'It's a start – now Arsenal need a winning streak'
- Credit: PA
Arsenal are off the mark with their first goal and their first points this Premier League season, after beating Norwich 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The Gunners put on a dominant display, controlling large portions of the game and registering 30 shots on the Norwich goal, only to be limited by their finishing and a superb display from keeper Tim Krul.
It was a win which took some of the pressure off of Mikel Arteta.
Five summer signings started for Arsenal – Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard – all of whom impressed.
They were joined by the returning Gabriel Maghalaes in defence and Thomas Partey, a 60th minute sub, both of whom made their first appearances of the season after injury.
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For the first time, we saw an Arsenal side close to full strength and the difference in quality and spirit was obvious.
What was most clear was the confidence exuded by the new signings and the ease with which Arsenal were able to play through the lines from deep, with each defensive player, including Aaron Ramsdale, comfortable playing progressive passes to break the Norwich press.
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This was summed up by the Arsenal goal which began with Martin Odegaard dropping deep into the centre circle, dragging Norwich midfielders with him.
Thomas Partey shaped his body to pass the ball square before firing the ball forwards into the feet of Bukayo Saka ahead, taking the Norwich midfield out of the game.
The ambition and quick tempo were key to Arsenal fashioning chances throughout the game.
Norwich did not just step aside however. Teemu Pukki, and later Milot Rashica, offered threat around the Arsenal penalty area but the new partnership of Ben White and Gabriel Maghalaes coped well, sweeping up behind each other to block shots and prevent danger.
Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday represents a different test where Arsenal will need to demonstrate their physicality, resilience and composure.
The win over Norwich gives Arsenal a platform. It was a positive display which they must now turn into consecutive wins.