Premier League table-toppers Arsenal produced their biggest win of the season so far with a brilliant 5-0 victory over Nottingham Forest.
Gabriel Martinelli scored the opener early on, while the remainder of the first half was competitive and attritional.
Star man Bukayo Saka was withdrawn midway through the first half after suffering an injury, but Mikel Arteta’s Gunners produced a fine display in his absence.
Coming out with a renewed vigour in the second half, Saka’s substitute Reiss Nelson put the three points beyond doubt with two goals in the space of three minutes not long after the break.
Thomas Partey then struck a brilliant long-range effort to put the hosts four ahead before club captain Martin Odegaard added the gloss with a fifth late on.
“It was great, we certainly have been creating the chances to score and we haven’t been hitting the target enough, we have discussed that the whole week and today the individual talent obviously made the difference they scored some fantastic goals and they shared the goals which I think is important as well,” Mikel Arteta said in his post-match press conference.
Arsenal came into the test looking to prove themselves after their first minor wobble of the season. Last Sunday they dropped points for only the second time this season with a flat display in a 1-1 draw at Southampton, while in midweek they suffered their first defeat of the season, losing 2-0 in the Europa League away to PSV.
“Big teams have to respond as quick as possible and we did that after the disappointment of Thursday night, you don’t have time, you go here Friday evening,” Arteta added.
“One half training session and be ready not only physically but mentally again to another demand against a team that beat Liverpool and the pressure is on, you lose the first place and you are there. And we need to get used to that.”
Here are 10 of the most impressive statistics from one of Arsenal’s best displays of a brilliant season to date.
– Arsenal registered 69.4% possession and completed more than twice as many passes as the visitors (547 to 204).
– Thomas Partey completed 103 passes with a 92% accuracy rate. Nottingham Forest’s most prolific passer, by contrast, completed just 32 passes.
– Arsenal registered 21 key passes (the final pass before a team-mate shoots at goal). Forest mustered just two. Martin Odegaard registered five alone.
– Gabriel Jesus registered more shots (seven) and shots on target (three) than the opposition managed collectively.
– Reiss Nelson has only scored one goal in his first 23 appearances for the Gunners. He scored twice in his 24th – 837 days after his last Premier League goal for the Gunners. The fringe player now has more goals and assists in the Premier League than big-money signings Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho this season.
– Odegaard and Jesus are now up to five assists apiece in the Premier League this season. Only Kevin De Bruyne has more than the Gunners duo.
Winning together pic.twitter.com/8A90CQnYJg
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 30, 2022
– Before going off injured, Bukayo Saka registered his 20th Premier League assist. Only two players have hit that milestone at a younger age – Cesc Fabregas and Wayne Rooney.
– This is the 19th time that Arsenal have won a Premier League home match by five or more goals. It’s also the first since the departure of Arsene Wenger, who was at the helm for the first 18 of those occasions.
– With that, Arsenal have made it nine successive Premier League home wins. Surprisingly enough, it’s the first result of that run where they’ve kept a clean sheet.
– It’s also seven wins from seven home games in all competitions in 2022-23. Fortress Emirates.
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