Arsenal lifted the pressure on manager Mikel Arteta as they secured their first points of the Premier League season with victory over Norwich City at Emirates Stadium.
Arteta was under mounting scrutiny after a miserable start to the campaign with three defeats that left the Gunners at the foot of the table, so a win that was workmanlike rather than spectacular will be gratefully received.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was back on target to set Arsenal on their way after 66 minutes, with a finish from almost on the goal-line after Canaries’ keeper Tim Krul turned Nicolas Pepe’s shot on to the post and the same player then struck the woodwork again.
Arsenal had an anxious moment as referee Michael Oliver conducted a VAR check for offside before the Emirates Stadium celebrate with a mixture of elation and relief.
Afterwards Arteta said he has learned from the past two weeks:
“After three defeats things get complicated,” he added.
“You learn a lot in difficult moments, who you are with. In difficult moments when you see the people and the level of organisation and the fans we have.
“They were ready to suffer today but they just give, give, give to the team.
“You have to win football matches but it is a joy to watch how everyone was behaving around the context that we had around.
“I got pretty emotional to see that.”
Arsenal visit Burnley on 18 September and then launch their Carabao Cup campaign at home to AFC Wimbledon of League One, giving Arteta’s side the opportunity to build some confidence ahead of the north London derby at home to Tottenham on 26 September.