4 Things Mikel Arteta Got Right As Arsenal Thrash Norwich To Strengthen Grip On Top Four

Arsenal thrashed Norwich 5-0 at Carrow Road to solidify their spot in the top four once again, and Mikel Arteta was tactically faultless once again for the Gunners.

It was another impressive display from Arsenal who easily swept Norwich aside during a 5-0 win at Carrow Road to strengthen their position within the Premier League top four.

It was a fast start for Mikel Arteta’s side as they switched the ball quickly from left to right, and Bukayo Saka finished well into the bottom left corner to give Arsenal the lead after just six minutes.

After a dominant first-half display, Kieran Tierney made it two just before the break, firing into the opposite corner following a brilliant run down the left wing, to give Arsenal plenty of breathing space.

Arsenal continued to knock on the Norwich door and they added a third through another brilliant Saka strike, as he cut in on his left and found the same bottom left corner that he did in the first half, and Alexandre Lacazette added a late fourth from the penalty spot before setting up Emile Smith Rowe for a fifth in injury time.

It was an excellent performance from Arteta’s side who completely outclassed their opponents, and here we take a look at four things the Arsenal boss got right at Carrow Road.

Flooding the Norwich full-backs

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It was clear from the off that Arsenal were keen to keep the ball in the wide areas and put pressure on the Norwich full-backs, and it worked a treat for the Gunners.

The trickery of Saka and the speed of Gabriel Martinelli was too much for both Brandon Williams and Max Aarons, who were overwhelmed down the flanks.

Arsenal’s opening goal came as the Gunners switched the ball quickly from left to right, and Saka was cool as he guided the ball into the bottom left corner to finish off a lovely move, and the 20-year-old repeated this to score his second mid way through the second half.

Trusting Ben White at right-back

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Arsenal were handed a blow as Takehiro Tomiyasu limped off injured during a 4-1 win against Leeds at Elland Road, and the Japanese international was still not ready to return against Norwich.

Therefore Arteta was left with a decision to make, and the Arsenal boss placed £50m summer signing Ben White at right-back, bringing in Rob Holding to cover the space at centre-back.

The decision worked wonders, and White looked extremely comfortable in the temporary role despite usually playing centrally, and Holding was also strong as Arsenal kept Norwich at bay.

Arsenal will be hoping that Tomiyasu will be back to full fitness as soon as possible, but their temporary fix was an inspired choice by Arteta on Sunday.

Allowing Tierney to roam

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Kieran Tierney is a major fan favourite at Arsenal after making the switch from Celtic back in 2019, and the Scottish international was well known for getting forward during his time in Glasgow.

The left-back also contributes to the Arsenal attack on occasions and uses his excellent left foot to his advantage when crossing on the wing.

With Arsenal bombarding the Norwich full-backs, Tierney was given the license to roam, and he did just that as he broke through the defence before firing into the bottom right corner to grab a rare goal.

Max Aarons couldn’t contain Tierney and Martinelli, in what was a major weak spot in the Norwich defence.

Keeping the faith in Odegaard

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Martin Odegaard has made the no.10 role his own within the Arsenal side, keeping the position at bay from Emile Smith Rowe for now despite the England international being handed that exact squad number at the start of this season.

With how brilliant Smith Rowe has been this season, it’s strange not to see him in the side, but Odegaard proved his awareness and assisted both of Arsenal’s first-half goals to get his side firing.

The first was a lovely switch to Saka who found the bottom left corner perfectly, and the second was to unleash Tierney who smashed his effort into the bottom right corner.

Smith Rowe did make a late appearance, and found the net himself, keeping up his incredible run of scoring from off the bench, another correct decision from Arteta