Arsenal got into an early lead through Olivier Giroud but Villa – who spent much of last season battling against relegation – hit back when Christian Benteke equalised from a penalty rebound.
Aston Villa was awarded a controversial penalty on the hour when Laurent Koscielny looked to have won the ball in his challenge with Gabriel Agbonlahor, before Benteke netted from the spot.
Laurent Koscielny, booked for his challenge by referee Anthony Taylor, was then soon shown a second yellow for running into Andreas Weimann.
Antonio Luna added a late third for the visitors before ‘spend some money’ chants rang out from the home support at full-time.
The match was also notable for featuring the first use of the Premier League’s new goal decision system (GDS) when a 52nd-minute effort from Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph struck the inside of the right-hand post and rolled across the line.
GDS came into play as television replays shown in the press box showed the referee Taylor had been notified that the ball did not cross the line at any point.
Is Arsene Wenger going to spend money in the next few days, we’ll all wait to see.
Arsenal Team: Szczesny 4; Sagna 5 (Podolski 90), Koscielny 5, Mertesacker 5, Gibbs 5 (Jenkinson 28, 5); Wilshere 6, Ramsey 5, Rosicky 6; Walcott 6, Chamberlain 6 (Cazorla 46, 5); Giroud 6. Subs not used: Fabianski, Frimpong, Gnarby, Sanogo.
Sent Off: Koscielny (67).
Booked: Szczesny, Wilshere, Koscielny, Cazorla.
Villa: Guzan 7, Lowton 7, Vlaar 7, Baker 6 (Clark 17, 7), Luna 7; El Hamadi 7, Westwood 7, Delph 8; Agbonlahor 7, Weimann 8 (Bacuna 88); Benteke 8 Subs not used: Steer, Okore, Helenius, Bowery, Tonev.
Booked: Vlaar, Luna, Benteke, Westwood, Agbonlahor.
Asernal: Giroud 6.
Villa: Benteke 22, 61 pen, Luna 85.
Ref: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).