Norwich 0-5 Arsenal: 4 talking points as Mikel Arteta’s side ease past falling Norwich

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Arsenal picked up their fifth consecutive win in all competitions on Boxing Day with a 5-0 victory against struggling Norwich.

Goals from Kieran Tierney, Alexandre Lacazette, Emile Smith Rowe and a Bukayo Saka brace were more than enough to secure all three Premier League points at Carrow Road.

The result leaves Arsenal fourth, while Norwich remain bottom of the table.

Both teams are back in action on Tuesday. The Gunners host champions and leaders Manchester City, while the Canaries travel to Crystal Palace.

Here are the 4 talking points on a comfortable afternoon for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Europe in sight

Few would’ve backed Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League after their nightmare start to the season, yet here they are.

Arteta’s side are now six points clear of bitter rivals Tottenham in fifth and just three points behind European champions Chelsea in third.

Arsenal fans will be looking over their shoulders – with both Spurs and Manchester United having three games in hand – but they’ll still be having a merry Christmas.

Gunners legend Paul Merson recently described his former employers as “flat track bullies”… and it’s hard to disagree with that.

They’re breezing past teams at the bottom of the table and struggling against their rivals, losing to Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd this season.

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That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. If Arsenal can keep winning against the likes of Norwich, European qualification will be more likely than not.

Auba left out again

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was again left out of Arteta’s squad, the fifth game he’s missed since he was dropped and stripped of the captaincy for “disciplinary reasons”.

And, with Africa Cup of Nations starting in just two weeks, it’s unlikely he’ll play for Arsenal again until February – if he doesn’t leave before.

Rumours suggest Juventus and Barcelona are interested in signing Aubameyang, who will represent Gabon at the upcoming international tournament.

“He’s a really nice guy, we all miss him, but it is what it is,” said Arsenal defender Ben White on Christmas Eve.

Arteta’s fresh attack

If and when Aubameyang is available for selection again, he may struggle to get back into Arsenal’s strike force after another fabulous display.

Their opening goal was a brilliantly crafted move, as slick passing between Gabriel Martinelli, Lacazette and Martin Odegaard found Saka for a delightful finish.

Odegaard’s assist for Tierney’s strike was also lovely, playing a perfectly-timed ball into the path of the Scottish left-back.

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And Saka’s second goal was the perfect way to secure all three points, cutting in from the right to hammer home with his left peg.

Arsenal have now won five consecutive games in all competitions since Aubameyang was dropped, scoring 19 goals.

And we’re not used to seeing Arteta’s side score. They managed just 55 goals in the Premier League last term, seven fewer than Leeds.

The Spaniard appears to have found a solution to his attacking problems… and that – rather than disciplinary issues – could spell the end for Aubameyang

White shows leadership

The Spaniard’s worries, though, were eased by White, who produced a stellar display in an unfamiliar role.

The £50million defender looked composed and comfortable throughout the afternoon, reassuring Arteta of his dependability.

And, with the captaincy up for grabs, it was a well-timed performance. At 24 and with potentially 10 years at the top to come, White may be the perfect man for the job.

“I think I’ve got some of the qualities to be captain, but we’ll see in time,” added White on Christmas Eve.

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