Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made sure that Arsenal’s winless start to the Premier League season wasn’t going to continue as he fired Mikel Arteta’s side to a battling win over the Canaries
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Arsenal lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with a battling victory over Norwich as they finally scored a goal in the Premier League.
Mikel Arteta has been under severe scrutiny with the Gunners starting their Premier League campaign with three defeats from their first three matches without finding the net.
But Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made sure that run was halted as he fired the north London club to a 1-0 win with a second-half strike.
A huge three points for Arsenal – here are the talking points from Saturday’s clash at the Emirates.
Does Mikel Arteta deserve more time at Arsenal? Comment below
Aubameyang eases pressure on Arteta
Mikel Arteta can breathe a huge sigh of relief as Arsenal finally scored a goal after five hours without one.
It’s no surprise it came from their main man Aubameyang either who looks to be finding some form after a difficult start to the season.
It came with the win which makes it even better – a much-needed three points to lift the Gunners off the bottom of the table.
It has eased the pressure on Arteta ever so slightly too as there are claims his position at the club is under threat.
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Takehiro Tomiyasu made his debut at right-back after completing his move from Bologna on Deadline Day and it was an impressive showing from the Japanese international.
The fans got behind their new man and that seemed to give him plenty of confidence as he was assured on the ball and dominant in the air as he won five out of five aerial duels in the first half.
He was also a threat going forward and came the closest to open the scoring just before halftime as he arrive at the back post with an acrobatic effort that went over the bar.
An excellent first game in an Arsenal shirt.
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Lokonga receives love from fans
The Belgian was one of the bright sparks in the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea before the international break and he carried that form into today’s match.
He was everywhere in the first half, breaking up play and effectively linking defence and attack. Thomas Partey has been sorely missed, but Lokonga has done an excellent job in his absence.
Now that Partey has returned as he came on as a second-half substitute, they could form a fruitful partnership in the middle of the park.
It’s early days yet, but Lokonga seems to be a smart bit of business from the north London club.
It was feared there might have been no going back when Ainsley Maitland-Niles took to social media to force an exit from the club amid interest from several clubs.
But Arteta and the player had cleared the air talks as the Gunners boss told him that he was a part of the club’s plans moving forward.
The problem with Maitland-Niles is that Arsenal have never been able to find his best position, but with Granit Xhaka suspended, he was given a chance in the middle of the park, alongside Lokonga.
And his performance was encouraging as he broke up play on countless occasions and drove Arsenal forward in the other direction.
It will certainly have given Arteta some food for thought and it will be interesting to see if he will continue to utilise him in the middle of the park.
Emile Smith Rowe dilemma
Emile Smith Rowe was left on the bench against the Canaries and he’s gonna have a fight on his hands to get back into the side.
Martin Odegaard started in the no.10 position once again and he has started right where he left off from last season.
His understanding with Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka was particularly impressive and he was constantly popping up in dangerous areas.
Once he gets some more minutes under his belt, he should just get better and better.
Arteta could try and fit both Smith Rowe and the Norwegian into the side, but at the moment it seems like he is sticking with Odegaard.