Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang notched his 50th Premier League strike – and Cedric celebrated a goal on his debut – in a dominant victory over bottom-placed Norwich.
In our first ever competitive match played behind closed doors at Emirates Stadium, Aubameyang twice pounced on defensive errors to pass his personal half-century, while Granit Xhaka and new arrival Cedric also got on the scoresheet.
We set the tone early on - it was a case of attack v defence for much of the opening stages. Both Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin were bombing forward from wing back at every opportunity, while Dani Ceballos was looking to unpick the Norwich defence whenever in possession.
But for all our dominance, bottom-place Norwich nearly broke the deadlock when defender Ben Godfrey crashed a 30-yard shot against the bar with Emiliano Martinez well beaten.
Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang both had headers saved by Tim Krul before the latter did open the scoring - but it was largely thanks to the Norwich keeper.
Our top scorer closed down the Dutchman when he seemed to have the ball under control in the box, stole it off him, and then rolled home his first goal since the restart - and his 50th Premier League goal overall.
The second goal was all our own work though. David Luiz sent a searching, long pass out to Tierney on the left, who in turn fed the advancing Aubameyang. His pass into the feet of Granit Xhaka was perfect, and he smashed home first-time left-footed. It was a wonderfully well worked goal, and just reward for our first-half performance.
Emiliano Martinez pulled off a spectacular save just before the break, and made an even better stop right at the start of the second half. He was at full stretch to keep out Adam Idah's fierce drive, and held on to the ball as Josip Drmic closed in.
Norwich, who made three subs at half-time, were much more dangerous in the second period, but anther mistake led to our third goal, and Aubameyang's second. Drmic's loose pass across his own penalty area was gratefully picked up by our leading scorer, who kept his cool, and slotted past Krul.
It broke the visitors' resolve, and we kept on the pressure to close out a third consecutive win in the space of seven days.
As Arteta made changes to rest players during this busy programme, Cedric Soares came on for his Gunners debut - some five months after signing. And the Portuguese full back wasted no time in making an impression. Crashing home a wonderful long-range drive to wrap up the win. The games continue to come every few days until the end of the season now. Next up we travel to high-flying Wolves this Saturday for a 5.30pm (UK time) kick-off in the Premier League.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
The games continue to come every few days until the end of the season now. Next up we travel to high-flying Wolves this Saturday for a 5.30pm (UK time) kick-off in the Premier League.
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