Arsenal suffered a frustrating 1-0 defeat away to Aston Villa on Saturday in the first match of the English Premier League weekend.
The Gunners got off to a poor start with Villa’s Ollie Watkins scoring after just 74 seconds following a defensive error.
Cedric, starting at left-back in the absence of Kieran Tierney, made a poor bass back to Gabriel, but the centre-back was slow to react too, allowing the recalled Bertrand Traore to pounce.
He got down the outside and pulled it back for Watkins, who swept it into the far corner smartly.
The Gunners though grew into the game, building patiently, and almost got an equalizer in the 27th minute as Nicolas Pepe found some space to unleash a shot that was expertly saved by Emi Martinez.
Mikel Arteta’s side then came close again, this time Rob Holding heading a Bukayo Saka ball wide.
On the other side, Bertrand Traore also came close to doubling their lead in the 31st minute, but Ryan made a fantastic save to deny the forward.
The second period was a balanced affair between the two sides, but the hosts were the better for long periods, coming close on a number of times.
First, Ryan made a 55th minute save to deny McGinn, moments after Jack Grealish had missed a chance.
The Gunners kept knocking on the hosts’ door, but could not find the elusive equaliser, with Villa seeing out the win.
The win saw Villa move eighth on the table with 35 points, four above the Gunners, who remain 10th in the standings.
It was a second successive loss for the Gunners, who suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Wolves in midweek in their last match.
Next up for the Gunners is a home tie against Leeds United on Sunday, 14 February.