Finally, Arsenal have given the fans something to be happy about.
We were at our best yesterday against West Brom’s youngsters last night, putting 6 past the fledgling side. West Brom made a bright start but Arsenal quickly established their dominance. Saka and Auba combined for Auba’s first of the night, before Auba finished the rebound from a Nico Pepe effort later in the first half. Then almost immediately after, Saka and Auba linked up once again and the ball fell kindly for Pepe to get on the scoresheet himself. At this point the floodgates were well and truly open.
In the second half, we somehow got even better. Odegaard played a lovely flick which Saka smashed home. Auba completed his hattrick with a curling effort into the top right corner and Lacazette, off the bench, got his name on the scoresheet after being set up by Pepe.
Here is our player ratings from a very enjoyable game.
RAMSDALE – 9/10: Maybe this is generous but I thought it was an exceptional debut from Ramsdale. We dominated the game but still allowed WBA plenty of chances and Ramsdale made plenty of top class saves to keep his well earned clean sheet. Distribution was reasonably good as well
CHAMBERS – 6/10: Certainly not an awful display but very frustrating at times. I wanted to see him make a lot more forward runs particularly in a game like this but he still didn’t bomb forward. Made some nice passes forward and generally wasn’t too bad defensively.
HOLDING – 7/10: The most solid of our defenders for sure. And very good on the ball today as well. He played one or two long balls today that we had come to expect of David Luiz and Ben White. In my mind, this guy has to start next to White until Gabriel is fit again.
KOLASINAC – 6/10: Was surprising to see him starting but he gave a good account for himself before his move to Turkey. Solid generally though a couple of shaky moments. When West Brom looked most dangerous was down our left hand side
TAVARES – 8/10: I was really impressed with Nuno tonight. A constant menace, playing effectively as a left winger. He his so direct and fun to watch and will do just fine as an understudy to Kieran Tierney.
ELNENY – 7/10: Did what you expect of him. Defended reasonably well and moved the ball side to side. Didn’t do much wrong, but I still feel like we need a more forward thinking central midfielder, rather than playing with two DM’s (Xhaka and Elneny in this case)
XHAKA – 7/10: Very similar to Elneny really. Was solid, but did not surprise me. I would have liked to see us play with another creator in midfield rather than feeling a need for two DM’s against West Brom
PEPE – 8/10: A very strong game from Pepe, who was involved in almost all of our goals. My only critique is that he started getting relaxed and tried to get fancy with some of his actions later on. If he were a bit more ruthless he could have ended with a hattrick of his own.
ODEGAARD – 8/10: People who claim Odegaard doesn’t improve us are straight up lying. He was brilliant today. He kept the ball moving quickly in our midfield and was really pulling the strings. Should have scored as he did have a couple of good chances, but still an excellent second debut and I can’t wait to watch him play again.
SAKA – 9/10: Sensational from Saka. West Brom just couldn’t handle him. he was too quick and too skillful for them. Every time he got the ball you noticed West Brom players just take that step back; they were so frightened. It was so nice to see him get on the scoresheet; let’s hope he can score loads more this season.
AUBA – 10/10: Wow! From the first minute I thought there might be something different about Auba. He was sprinting everywhere like the Auba of old. He seemed so sharp today and could easily have scored 4 or 5. Hopefully this kind of performances is going to make him kick on this season. If he gets back to his best, it could define our season.
ARTETA – 8/10: It was a strong lineup but I’m actually glad about that. I sort of just wished we had seen another creative midfielder, or even given Miguel Azeez a chance next to Xhaka in this game. Overall though, hard to fault Arteta for this game.
Photo Credit – Wikimedia Commons