Arsenal overcame a struggling Norwich City side with a comfortable 4-0 win on Wednesday, jumping a few places up the table.
Other than a brief period at the start of the second half, Norwich never really got a foothold in this game. Arsenal dominated the opening period, though they ended up taking the lead through a goalkeeping error.
Tim Krul tried a Cruyff turn in his own box, and Aubameyang stole possession before turning the ball into an empty net. Granit Xhaka quickly doubled the lead, this time from a nicely-worked piece of attacking play, assisted by Aubameyang.
After Norwich’s brief resurgence, Aubameyang put the game beyond doubt capitalising on another defensive error before sliding the ball past the goalkeeper.
In the latter stages of the match, Cedric Soares scored after coming off the bench for his Arsenal debut.
The 4-0 win took Arsenal up to seventh. Both Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United have a game in hand on the Gunners, but it’s against each other. So only one of the two will overtake Mikel Arteta’s side before the end of the gameweek.
Let’s have a look at our Arsenal player ratings for the Norwich City clash.
- Emi Martinez 7 – For the third game in a row, Martinez made some good saves to keep Arsenal in the lead. It was his second consecutive Premier League clean sheet. The goalkeeper didn’t really have much to do on this occasion though.
- Shkodran Mustafi 6 – Strong in the air again, but otherwise a fair bit off his game in the first half. Whether he picked up a knock or Arteta just spotted he was struggling, it was a good thing he came off at half-time.
- David Luiz 7.5 – Continuing his attempt at a redemption arc after that Manchester City disaster, Luiz did well. He made twice as many clearances as the rest of the team combined, including one or two important interventions.
- Sead Kolasinac 6.5 – Defensively solid, in possession Kolasinac probably played things a bit too safe. The only couple of times he tried a long ball he ended up giving it away. But when called upon to defend, he combined well with Luiz.
Midfield and Wing-Backs
- Hector Bellerin 6.5 – Once again, Bellerin was better than people gave him credit for. He defended well on the few occasions he had to and made some great forward runs. The problem was that he seemed to freeze whenever he got into the Norwich box.
- Dani Ceballos 8.5 – Right back on form after his goal against Sheffield United, this display was reminiscent of Ceballos’ home debut against Burnley. He played dangerous forward passes, won the ball back well and won 10 of 14 individual duels.
- Granit Xhaka 8 – Another good game in possession, completing 96% of his passes, creating a great chance and scoring very nicely after a rare run into the box. Had a little more trouble in the physical duels but not enough to cause Arsenal problems.
- Kieran Tierney 7.5 – Tierney’s crosses aren’t connecting right now, but he’s putting them into great areas and you have to feel the goals will follow. His work-rate on the left-hand side is fantastic and with him and Bukayo Saka both fit, you know Arsenal will always offer a threat on that flank.
- Reiss Nelson 7 – Didn’t have an easy task, playing a fairly isolated role. Created a game-high three chances despite coming off before the hour mark, a substitution he probably didn’t deserve.
- Alexandre Lacazette 5 – We all saw Lacazette’s two excellent finishes in the friendlies over the break, so it’s a mystery why that form didn’t carry over into the competitive matches whatsoever. He’s had the occasional good moment in possession and did again here, but he’s just offering nothing in the box.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 9 – After showing some improvements in the Southampton match, Aubameyang was right back on form here. His goals arrived on a plate but in typical poaching fashion he snapped them both up, adding an assist for good measure. He was also strong in the air and worked as hard as ever. Sign him up?
- Rob Holding 7 – Definitely an improvement on Mustafi’s first-half performance, helped Arsenal hang in there in his first 15 or so minutes before the game swung back in their favour. Very comfortable game for him after that.
- Joe Willock 7 – Curled a shot narrowly wide, helped turn the game back in Arsenal’s favour after their second-half resurgence, continuing some good recent form.
- Cedric Soares 8 – Fantastic way to start his Arsenal career, even if it was only 15 minutes or so. Scoring (via a deflection), making an interception and three tackles, winning three of four duels and putting in three good crosses, it was all action immediately. If he can keep that up, he’ll win over the doubters.
- Eddie Nketiah 7 – Not quite as busy as Cedric in his own 15-minute spell, but showed one excellent glimpse of quality dancing past a challenge before creating a chance for Willock.
- Nicolas Pepe N/A – Solid but brief cameo, after three starts in the previous three games. Completed a few passes and curled a free-kick over the bar.