Arteta reacts as Arsenal clinch an all-round 5-0 win over Norwich
Arsenal claimed their fifth consecutive victory in all competitions as they beat Norwich City 5-0.
The two sides entered the game on very different agendas, with Arsenal looking to return to the Champions League next season, while Norwich desperately try to avoid another league relegation.
Arsenal got off to a good start and in the sixth minute they took the lead after a smooth attack which was duly completed by Bukayo Saka with Martin Odegaard scoring his fifth goal in his last three Premier League outings.
The Gunners would miss out on extremely presentable opportunities to double their advantage, but would score a deserved second a minute before the break, with Odegaard playing an assist to Kieran Tierney who burst into the box before pulling low over the post beyond by Angus Gunn.
Gabriel Martinelli saw a goal scored for offside after half-time, although Arsenal eventually scored three goals midway through the second half with Saka scoring his second of the game as he beat Gunn with a low strike from outside the box when little seemed to be certain for the England international.
The Gunners would score a fourth goal six minutes from time as Alexandre Lacazette transformed from the penalty spot after being shot down by Ozan Kabak, before Emile Smith Rowe scored a fifth at the last minute, the substitute returning to the back post after Nicolas Pepe’s initial strike had been deflected.
The result cemented Arsenal’s place in the top four halfway through the season, although some teams, including Tottenham and Manchester United, have three games in hand against the Gunners following their respective Covid outbreaks more early this month.
Speaking after the game, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was delighted with his team’s dominant performance.
“It’s a very satisfying result because in this festive period we have to keep the performance at a high level,” he told Match of the Day.
“We looked really sharp and engaged. It’s a big victory for us. I am really happy. The number of chances we create is nice.
“We go to all fields to try to impose our game. Today was a very good example. The unity we have around the club and with our fans is very nice.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was again not selected following his disciplinary indiscretions, and was subsequently stripped of his post as captain, and Arteta was questioned about his prolonged exclusion.
“He was not selected for today’s game,” he said. “We’re going to take it game by game. It was the decision.
Arsenal now have a short deadline before facing Wolves at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“We will try to recover as best we can and try to win the game,” said the Spaniard.
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