After a shaky start to English football’s return, which saw them beaten by both Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion, the Gunners now appear to have a little bit of form in their sails, having recorded three wins on the spin in league and cup.
Admittedly, the Gunners were always likely to get the better of a Norwich side who look almost certain to suffer the misery of an immediate return to the Championship this season, but it will go a long way in boosting Mikel Arteta’s players’ confidence ahead of a crunch clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday, with the Gunners knowing that a win over Nuno Espirito Santo’s troops would move them to within three points of them.
Here, football.london has taken a close look at what the national media thought of the Gunners’ convincing win over the Canaries:
“He won’t have scored many easier, but Aubameyang’s tap-in following Krul’s error saw him make it to a half-century of Premier League goals for Arsenal,” Alex Milne wrote for the Daily Mirror.
“Only five players in the history of the division have made it to 50 quicker, and the Gabonese forward looked sharp all evening, setting up their second goal with a clever pass to Granit Xhaka.
“And he was on hand with a cool finish to seal victory with Arsenal’s third.
“It goes without saying that Arsenal must simply pull out all the stops to keep Aubameyang at the club this summer.
“With him they are a good team, and without him they are average at best.
“If they want to make the step up to challenge at the top, they simply cannot afford to lose such a hugely talented forward.”
“It is not as though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Arsenal’s secret weapon,” Matt Barlow wrote for the Daily Mail. “He is their captain, their greatest goal threat and he is now the fastest man in the club’s history to half a century of Premier League goals.
“He breezed past this milestone with the game’s opening goal and added his second, No 51, after the interval and he has done it in a mere 79 appearances, which is four fewer than record scorer Thierry Henry.
“Only five players have ever done it quicker and it is a blue-chip list of some of the greatest strikers to play on these shores in the last 30 years: Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Fernando Torres and Mo Salah.
“The first a blunder by Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul as he attempted something very loosely related to a Cruyff-turn and the second from a careless pass by Josip Drmic.
“Granit Xhaka and Cedric Soares, on his debut, were also on target as Norwich wilted. Perhaps they were not expecting anything from North London but they have no points since the restart and the miraculous relegation escape is not taking shape.
“Six games remain and will target maximum points from the next three – against Brighton, Watford and West Ham – if they are going to survive.
“For Arsenal, this gentle stroll provided a boost in their pursuit of European football next season.”
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“Arteta’s decision to switch formation to three at the back after their 2-1 loss to Brighton has worked well, with the Gunners recording three straight wins in all competitions”, Matthew Cooper wrote for the Daily Star.
“The Spaniard’s desire for a left-sided centre-back to replace the injured Pablo Mari has been clear to see, with left-back’s Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac filling in.
“It has given wingers like Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Reiss Nelson more attacking freedom while ensuring the central striker is not isolated.”