Arsenal Thrash Huddersfield 5-0
Arsenal have now made it 12 consecutive home wins in the Premier League following a 5-0 thrashing of Huddersfield on Wednesday night in a match which showcased the Gunners’ wealth of attacking options.
Arsene Wenger made one change from the team that narrowly beat Burnley on Sunday with Mesut Ozil returning following a bout of flu – and the Germany international played a pivotal part in securing all three points by providing two assists and a goal in the space of five minutes.
Alexandre Lacazette scored an impressive early goal after Granit Xhaka pierced the Town defence with a fine through ball which the Frenchman finished with aplomb. The club record signing now has the most home goals of any Arsenal player this season, with five, and continues to look like the kind of forward Wenger has been crying out for since the days of Eduardo da Silva and Robin van Persie.
Lacazette was taken off as a precautionary measure at half-time and replaced by his compatriot Olivier Giroud but the substitution emphasised just how many top-quality attacking players Wenger currently has at his disposal.
The visitors went close to an equaliser when Petr Cech pushed Steve Mounie’s shot onto the bar not long after the restart.
But Arsenal scored three goals in four minutes to end Huddersfield’s hopes of getting a surprise result.
Ozil played a one-two with Alexis Sanchez before the former teed up substitute Olivier Giroud to convert from six yards out.
Soon after, Sanchez made it three with a volley from Ozil’s lofted pass.
Ozil capped a superb individual display with a goal, placing the ball beyond Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl after being put through by Ramsey, before Giroud’s close-range finish in the final minutes completed the rout.
Arsenal, who remain fourth, host second-placed Manchester United on Saturday, while Huddersfield drop to 14th.
The Gunners had won their 11 previous Premier League games on home soil prior to the visit of Huddersfield, a run stretching back to April.
Against a side that had not won away from home since the opening game of the season, win number 12 for the hosts always seemed likely, a view that was only enhanced when Lacazette struck after just three minutes.
The early goal hinted at a long night for the visitors, but Arsenal – initially – failed to build on it. They laboured for more than an hour against a disciplined Terriers side, misplacing passes in defence and leaving gaps that more clinical sides than Huddersfield would have exploited.
But when the second goal arrived on 68 minutes, the Huddersfield defence wilted and, with Giroud also hitting the post and Sanchez shooting over from close range, the win could have been even more comprehensive.
The victory for Arsenal, who have now scored 20 goals in seven home games and conceded just four, sets them up nicely for the visit of Jose Mourinho’s side this weekend. Should the Gunners win that game then they will move to within a point of United.
“We wanted to take advantage of being at home and we did that again,” said Ramsey after the game.
“It is another three points and now we can go into the Manchester United game at the weekend full of confidence. Hopefully it will be a very successful week for us.”
Huddersfield deservedly earned plaudits for giving Premier League leaders Manchester City a scare on Sunday, with only Raheem Sterling’s fortuitous goal in the closing stages denying the Terriers a point.
Against a side boasting such a formidable home record, and with a trip to Everton coming up on Saturday, David Wagner perhaps saw this weekend’s game as the more winnable of the two fixtures this week, a view reinforced by the fact he made six changes for the trip to Arsenal.
To Huddersfield’s credit, they competed well after falling behind and arguably should have been level long before Giroud doubled the Gunners’ lead.
Collin Quaner, making his first Premier League start, was let down by poor control when he was through on goal in the first half, before the forward’s low drive was well held by Cech. Chris Lowe also hit the side-netting with a free-kick.
But it is now more than 10 hours without an away goal for Huddersfield, who have hit the back of the net just nine times all season. Only the bottom two sides in the Premier League have scored fewer.