The North Bank has a new hero and he goes by the name of Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian striker, signed from Manchester City in the summer, scored twice before the break and missed several chances for a hat-trick as well assisting his side’s other goals.
While Jesus was never able to hold down a regular starting spot at City, where he scored 58 times in the Premier League, he is clearly relishing being the focal point of Arteta’s plans in north London.
He showed off different aspects of his talents on his home debut, producing a superb chip to open the scoring before showing more predatory instincts to latch on to a defensive header from Vardy to nod past Ward for his second.
Jesus was denied by Ward’s boot with his next chance and then stayed on his feet when he could easily have won a penalty under pressure from Jonny Evans, only to roll his shot just wide of the post.
His neat touches set up Xhaka and Martinelli’s goals, yet Jesus will regret missing out on what would have been his second Premier League hat-trick when he shot into the side of the goal from close range.
His best league return for City was 14 goals in the 2019-20 season, but now installed as first-choice striker under Arteta, he should easily surpass that in an Arsenal set-up that delights when going forward. be highly entertaining.
The only question marks for Arsenal continue to be defensively, as they conceded twice when seemingly in control, but each time they hit back inside two minutes to suggest they might have some resilience as well flair.
Afterwards Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said:
“I’m really happy with the performance, the victory, the three points and with the way we played. I think it was a really good football match against a really good opponent and it was just a joy to play in front of this crowd.
“I think the crowd was special, especially after Saliba’s own goal. The way they reacted was something I’ve never seen in football; the amount of support and connection they are showing with us, and especially with William, lifted the team straight away. I have to thank them so much for that.
“From the first minute, they were electric. You feel like they are totally with us, totally engaged and it is so energising for the team. The boys keep talking about it – they can’t wait to play in front of this crowd, and it’s making a huge difference.”