Well timed return of Thomas Partey boosts Arsenal’s European hopes
For a group embroiled in an id disaster for a lot of 2020, Arsenal have loved fairly the begin to the brand new 12 months.
Their 3-0 victory over Newcastle was their sixth win in seven in all competitions, however for all they went in on a formidable run of type, there was one thing further to their efficiency that steered issues are solely going to get higher.
And once I say one thing further, I in fact imply Thomas Partey.
The Ghanaian was again within the beginning lineup for the primary time since December’s dreary defeat to Tottenham, and regardless that he was tentative and leggy as he returns to health, he drove completely every thing for Mikel Arteta’s group.
His involvement of their first objective was majestic. Taking the ball from Bernd Leno in a reasonably innocuous place, he turned on the burners to advance right into a yard of house, and located Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with a spectacular long-range go.
It was the type of service the captain has lacked all season and his eyes lit up as he introduced the ball down. He did the remaining, in fact, taking it previous Emil Krafth and hammering the ball into the roof of the online.
He saved issues easy the place he needed to, however even his sideways passing had conviction. The Gunners’ second arrived when he took the ball inside his personal half and shortly moved it onto Emile Smith Rowe, who drove ahead and located Bukayo Saka within the space. It was the type of fluid, purposeful assault Arsenal appeared unable to string collectively earlier within the season, but with Partey again within the facet, it was a characteristic of their play.
It was a recreation Arsenal dominated, creating 18 possibilities to their opponents’ 4, they usually did not spend a lot time with out the ball. They did not spend a lot time with out the ball as a result of Partey, alongside his accomplice in crime in Granit Xhaka, did not permit Newcastle a second to breathe, continuously harrying and recycling the ball to make issues occur.
It was the type of recreation that may have gotten the higher of Arsenal beforehand. At the same time as lately as Thursday’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace, they’d issues breaking in opposition to a group who defended from the sting of their very own third.
But with Partey’s pace of thought and precision of execution, they give the impression of being one thing near the completed article, able to controlling possession but in addition turning defence into assault on the flip of a coin.
After a woeful begin to the season, you can be forgiven for ruling Arsenal out of European competition as early as November.
But they’re now simply two factors from Chelsea in seventh, and with Partey’s staggered emergence coming at a time when they’re already firing on all cylinders, the long run is beginning to look vibrant.
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