Arsenal have made it ten wins on the spin with a 3-1 victory at home to Leicester City for the Premier League, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang jumped off the bench to bag a brace and push his team back into the top four.
The North Londoners started on the back foot, with Leicester taking the lead through Héctor Bellerín’s own goal before Mesut Özil could claw back an equaliser just before half-time.
Aubameyang was then unleashed on the Foxes in the second period, crowning two wonderfully-crafted moves with a couple of goals to seal a 3-1 win.
In Arsenal’s return to Premier League action, Unai Emery opted against fielding the club’s record signing Aubameyang, as Alexandre Lacazette led the attack with Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan flanking.
Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho claimed the first two opportunities within the first five minutes of the game, calling Bernd Leno into action on his second attempt at goal with a curling effort.
With Arsenal struggling to settle, the Foxes had another go at Leno’s goal, as the German positioned himself well to deny Harry Maguire’s back-post header in the 19th minute.
Claude Puel’s men required a slice of luck to eventually break the deadlock on the half-hour mark, with Héctor Bellerín’s block from Ben Chilwell’s cross betraying Leno and trickling into the back of the net.
Arsenal replied moments later through Granit Xhaka’s free-kick, but Kasper Schmeichel kept his focus to tip the Swiss international’s effort over for a corner.
The Gunners continued to raise the bar towards the end of the first period, with Özil rewarding his team with a cool first-time finish from Bellerín’s cross to level the game on the brink of half-time.
Picking up where they left off, Mkhitaryan neared Arsenal’s second in the 50th minute with an acrobatic effort floating wide, as Emery’s side began to pile on the pressure.
Wilfred Ndidi threatened to pull the score back the other way with a header crashing against the bar on the hour mark, but, with Aubameyang already on the pitch, Arsenal were able to ease the mood a little when Özil placed Bellerín in a prime position to cut back, gifting the ex-Borussia Dortmund man with an assist for an easy finish.
The Gunners bettered their previous effort just three minutes later to go 3-1 up, as Özil latched onto Lacazette’s weighted pass into the box to feed Aubameyang for another casual tap-in in the 66th minute.
Lacazette scuppered his chance to get his name on the scoresheet in 78th minute, having gotten on the end of Özil’s cut-back with the goal at his mercy, but the Frenchman instead found a way to place the ball within Schmeichel’s grasp.
The ex-Olympique Lyonnaise striker added to his frustrating night with a shot over the bar from Iwobi’s pick-out in the 83rd minute, as the Gunners cruised through the latter stages of the affair.
Arsenal wouldn’t need a fourth, however, with the game at the Emirates Stadium concluding itself at 3-1.
By Patrick Ribeiro (@P_SRibeiro)
Player Ratings: Bernd Leno (8) – Héctor Bellerín (8), Shkodran Mustafi (7), Rob Holding (6), Stephan Lichtsteiner (5) – Lucas Torreira (7), Granit Xhaka (6) – Henrikh Mkhitaryan (5), Mesut Özil (9), Alex Iwobi (7) – Alexandre Lacazette (6)
Subs: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (7), Matteo Guendouzi (6), Aaron Ramsey (-)