How Thomas helped Arsenal get their Partey started: Arsenal tactics

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Arsenal finally managed to get their first points of the 2021/22 Premier Season, with a well deserved 1-0 win over Norwich, but what did Mikel Arteta change to secure the points?

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Arsenal v Norwich City Premier League Thomas Partey of Arsenal blocks a cross from Milot Rashica of Norwich during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London Copyright: Paul Chesterton

Join Stephen Bradley as he analyses how The Gunners managed to get back on track, with particular focus on how the introduction of Thomas Partey midway through the second half helped unlock the Canaries’ defence.

Arsenal player ratings vs Norwich

Arsenal finally got a win and a goal on Saturday when they beat Norwich 1-0 at the Emirates, but how did the players rate?

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Arsenal v Norwich City 11 September 2021 London, Premier League, Arsenal FC v Norwich City, Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale hugs his teammates before the match. Photo by Mark Leech.

Arsenal came out flying against Norwich but, despite dominating possession, it was the Canaries who fashioned the better of the chances in the first half.

As the game wore on, Arsenal wore down and, at the break, with the game goalless, both sides had managed just one shot on target each. Sides that struggle to score in struggle to score shocker!

It took Arsenal until the 66th minute to finally find the back of the net. It was an unbelievably scrappy goal that seemed destined to stay out but, somehow, found it’s way to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in front of an empty net. Auba might have been offside but I think even Michael Oliver felt sorry for our inability to find the back of the net and let it stand.

Unlike in previous games this season so far, Arsenal players rated highly across the board. Martin Odegaard’s low this week of 6.8 would have been a star score against City or Chelsea.

Nicolas Pepe picked up Arsenal’s highest score of 8.7, helped by his assist. Aubameyang registered an 8, thanks to his goal.

As for the rest, everybody was over 7, unheard of this season.

At the back, Takehiro Tomiyasu was the pick of the defence with 7.6 in a debut that really made an impression on the fans.

Albert Sambi Lokonga continued his good start to life at Arsenal with a 7.8 while Bukayo Saka brought home a 7.9.

Arsenal player ratings vs Norwich City

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Aaron Ramsdale A celebrates the win at the EPL match Arsenal v Norwich City, at the Emirates Stadium, London, UK on 11th September, 2021.

  • Aaron Ramsdale 7.2
  • Takehiro Tomiyasu 7.6
  • Ben White 7.1
  • Gabriel 7.4
  • Kieran Tierney 7.5
  • Albert Sambi Lokonga 7.8
  • Ainsley Maitland-Niles 7.4
  • Nicolas Pepe 8.7
  • Martin Odegaard 6.8
  • Bukayo Saka 7.9
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 8

Arsenal subs

  • Emile Smith Row 6.7
  • Thomas Partey 6.2
  • Cedric 6.2
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