages of the first half and cheers reverberating around the Emirates as news poured in of Newcastle's triumph over Tottenham, Olivier Giroud removed all doubt by scoring twice in two minutes to complete his hat trick, Villa's collapse, and Arsenal's second place finish. Just before the final Arsenal celebrated once more as Mikel Arteta's shot off the crossbar bounced off the back of a sprawled Mark Bunn and into Villa's net. Joleon Lescott and Jordan Lyden exited with injuries, replaced by Micah Richards and Jack Grealish, who both had no significant impact on the match.
Today's match went almost exactly like every other match with Arsenal in the last two years - perhaps the one saving grace of the Championship is that we won't have to be beaten 4-0 by Arsenal home and away any more.