Arsenal deservedly beat Watford 3-0 at the Emirates on Sunday. Just like against AC Milan three days earlier, a lot of things went right. Let’s take a short look.
First of all, it should be said that Mohamed Elneny played a big part in this game. Present all around the pitch and in all segments of the game, he simply oozed composure with smart, well-measured passing and moved from tight spaces into larger pockets whenever possible.
The way the Egyptian seamlessly connected with Mesut Özil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan was impressive. The trio displayed such understanding between them that it was much easier for Alex Iwobi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to play around them. Aisley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac also benefited from their intricacies throughout, bombing down the flanks, always ready to make a run and square the ball into the box.
Chances were created with ease, and that’s something that the Gunners too often lacked this season.
Aubameyang needs to toughen up
One moment that caught the eye however suggests that Aubameyang still needs to grow accustomed to the physicality of the Premier League. In the 11th minute Mkhitaryan sent a wonderful through pass for the Gabonese striker but he was very easily taken off the ball by Sebastian Prödl. He obviously possesses the strength required, but needs to learn to expect such approach from centre-backs.
Much better from Cech
Despite Arsenal’s domination, Watford managed to create quite a few dangerous moments, mostly courtesy of midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, but Cech was up to the task. The experienced goalkeeper made several extremely difficult saves, including a close-range shot from Doucoure, an excellent free-kick from Richarlison, and a penalty from Troy Deeney.
Speaking of the penalty, it was caused by a moment of naivety from Maitland-Niles but understandable, given his age and lack of experience. There’s a good fullback in there, and he will shine in time.