The expectation was that Arsenal would come flying out of the blocks against Norwich City, mainly because they really had to if they wanted to keep their European hopes alive. Sure, they’ve got their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City to look forward to, but the Premier League still feels like a more realistic avenue for them if they’re serious about playing in either the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League next season.
Last night, they took matters into their own hands against the Canaries by laying down one hell of a beating on the relegation strugglers. The first half hour was slightly nervy with the Gunners being unable to really get at Norwich, but once Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given his side a 33rd minute lead, they were off to the races.
It only took a few minutes for Aubameyang to then lay the ball off to Granit Xhaka who poked it past the keeper to make it 2-0. From there, it just felt as if Norwich were going through the motions with Arsenal getting into the kind of rhythm that we haven’t seen them in for quite some time.
The game went past the hour mark with Arsenal still cruising toward a 2-0 win, until finally, in the 67th minute, he put the result beyond any doubt with his second and Arsenal’s third of the game. Then, in what can only be described as a dream debut, Cedric Soares came on and scored a lovely goal to round off the 4-0 mauling.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was quick to praise the aforementioned Aubameyang after the full time whistle had blown.
“The way he works everyday he decided to get better. Hopefully he’s here for longer. He can see what we are trying to do and hopefully he can evolve.”
When asked about a new deal for his captain, he added: “I leave that to the football club. Auba knows really well my thoughts towards him, the project I want to create and that I want him in that. I am positive and I will remain positive but things have to progress.”
What can Arsenal achieve this season?