Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may not have scored but Mikel Arteta was encouraged by the cohesiveness of his attacking unit as Arsenal secured an impressive 4-0 win away at West Brom.
Kieran Tierney netted a superb solo strike and Bukayo Saka finished off a tidy team move to put the Gunners in charge at the break before Alex Lacazette poached a second half brace to lift the Gunners up to 11th place in the Premier League table.
Having struggled for goals from open play this season, the performance at the Hawthorns was especially pleasing for the boss, whose players, manufactured a series of chances with intricate pass and move football. There’s still room for improvement, but things are moving in the right direction.
In the post-game press conference, he reflected: “There were moments that I thought we were really good both defensively and offensively and attacking-wise we had movement that is exactly what I want and exactly what we try and teach the players to do.
“In other moments we became a little bit sloppy in certain moments when we thought that the game was won. That’s something we have to improve. But overall it’s close to what we want.”
After a run of one win in 10 matches, three consecutive league victories has eased some of the pressure on Arteta who is now keen for his players to build further momentum at a crunch moment in the season.
“I hope so. The energy and the convincing momentum that you get from everybody that is involved is much more positive.
“I wasn’t that concerned with the performances. We lost games where I felt we were really unlucky and most of them it was our own fault because we made some errors and we lacked some discipline in certain moments.
“But obviously you need to win football matches and now this brings a different momentum, energy and as well the players get the handbrake off and you can see that they are more free to play.”
Five goals in four games marks a notable upturn in fortunes for Alex Lacazette whose form helps to mitigate the struggles of close pal Aubameyang.
The club captain put an end to a scoring drought of his own in the 1-1 draw with Southampton but then suffered an untimely calf injury that sidelined him for three games. While he was a dangerous outlet on the left flank at the Hawthorns, his scoring touch again deserted him.
“I keep saying, we can’t keep putting all the weight on Auba’s shoulders to score the goals. We need contributions,” noted Arteta.
“The midfielders need to score more and give more assists, and we need goals from our wingers as well.
“Laca is in great form and has scored five goals in his last four games, which is what we need from our strikers.
“Auba had some chances today to score and it was the same in the last game or so, but I am so pleased because in the final third we looked lively and there was a lot of movement.
“There is good energy, there is a real purpose and everybody is playing forwards. It’s like we are free to play there and the understanding is allowing us to generate a lot of things there.”