What will please Arteta the most is not the scoreline but the fact that his big players came to the party. The Gunners now have a clear identity in terms of how they are playing, on the front foot with crisp decisive passing. The upsurge in Arsenal’s form definitely coincided with the arrival of Tomiyasu in that back four but not to underestimate the growing influence of Emile Smith Rowe. The playmaker has an impressive passing success rate of 90% and has averaged 32 passes per game in the league. Just check out the distance he covered to score Arsenal’s third. The icing on the proverbial cake for Arsenal is that he cost them nothing having emerged from the junior ranks.
One of the most underrated means of scoring crucial goals is the corner kick. Indeed Arsenal prides itself as a passing team but with the opening goal they showed they can mix it up and score the odd corner kick goal. They followed the numbers that say an in-swinger is always the best kick from a corner with Saka taking them on the right side and Smith Rowe on the left. Aston Villa never were able to get going. They usually look to the runs of McGinn to link up with Watkins which never really happened. Partey saw to that. The goal by Ramsey may have come too late but was the second best goal of the night in my opinion. Arsenal’s defense still leaky but not as much as the opening three games of the season. Arsenal play better with Lacazette and Auba upfront in my honest opinion, their win percentage when these two play together is high. Why the coach doesn’t play them together often still stumps me.