His handling was sound but appeared to get his angles slightly wrong for both of Arsenal's goals.
His commitment could not be questioned and he made some crunching tackles but was surprisingly outmuscled by Giroud all too easily.
Was clearly under instructions to stay close to his fellow defenders but showed how effective he can be on the overlap by delivering a superb cross for Benteke's goal.
Did a reasonable job in negating the threat of Gnabry but offered zero attacking threat on the left flank.
Handed a lesson by the movement and fluency of Arsenal's attackers.
Stretchered off with an oxygen mask on his face after being knocked out cold by a Gnabry shot. Villa later reported that he was suffering mild concussion and that his condition was not serious.
Kept going while some of his team-mates wilted but his contribution was too fitful to change the course of the match.
Struggled to make much impression against Arsenal's slick midfield ball-players.
K. El Ahmadi
Energetic display but unable to stop the combination play of Arsenal's attacking midfielders and his distribution was mixed. Subbed for Weimann.
By a distance, Villa's liveliest attacker but was given little support by Benteke or those operating behind him.
Looked short of fitness and desire before he ended his horror run with a fine diving header in the 76th minutes. Caused the Arsenal defence problems thereafter.
Had to switch on in the last 15 minutes but his late action was principally of the routine kind.
Strolled through the first half but earned his corn after the break as Villa mounted a decent late comeback.
Left the pitch shaking his head in the 65th minute after being forced off by a crunching - and entirely legal - Vlaar challenge. A solid display but did little to suggest that he should keep the fit-again Gibbs out of the team.
Unfussy in defence and a threat whenever he advanced forward but spoilt an otherwise solid display by going AWOL for the Villa goal.
Alert to every danger and dealt smartly with the threat of Agbonlahor and Benteke.
Mixed sloppiness with the odd moment of brilliance in his first start since Boxing Day.
Was at the heart of Arsenal's first-half dominance but struggled to get involved as Villa mounted a comeback after the break.
Opened the scoring with a beautifully taken goal and turned provider 17 seconds later by teeing up Giroud for Arsenal's second. These were the highlights of a delightfully polished display as he took full advantage of Arteta and Ramsay's absences to shine in his favourite central midfield role.
The bossy-boots midfielder used the ball sensibly and never stopped hectoring, cajoling and driving his team-mates forward.
Led the line manfully as he proved too much of a handful, in the air and on the deck, for the Villa back line. Either side of the thunderous shot that doubled Arsenal's advantage was the usual cocktail of wasted shots and narrow misses.
Had the odd buccaneering run but there was little in the way of end product from the German teenager. Replaced by Rosicky after 68 minutes.