Mikel Arteta didn’t waste time in sending Takehiro Tomiyasu to Arsenal’s defense. He was also up against Brandon Williams, who is still learning his feet.
Mikel Arteta may have been taking notes of Gareth Southgate’s strategies during the international break.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Kieran Terney, and Takehiro Tomiyasu, all began against Norwich City as fullbacks.
And it was the latter’s inclusion was the one which raised the most eyebrows.
Arteta was not allowed to speak at the press conference because the Japanese national did not have a work permit.
Arteta would also have seen Arteta train with the side for the first time this week, so it was a bold decision to field the full-back in such a crucial contest.
Meanwhile, Arteta’s counterpart Daniel Farke offered Brandon Williams his second start of the season.
The Manchester United loanee impressed in the Canaries’ narrow 2-1 defeat to Leicester City before the international break, and the young defender’s confidence and defensive prowess were also on show at the Emirates.
It was an interesting battle between two inexperienced defenders, who were both forced to join the side to strengthen their weak defenses.
Arsenal had previously deployed Cedric Soares, Calum Chambers, but both were badly exploited against Brentford and Chelsea.
Tomiyasu supported with confidence and assurance, using the touchline as a guide.
Christos and other Tzolis-like people tried to climb inside Christos’ right foot. Tomiyasu guided him inside, and White arrived to meet him.
Because Williams was flanking the Japanese winger, the Japanese defender had to also have his eyes open.
Williams’ speed and crossing are a constant danger, but the Arsenal defense was able to stifle the United loanee.
There were few clear-cut chances left at the end of the first half.
Tomiyasu also gave a glimpse of his attacking capabilities before the second half ended.
Bologna’s only player, he is an unknown prospect so everyone was surprised by his volley.
It was the Gunners’ only shot on target by the time he was substituted for Emile Smith-Rowe.
He is a good performer, even though he was late for the match.
Arsenal was yet to survive the first half of football without conceding in their previous three matches, but his presence added the security and balance which was absent from Arteta’s side.
His substitution cost some of that balance, so Norwich sought to expose any weakness in Arsenal’s defense.
Williams was a key player in Norwich’s success, while Tomiyasu made a great debut.
Nicolas Pepe was seven yards away from the goal when a deflected pass found him with his head in front.
While all yellow shirts and Farke drew breath in anticipation for the net to burst, Williams was busting a gut to ensure it didn’t.
He flew past the goal like a superhero and blocked what would have made it a certain goal for their side.
William’s beat his chest in celebration, but he was soon devasted not long after.
An Arsenal counterattack led to Pepe being fed the pass on Williams’ left-hand side.
Although the United defender was temporarily off-balance, it only took a split second for a goal.
Krul got a fingertip on Pepe’s shot, flicking it onto the post, but the ball ricocheted back across goal.
Williams jumped back into action and seemed to tap away at Pepe. However, the interception hit the opposite post and sent Pepe the ball back across the goal.
Aubameyang was the penalty area predator that he is and was there to tap into a net.
VAR was called into action and Williams would’ve been praying for some divine intervention from Stockley Park.
Arsenal, however, was not as lucky as the rest of his team. They held firm and won the victory and their first clean sheet.