Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has cited a crucial squad meeting after they were thrashed 5-0 against Manchester City as the turning point in their season. Since that result, the Gunners have put together four successive wins, including a resounding 3-1 triumph over Tottenham in Sunday’s crunch North London Derby.
It was a fairy-tale first half for the Gunners, kicked off by Emile Smith-Rowe after 12 minutes when he converted a Bukayo Saka cutback.
Aubameyang himself doubled the lead a few minutes later, finishing off a superb counter-attack with the kind of clinical strike Arsenal have been missing all season.
Saka added gloss to the scoreline before half time, sending the Emirates into raptures and leaving Spurs players wondering what on Earth was going on.
Arsenal’s positive performance continued after the break, although they could not add to their tally and Heung-min Son pulled back a consolation 10 minutes from time.
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While Tottenham powered to three successive victories under new boss Nuno Espirito Santo, Arsenal struggled to three consecutive defeats.
The proceeding three Premier League games have seen the exact opposite.
In fact, Spurs are only the second side in Premier League history to win their opening three games and then lose the next three. Everton were the others in 1993/94 and they ended up finishing 17th.
Crucially for Mikel Arteta, his side’s third successive victory will get the critics off his back for a few weeks and restore some feel-good atmosphere around the club as they trudge their way back up the table.
For Nuno, meanwhile, serious questions will be asked about the worrying nature of Tottenham’s defeat.
Even more concerning is the fact that their three victories at the start of the campaign were all by narrow margins, while their three most recent defeats have all been resounding.
Whichever manager lost this crucial North London Derby was bound to come under a mountain of pressure, and this time Arteta comes through unscathed.
The team meeting post-City worked, and Arsenal can now press on.