What a start to the month that was! A couple of highly anticipated home debuts, a debut goal, a hat-trick of assists and an actual hat-trick to help us to a 5-1 victory over Everton.
As usual, we return to The Emirates and we put in a much-improved performance. In a pretty complete team display everyone played pretty well, in the first half in particular.
However, with both of our new boys on from the start, that’s probably the best place to begin for me to begin with the candidates for Saturday’s man of the match.
The first man up for consideration is our new record signing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Despite another Arsene Wenger pre-game deception when he told us the striker was too ill to play, he was on from start to finish.
Since the leaking of Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s ‘Yo Pierre’ video, Arsenal fans have been wondering when the two ex-Dortmund teammates would link up again and it only took six minutes. In a fluid, interchanging move around the Everton box, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan connected brilliantly before the Armenian cut the ball back to assist Aaron Ramsey.
The impact of Aubameyang’s arrival was seen instantly as he brought something different to our frontline. His movement and pace were used very well as he was found expertly by Mesut Ozil in behind the Everton defence but unfortunately, he couldn’t convert as the angle tightened.
The £56m man’s day was topped shortly before half-time though as he opened his Arsenal account. Connecting with Mkhitaryan again, Aubameyang slipped past the Everton defence before clipping the ball over Jordan Pickford with his left foot to cap off an impressive debut.
Making his home debut after a cameo at Swansea, Mkhitaryan made much more of a mark on Saturday.
From the start of the game, our new number seven looked to be on his job. Starting out by showing his strength to guide a ball off the pitch he gave us a quick glimpse of what he could offer off the ball.
But it was on the ball where he impressed most. Six minutes in a great connection with Aubameyang saw him get in behind the Everton defence before playing a perfect ball for Ramsey in the middle of the box to score.
We then saw how well he can work in the number 10 role as he drifted behind the Everton midfield before sliding through Aubameyang nicely to make it 4-0 before half time.
Mkhitaryan completed his hat-trick of assists later in the game as he appeared back on the right to repeat the act of the first goal by cutting the ball across the box for Ramsey to finish.
That goal in fact, saw the Welshman complete his hat-trick which is why he is the man of the match for Saturday.
Coming into the game now that we had sold Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, Ramsey was now Arsenal’s top goalscorer amongst the current crop.
Also in his last three games against Everton before Saturday, he had three goals and an assist so was such a productive outing destined?
Sandwiched in between his very composed finishes inside the box was a much more spectacular effort. Having been left acres of space while just outside the box, he pulled the trigger for a shot which despite taking a deflection to guide it into the roof of the net, probably would have gone in anyway.
Hopefully the trio along with the other eight who impressed on Saturday can replicate the performance this weekend as we head to Wembley for the North London Derby.