Freddie Ljungberg will have plenty to ponder after seeing us draw 2-2 at Norwich in our opening match of his spell as our interim head coach
Here are three of the main talking points we took away from the game at Carrow Road:
FREDDIE MAKES HIS MARK
There was much intrigue in the build-up to this game as to the sort of side Freddie Ljungberg would name in his first game as our interim head coach. Would it be packed full of the youthful stars who impressed during his time in charge of our under-23s? Or would he go for a more experienced line-up? In the end, it was more the latter than the former – although the inclusion of Shkodran Mustafi for the German’s first Premier League start of the season was a big call. Mustafi didn’t let Ljungberg down with a decent display – and was unlucky with the first Norwich goal – while the introduction of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli off the bench showed that Ljungberg will continue to place faith in some of the young talents at his disposal.
Having been reintegrated back into the first team against Frankfurt on Thursday, Granit Xhaka started his first Premier League game since late October and was at the heart of the action. No player on the pitch won back possession more than the Swiss midfielder, and one moment when he raced back to win possession off the dangerous Todd Cantwell in the area won him a roar of approval from the travelling support. This was a typically neat and tidy performance from Xhaka, and the way he fought for his team was admirable.
AUBA THE ASSASSIN
Another game, another couple of goals to add to the collection of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. His first, a penalty after his initial spot kick had to be retaken for encroachment, showed character as he was under real pressure having seen Tim Krul save his first effort. But you don’t give Auba two goes to score from 12 yards. He made no mistake with a clinical strike right into the corner. His second was a classic piece of penalty box prowess as he positioned himself in the right place to pick up any loose ball, collected possession and curled it into the far corner. That makes it 10 goals in 11 Premier League games against newly-promoted teams for this coolest of attacking assassins.
Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.