Mikel Arteta's men were looking to bounce back from their midweek defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers, where they finished with nine men after the duo of Bernd Leno and David Luiz saw red.
However, an early strike from Villa striker Ollie Watkins gave Dean Smith’s side a third-straight victory over Arsenal.
The young striker grabbed his 10th Premier League goal of the season and third against Arsenal when former Chelsea winger Bertrand Traore whipped in a brilliant cross for Ollie Watkins to fire past debutant Mat Ryan courtesy a deflection off Rob Holding.
The goal was particularly painful for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal, as it came just 75 seconds into the game; Soares gifted the ball to Traore while attempting to pass back towards Gabriel Magalhaes.
While Arsenal continued to press for that all-important equalizer, the Villa defence proved too strong for Mikel Arteta’s men, who suffered another huge setback in their chase of European football.
Mikel Arteta's full post-match interview following Arsenal's defeat to Aston Villa
Speaking in the post-match interview following the loss, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta said:
“It was a really strong performance again. We completely dominated the game, we dominated in every department and we should have won the game. But in the Premier League when you give a goal to the opponent - and we gave them another three opportunities - and you are not ruthless in the opponent's box, you don't win games."
Speaking about the conceded goal, the Arsenal boss said that to be a top club, such errors must be avoided.
Those (top-four) teams don't make those mistakes. Those (top-four) teams cannot play four or five times in the first 22 games of the season with 10 men. It doesn't happen. There's not a team in the world that can sustain that. If you concede a goal early or make an error, the team has to react," said Arteta.
Arteta then went on to reveal his disappointment at not winning the game despite a potential penalty and Villa red card that was waived off by the officials.
“I was really animated for a few decisions, and one big decision that I will not discuss here. It is what it is. It's not an excuse. Regardless of the decisions, we have to win the game. It's as simple as that.”
Speaking on the possible red card, the Arsenal manager said:
“I prefer to stay on mute on that."
Arteta, however, revealed that Arsenal have now suffered another injury blow; Thomas Partey was replaced by ex-Chelsea man Willian in the 74th minute to join the club's burgeoning injury list.
“He had a muscular issue. He could not carry on playing. I don't know. We will see the extent of the injury. He wasn't feeling well enough to continue playing, so we had to take him off.
With this result, Arsenal have now suffered their 10th defeat in 23 Premier League games this season; They could drop to 11th in the table if Leeds United or Crystal Palace do not draw at Elland Road on Monday.