Norwich City v Arsenal: Pictures
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Mikel Arteta has insisted that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s continued absence from the Arsenal side will be handled on a game-by-game basis following Sunday’s convincing win over Premier League basement boys Norwich City. The Gunners stretched their unbeaten run in the division to four matches by taking all three points from Carrow Road, with Bukayo Saka getting his side off to the perfect start inside just six minutes.
The England ace tucked the ball home from the edge of the area to give Arsenal an early lead before Kieran Tierney doubled their advantage before half-time.
Saka went on to score his second goal of the afternoon shortly after the hour mark, with Alexandre Lacazette also getting in on the act from the penalty spot in the closing stages of the match.
Emile Smith Rowe then completed the rout in stoppage time to cap off a near-perfect day for Arsenal, who were at their brilliant best throughout the encounter.
The result kept the visitors in the Premier League’s top four ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham, who now find themselves six points adrift of their north London rivals.
Arteta decided to leave Aubameyang out of his matchday squad once again for the trip to Norfolk, with the 32-year-old being overlooked for the fifth successive occasion after a breach of discipline last month.
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He was removed from the first-team picture and stripped of the Arsenal captaincy after making a late return from an authorised trip away before the win over Southampton last month and has not featured since.
When quizzed on Aubameyang’s situation after the full-time whistle on Sunday, Arteta told the BBC: “He wasn’t selected for today’s match. We’ll take it game by game. That was the decision.”
It remains to be seen whether the forward will be considered for a place in Arteta’s squad ahead of Arsenal’s next match against Wolves on Tuesday afternoon.
The Gunners now have less than 48 hours to recover from Sunday’s outing and prepare for the challenge that will be posed by Bruno Lage’s side in midweek.
However, Arteta went on to insist that his players will once again be striving for victory on Tuesday in spite of the circumstances as they aim to finish the year with a bang in front of their own fans.
“We will try and recover as well as we can and try and win the game,” he added.
The Gunners boss also waxed lyrical over his side’s five-star performance against Norwich, who failed to lay a glove on their opponents for the duration of Sunday’s contest.
“It’s a very satisfying result,” said Arteta when asked for his assessment of the match.
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“In this festive period we have to keep performances to a high level. We looked really sharp and committed. It’s a big win for us.
“I am really pleased. The amount of chances we create is pleasing. We go to every ground to try and impose our game.
“Today was a really good example. The unity we have around the club and with our fans is very pleasing.”
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