Arsenal faced a challenging away fixture against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, emerging victorious in a compelling encounter.
The match provided insights into Arsenal's current form and their potential trajectory for the season ahead. Here are three key takeaways from the intense fixture.
1. Arsenal are the masters of control
One prominent observation from the match was Arsenal's regained ability to control proceedings on the pitch. Despite playing away from home, Arsenal dominated possession and dictated the tempo of the game.
The statistics tell the story, with Arsenal boasting more than triple the number of passes compared to their opponents. This sense of authority in midfield allowed Arsenal to dictate play and create scoring opportunities, showcasing their ability to impose their style of football on the opposition.
2. Emile Smith Rowe is back!
The return of Emile Smith Rowe from injury provided a boost to Arsenal's attacking options. While his performance might not have been headline-grabbing, Smith Rowe's presence on the pitch was instrumental in facilitating Arsenal's fluid attacking movements.
His sharpness and understanding of space allowed him to link up effectively with teammates, contributing to the team's overall cohesion. As Arsenal continue to integrate Smith Rowe back into the starting lineup, his influence is expected to grow, providing added creativity and dynamism to the team's attacking play.
3. Maybe Arsenal Don't Need a Striker
The match against Nottingham Forest raised questions about Arsenal's reliance on a traditional striker. Despite speculation surrounding the need for a prolific number 9, Arsenal showcased their attacking prowess without a recognized striker leading the line.
While Gabriel Jesus impressed with his performance, Arsenal's ability to find the back of the net demonstrated that they possess goal-scoring options across the squad.
However, it's evident that improving clinicality remains a priority for Arsenal if they are to challenge for silverware. While they may not urgently require a traditional striker, enhancing their efficiency in front of goal could elevate their performance to the next level.
As the season progresses, Arsenal will aim to build on this positive performance, and continue with this consistency and improvement in pursuit of their objectives.