Arsenal win? Check. Clean sheet? Check. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back amongst the goals (with a brace, no less)? Check. Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe scintillating (again)? Check. Thomas Partey masterclass? Check.
Not much to dislike about today’s 3-0 win over Newcastle, eh. As the subhead says, you really couldn’t have scripted this one much better.
Well, if you were scripting it, you’d probably write a better first half for the Gunners. But whatever. I don’t think there was less than a 6/10 performance from anybody on the pitch. I was even happy with all three of Mikel Arteta’s substitutions, which I believe is a first.
A few thoughts:
- Really good that Aubameyang scored today. Hopefully seeing the ball hit the back of the net is what he needs to get things going again. Even if he hadn’t scored, I would have been pleased with his performance. He was involved all match and got himself on the ball in good positions.
- Thomas Partey is one heck of a footballer. His tackling is superb. He’s always making himself available for his teammates. And when he receives the ball, he progresses it up the pitch with purpose and with an economy of touches. He pinged several 30+ yard passes, including assisting on Aubameyang’s first goal, that were just textbook.
- Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe. That’s it. They’re fantastic footballers and are in great form right now. The thought of them combining for Arsenal goals for years to come brings me endless joy.
- Arsenal really are a different team with and without Kieran Tierney in the lineup. He creates chances and balances the attack.
- Surprisingly strong performance from Cedric today, probably his best for Arsenal. He assisted on the third goal and looked like the solid, capable backup right back we thought Arsenal might be getting when they signed him. Hopefully he keeps that form up.
- Rob Holding had another quiet, solid game. He matched and bested Andy Carroll for strength all-game and has turned into a reliable performer in the center of the defense.
- Overall, the Gunners held Newcastle to just four shots. You expected them to get the better of Newcastle’s struggling attack, but that’s above expectations, I’d say.
Arsenal are unbeaten in five straight in the Premier League. They’ve moved into 10th in the table. Things are heading in the right direction. Onward and upward.