What a difference a year makes. Thirteen months after Arsenal were humiliated on the opening day of the season away to Brentford they were dishing out the embarrassment.
In as comprehensive and one-sided a victory as they could have wished for Arsenal returned to the top of the table, a point ahead of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur after seven games and bouncing back emphatically following the defeat away to Manchester United.
It was the kind of comprehensive performance they needed to state they intend to last the course and distance in this campaign, augmented by a fine goal by their new £34million signing Fabio Vieira on his full league debut.
The 22-year-old may weigh about nine stone wringing wet but he has a hammer of a shot.
What a difference from Aug 2021 when Arsenal were taken apart in this stadium under the Friday night lights, losing 2-0, in the first of three defeats that led to Mikel Arteta doubting whether he was cut out to cope as their manager.
It was far too easy for Arsenal, who even brought on midfielder Ethan Nwaneri who became the youngest ever player to feature in the Premier League at 15 years and 180 days, with their goals.
There was added satisfaction that the first came from a corner, given how they were bullied at set-pieces by Brentford last season, with Saliba stealing in front of Toney and smartly directing his header from Bukayo Saka’s delivery across goal. It struck the far post before goalkeeper David Raya scooped the ball out but it had already crossed the goal-line.
The game ended quickly as it started, as the gunners return to the top of the premier league.
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