Arsenal returned to winning ways last night with a convincing victory of Newcastle United. A brace from skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and a goal from Bukayo Saka gave us the three points, and Mikel Arteta was delighted.
The Gunners did a lot of good things on the pitch yesterday. We looked solid defensively, our midfield was dominant and our attackers were a constant threat.
Arteta is a numbers guy and he would have had a detailed look at the stats from last night’s game. Here are five things that will make the Arsenal boss smile.
5 clean sheets in a row
Bernd Leno has conceded just once in all competitions since Christmas and that was a penalty against Chelsea. The German has come to our rescue whenever needed, but his defenders have done well too.
Arsenal last managed to keep five consecutive clean sheets back in February 2009. That’s almost 12 years ago which just shows how much we have improved defensively under Arteta.
Saka joins elite Arsenal youngsters list
Saka now has five goals in the Premier League. He is the fourth Arsenal teenager to achieve that feat after Nicolas Anelka, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott.
Anelka and Fabregas both had incredible careers at the top level, while Walcott scored over 100 goals for us. Saka is on the right track to become just as good as the above-mentioned trio, if not better.
The Emile Smith Rowe show
What a player this boy is going to be! Smith Rowe was once again outstanding last night. He set up Saka for his goal and created a four chances in the game – more than any other player on the pitch.
Since his first start this season in the Premier League on Boxing day, only Bruno Fernandes (12) has created more chances than Smith Rowe (10). The 20-year-old has now scored or assisted a goal every 101 minutes. (Opta) That is a brilliant return for someone so young.
Thomas Partey has arrived
We all saw how good Partey can be without the ball against Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Ghanaian showed a different side to his game last night, and Newcastle United had no answer.
Partey had 69 touches of the ball and completed 56 passes at a tremendous accuracy of 95%. He completed six out of his seven long passes as well – one of which was a glorious assist to Aubameyang. (SofaScore)
Saka and Smith Rowe for the Euros?
Three of Saka’s Premier League goals have been assisted by Smith Rowe. They are the first English pair to combine for as many as three league goals before either player has turned the age of 21. (Opta)
Saka and Smith Rowe have been the driving force behind Arsenal’s return to winning ways. If they can keep this up until the end of the season, Gareth Southgate will have no choice but to consider them for England’s Euros squad this summer.