Arsenal football club and all its fans around the world can be delighted by the fact that they are back in the top 4.
The same Arsenal who struggled in the initial phase of this season has stormed back into the contest and appears to be a stable and lethal side.
With a young manager at the helm and a squad full of youngsters, Arsenal has compensated for their lack of experience with an abundance of youthful optimism and desire.
Yes, they are one of the youngest squads but what they do have is talent, passion, and a drive to make Arsenal great again!
Mikel Arteta, who had his critics, has proven them all wrong and demonstrated that he is the right man for the job.
So, let’s look at how Arsenal put their step on the peddle and defeated the relegation entangled Watford to enter the top 4!
Story of the match
Their play was joyful from the start, and a fantastic first goal came in barely the fifth minute.
Odegaard performed a breathtaking swivel to find Saka on the right before the England international had the foresight to cut the ball back for a return pass in the area, allowing Odegaard to slip a low finish past hapless Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster.
Cucho Hernandez’s magnificent 11th-minute bicycle kick brought the hosts leveled and threatened an upset, only for Saka to show that his obvious talent is complemented by a strong work ethic.
Saka won the ball when Watford player Tom Cleverley dallied in possession, then swapped passes with Alexandre Lacazette before shooting a high finish in a flash.
Saka was also involved in Arsenal’s third goal, though Arteta may also claim credit for it after instantly handing the out-of-play ball to Saka for a swift throw-in seven minutes after halftime.
Cedric Soares was unleashed down the right flank, and his cross was assisted by another magnificent Odegaard touch before Lacazette set up Gabriel Martinelli.
Watford’s Moussa Sissoko scored three minutes from time to set up a tense finish, but Arsenal held on and, in fact, a draw would have been a travesty given the visitors’ quality.
Arsenal won the game 3-2 and there were certainly shades of the old Arsenal in the way they played the match.
Silky, smooth, fast, clean, and one-touch football. Wenger would have been proud!
Saka and Odegaard
The link-up between Saka and Emile Smith Rowe has been the standout point in Arsenal’s fantastic play. But ever since his absence, Saka had looked isolated. It is only in recent time he has found his mojo back as he has formed the same relationship with Odegaard.
What he and Smith Rowe had, has been replicated with Odegaard and Arsenal can rejoice in that fact.
This season, the pair have combined for the most frequent combination of completed passes in the final third by Arsenal players during league games: Saka has found Odegaard on 78 occasions, with Odegaard to Saka coming in second with 68.
Arteta said. “They understand when to do what in relation to what the opponent is doing so this is good. The more they play together, the better they will understand, it is simple.”
Can they stay in the top 4?
Arsenal who lost their first 3 Premier League matches and looked destined for another disappointing season has turned their fate around in an emphatic fashion.
They are undefeated in their last 5 matches which include 4 back-to-back wins and a draw. They have obtained 13 points from the possible 15 in their last 5 matches.
So, on current form and results, they are looking like a side that will easily penetrate in the top 4. Leaving the likes of United, West Ham, and Tottenham behind.
Speaking of the competition, another factor in Arsenal’s favor is that they are a point above Manchester United and have a staggering 3 games in hand over them!
They are also three points ahead of Tottenham and West Ham, and they have one game in hand on Spurs and two games in hand on the Hammers.
United are in shambles, Spurs are highly inconsistent and West Ham might not be enough.
Add to that the form and talent of Arsenal’s young players, and it becomes increasingly likely that Arsenal will win the race to finish in the top four!