Three things we learned as Gabriel Jesus and rampant Arsenal crush Sevilla | Football


Gabriel Jesus scored two quickfire goals as Arsenal rounded off their pre-season in style (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal rounded off their pre-season campaign in style with a crushing 6-0 win over Sevilla to win the Emirates Cup.

The Gunners appear to be heading into the new campaign in uncharacteristically fine fettle with their two highest-profile summer signings settling in immediately.

Mike Arteta looks to have settled on his starting XI for next Friday’s opening night fixture at Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, the scene of one of their most disappointing performances last term.

It will be interesting to see how far Arsenal have come from that defeat, one which went a long way to costing them Champions League football, but they will head into the game in justifiably buoyant mood.

Here’s three things we learned from their latest convincing victory…

Get Gabriel Jesus in your FPL team

Gabriel Jesus unveiled his trademark celebration against Sevilla

Gabriel Jesus unveiled his trademark celebration against Sevilla (Picture: Getty)

A lack of goals from their centre forwards ultimately cost the Gunners a top four position last term with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shadows of their former selves, for vastly differing reasons.

Arteta made signing Jesus his No.1 priority this summer and his judgement has been immediately rewarded to the tune of six goals in six games.

Arsenal’s new No.9 is already perfectly in tune with Arteta’s tactical demands and appears ready to assume the greater responsibility he was never likely to be entrusted with at City, for all his undoubted excellence.

It took just 13 minutes for Jesus to be given the opportunity to unveil to his trademark goal celebration, displaying his predatory instincts by poking home from close range following smart approach play involving Bukayo Saka.

Hardly 60 seconds had elapsed when Jesus was at it again, sliding home on the half volley following a pinpoint cross from his compatriot Gabriel Martinelli, with whom he appears to have struck up an immediate understanding.

Jesus rounded off an impressive all-round display, poaching his hat-trick goal from inside the six-yard box with 14 minutes remaining after the visitors struggled to deal with a dangerous set-piece.

Oleksandr Zinchenko’s positioning

Oleksandr Zinchenko caught they eye during Arsenal’s win over Sevilla (Picture: Getty)

Another new recruit perfectly at ease with the tactical demands of his new manager, Oleksandr Zinchenko made an eye-catching home debut after he impressed for 45 minutes against Chelsea last weekend.

The Ukraine international’s versatility hampered his progress at Manchester City, but at Arsenal the ability to play in both midfield and at left-back is likely to ensure he is rarely, if ever, out of the starting XI.

With Kieran Tierney’s comeback date still unknown, Zinchenko is likely to begin his Arsenal career in the role he filled regularly for City at left-back but that will do little to dampen his impact.

Granit Xhaka, who has been used as an auxiliary full-back in the past, looked comfortable filling in whenever Zinchenko drifted into central positions to prompt Arsenal attacks.

The Ukraine international captain was hardly tested in defence but it was notable he made up an enormous amount of ground to cover one dangerous crossfield ball midway though the second period, displaying the sort of concentration levels that haven’t always been the hallmark of recent Arsenal defenders.

William Saliba is like a new signing

William Saliba has belatedly kickstarted his Arsenal career (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal fans have had to remain patient, but the wait could well be worth it on the early evidence where William Saliba is concerned.

A loan move to Marseille last summer looked likely to represent the end of Saliba’s, at times bizarre, Arsenal career.

In hindsight, it looks to have been a masterstoke with the France international appearing totally ready to cement his place at the heart of Arsenal’s defence.

As well as Ben White played in patches last season, the £50million recruit from Brighton actually appears more comfortable in the right-back slot that has opened up as a consequence of Takehiro Tomiyasu’s continued injury troubles.

In White’s place, Saliba has slotted in seamlessly alongside Gabriel Magalhaes, a partnership which has shown huge initial promise.

You have to go a long way back since Arsenal boasted a pairing who look physically capable of withstanding the sort of tests they will face week in week out, while they both, and Saliba in particular, boast a calmness on the ball that is vital to the way Arteta wants to play.

MORE : Arsenal announce Martin Odegaard as new club captain

MORE : Paul Merson tells Chelsea they should’ve signed new Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus

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