A howler by goalkeeper Tim Krul helped set Arsenal on their way to a win that lifts them up to seventh as bottom club Norwich City’s hopes of staying in the Premier League faded further. Dutchman Krul lost possession to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the edge of his own penalty area for Arsenal’s opener, the Gabon forward whipping the ball from his feet to score his 18th top-flight goal of the season. Aubameyang then turned provider for Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka to sweep home his first club goal since March 2019 before Aubameyang added another after a mistake by Josip Drmic. Cedric Soares completed the rout, the substitute scoring from outside the penalty area 229 seconds after coming on for his Gunners debut.
Norwich, seven points from safety with six games left, hit the woodwork through Ben Godfrey when the game was goalless, while Emiliano Martinez produced a fine save to keep out Kenny McLean’s free-kick. This was a highly satisfactory return to the Emirates Stadium for Mikel Arteta’s side as they marked their first competitive home match since 7 March with an easy win. Having lost their first two matches after the restart, the Gunners have now won their past three, have an FA Cup semi-final to look forward to, while Aubameyang is level on 19 goals with Leicester’s Jamie Vardy at the top of the Premier League scoring charts. His first was a gift, Krul easily dispossessed after a back pass by Godfrey as Aubameyang steamed in to score before laying on the pass for Xhaka to double the lead before half-time.
Another mistake, this time by Swiss forward Drmic, allowed Aubameyang to pounce for the third, with Soares rounding off an emphatic win with the goal of the night from distance. Aubameyang, the fastest Arsenal player to 50 Premier League goals, is yet to pledge his long-term future to the Gunners, with his current contract due to expire in 2021. The Gunners will hope he can be persuaded to stay after another inspirational performance by the forward, who has 51 league goals for Arsenal in 79 games.