Feature

#ARSNOR: Four things we noticed

Auba

We returned to Emirates Stadium in style on Wednesday night with an impressive 4-0 win over Norwich City. 

But what did we learn from our Premier League clash with the Canaries? Read on to find out... 

AUBA'S 50

Rested for the FA Cup quarter final at the weekend, Auba returned fully refreshed against Norwich, and was back on the scoresheet for the first time since February.

His first was a landmark goal too, his 50th in the Premier League, in just his 79th game in the competition.

That makes him the fastest Arsenal player ever to amass a half century in the Premier League, getting there four games sooner that Thierry Henry managed it, and eight faster than Ian Wright. In the whole of the Premier League, only five players needed fewer games than Auba.

He showed his striker's instincts again to bag his 51st Premier League goal in the second half. This is only his second full season in the competition don't forget. He won the Golden Boot last term, and is well in the hunt again this year. He's got 19 and is leading the way along with Jamie Vardy. 

Looking further back than purely the Premier League era, Aubameyang is the 38th different player in our history to score 50 league goals for the Gunners, and the fastest to the milestone since Joe Baker did it in 62 games, back in 1963.

Auba Norwich


PRESSING MATTERS

High pressing from the forward players has been a feature of the side ever since Mikel Arteta took over, and for the second time in a week, it paid off directly with a goal.

In the last league game it was Eddie Nketiah who was rewarded for chasing down Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy and rolling the ball home, and it happened at a similar stage of the match here. This time it was the energetic Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who profited, forcing a mistake out of the experienced Tim Krul to break the deadlock, and change the complexion of the game - as it had at St Mary's.

The visitors were always up against it from that point - they haven't picked up a single point all season after conceding the first goal of the game.

Our third goal was also due to Aubameyang's alertness. He was on his toes to pick up on Josip Drmic's loose pass, and there was only ever one outcome when he stared down Krul.

Alexandre Lacazette may have been overshadowed by his strike partner, but that's not to say he didn't get through his fair share of work and closing down. The striker won three tackles - the joint most of any Arsenal player, and was involved in 15 duels during his 75 minutes on the pitch, more than any other player.

Auba

ON A WING AND A DARE

For the third game in a row Mikel Arteta selected three centre backs, which gave plenty of license for the wing backs Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin to get forward.

Tierney on the left flank looked especially dangerous in the opening half hour, and it was no surprise that he was involved in our second goal.

A look at the average position map from the first half tells you just how far forward the young Scot was getting in the opening 45 minutes - as high up the pitch as Reiss Nelson on the other flank – allowing Aubmeyang to operate much more like a centre forward.

Bellerin on the right was also doing most of his work in the opposition half.

Tierney sent in six crosses during the 90 minutes, more than any other player on the pitch, and 24 of his 30 passes came in the opposition half.

Cedric Soares offered similar support when he came on for Bellerin in the final 10 minutes, sending in three crosses in a very impressive late cameo.

Average position

DEBUT DELIGHT

In fact, Cedric became the first player to score on his Gunners debut since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did so in February 2018.

It took him just 229 seconds to open his account for the club - already matching his Premier League tally for previous club Southampton in 120 matches for the Saints.

He had to wait more than five months to finally make his debut after arriving on transfer deadline day in January. Injuries either side of the lockdown disrupted his first few months at the club, but last week he turned the deal in to a permanent one, and was at last able to make his bow at the Emirates as a late sub.

Aside from his cracking long-range goal, the full back looked positive getting forward, comfortable with both feet, contributing three crosses, and also made three tackles in his 10-minute outing at right wing back - no Arsenal player made more.

The 28 year old is the 871st player to represent the club in our history, but only the fourth from Portugal, after Luis Boa Morte, Amaury Bischoff and Rui Fonte.

Cedric

 

 

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