Mikel Arteta praised the collective performance from his Arsenal side in their comfortable win over Aston Villa – insisting any player could have been named man of the match.
The Gunners were the better side throughout and thoroughly deserved their 3-1 victory.
Thomas Partey got the ball rolling with his first Arsenal goal before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time after seeing his penalty saved.
Emile Smith Rowe capped a fine display against his summer suitors by adding the third, with substitute Jacob Ramsey pulling one back for the visitors.
It was arguably Arsenal’s best display of the season, with the win taking them back into the top half of the Premier League.
“I think the (man of the match) could have been anybody,” said Arteta.
“I think individually, they were all terrific. If you ask me about Thomas, about Sambi (Lokonga), about Nuno (Tavares) as well, the two central defenders, anybody.
“I think the way they played was at a high, high level. Emile was terrific. He’s scoring goals, which we’re demanding him to do, because he’s capable of doing it.”
For Tavares, it was an impressive full Premier League debut as he stepped in for the injured Kieran Tierney – who missed out with a bruised ankle.
The 21-year-old joined from Benfica in the summer and was pleased with his landmark performance at the Emirates Stadium.
“Of course my debut in the squad for the Premier League was a good game and we got the three points,” he told arsenal.com. “It was an amazing environment, always good and I enjoyed it. It was good for me.
“I think it is more intense, more competitive, it is good. All players want to play in the Premier League.
“It was a good game for all our team-mates, we did well. For the first half, two goals, it was amazing and in the second half we scored one goal to close the result.”
Villa have now lost their last three league games and were well off the pace, especially in the first half.
One positive was a first league goal for Ramsey, who is tipped to have a bright future at Villa Park. “We’ve got a great squad in that dressing room with a lot of great players,” Ramsey told the club’s official website following the latest setback.
“We’ve got to stick together now ahead of another game against West Ham at Villa Park with the home crowd. I’m looking forward to that one.
“On a personal level, I’m happy to get my first Premier League goal, first goal for the club.
“Overall, it was disappointing with the result and the performance.
“I think I was on 29 Premier League appearances, so it’s taken a while. I’m thankful that it’s come, but we’re disappointed with the result.”
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