IT will not quite be the sort of great escape Nigel Pearson once pulled off at Leicester City.
Yet Aston Villa can see daylight in their own relegation jailbreak - and, if they make it, they will cause major embarrassment to the Watford owners who sacked Pearson on Sunday.
Villa are above the Hornets and out of the bottom three, their safety in their own hands after a dynamite strike from Egyptian wideman Trezeguet proved to be their safecracker here.
Trezeguet has hardly set the Premier League light since his £8.75million signing last summer - but he scored the goal that sent Villa to Wembley for the Carabao Cup Final and this first-half winner was an even more valuable strike.
Defeat West Ham on Sunday and Villa are safe, unless Watford can beat Arsenal by a greater margin.
A draw or even a defeat could see Dean Smith’s men through if Watford and Bournemouth fail to capitalise.
Arsenal cannot now qualify for Europa League through their position in the Premier League table and will definitely finish below Tottenham - although they could evict their bitter rivals, or Wolves, from European football by winning the FA Cup Final against Chelsea.
To do that, they will need a substantially better performance than this lethargic showing.
significant action elsewhere, Sunday is likely to the most stressful of all.
They appeared doomed until seven points from their last three matches but have the whiff of freedom in their nostrils thanks to a performance of graft and occasional guile.
Villa’s £145million gamble on 12 new signings after last season’s promotion had looked disappearing down the gurgler until that recent upturn.
And buoyed by Watford’s customary gubbing from Manchester City earlier in the evening, the escape route was before kick-off.
Yet the Gunners had won their previous seven against Villa and had not lost here since 1998.
The early exchanges were dominated by the sound of a light aircraft trailing a message.
But given that there were only a few dozen of us here and none of us saw it, the attention-seekers must have had more money than sense.
Arsenal, despite Arteta having made six changes, were pinging it around with gay abandon - yet there was no significant goalmouth action before the first, unnecessary, water break.
At that point Villa withdrew Ahmed El Mohamady, who had suffered a knock, and replaced him with Frederic Guilbert.
Villa soon forced a corner, swung in by Connor Hourihane, flicked on by Tyrone Mings and met with a rifled shot from Trezeguet which swerved away from Emiliano Martinez, giving the Arsenal keeper no chance.
It was the sort of goal which would have taken the roof off this place back in the good old days of spectator sport - and Villa’s players celebrated it vigorously.
Alex Lacazette swiftly won a free-kick on the right-hand edge of the box but when Cedric Soares cut back to Dani Ceballos, the Arsenal midfielder skied it high into the Holte End.
Lucas Torreira, lackling his old nuisance value in midfield, was booked for banjoing Hourihane and it was Villa who were moving the ball with purpose.
When they broke at pace, Jack Grealish cut in from the left and bent a long-ranger narrowly wide of the far post.
And by half-time, Pepe Reina still had not been tested in the Villa goal.
Arteta sent on Granit Xhaka in place of Torreira but still Arsenal were struggling to click, Villa forcing a string of corners before Bukayo Saka blazed over when teed up by Cedric.
Villa were camped in the Arsenal half, threatening a second, and when Grealish scurried forward, he fed sub Keinan Davis, who fired wide across goal when he ought to have scored.
Arsenal finally went close on 77 minutes when Eddie Nketiah headed against the inside of the far post from a corner - a heart-stopper for every Villa supporter, Reina kissing the ball with relief as he gathered the rebound.
Source: The Sun / Dave Kidd