The first Premier League win of the Unai Emery era came on Saturday afternoon, as we picked up a 3-1 win over West Ham United at Emirates Stadium.
Nacho Monreal pulled us level after Marko Arnautovic's opener, before an own goal from Issa Diop and a late finish from Danny Welbeck secured the three points.
Here are some of the key talking points...
NACHO, NACHO MAN
Last season, Nacho Monreal had the most prolific campaign of his career after scoring six times in 39 appearances – and notably, each of those strikes was our first goal in the game. The Spain international has developed a knack of scoring at important times for us, and he continued his habit with the equaliser against the Hammers just as we were starting to wonder where a goal would come from. He may not have been the most eye-catching addition when he joined from Malaga in January 2013, but it is hard to think of many better-value signings that Monreal.
EMERY’S EARLY CHANGES
One of the most notable things we have seen during matches at the start of the Unai Emery era has been our head coach’s willingness to make an early change if the situation requires it. Last weekend, we saw Lucas Torreira come on at half-time for Granit Xhaka, and this time round we saw Alexandre Lacazette introduced the interval for Alex Iwobi, and by the 56th minute Torreira had come on for Matteo Guendouzi. If things aren’t working, Emery has shown he will change it as soon as is necessary.
STRENGTH OFF THE BENCH
Emery has spoken of the need for his entire squad to contribute if we are to move in the right direction, and he will have been delighted with the impact his substitutes had here. Lacazette was lively and direct after his introduction at half-time, and created our second goal with some fine work, while Torreira looked lively and Danny Welbeck scored the final goal in injury time with his first appearance for us this season.
In such a fiercely-competitive game, we found it hard to get our quick passing game going as the visitors pressed and harried us at every turn. Yet Emery will still have been frustrated to have seen so many unforced errors, especially in attack. In the first half alone, we didn’t connect with the target with 41 of our passes, meaning we could not build up momentum and pull the visitors out of position as we would have liked.
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