Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger praised his team’s “dynamic” and “explosive” performance after their 5-0 thrashing of Southampton in the FA Cup Fourth round.
The Frenchman, who was serving the first match of his touchline ban for pushing the fourth official against Burnley on Sunday, watched from the stands as two goals from Danny Welbeck and a hat-trick from Theo Walcott sealed the victory.
"We were very dynamic, explosive and overall we had a good consistent performance over 90 minutes and everybody played well.
"Welbeck has been out for such a long time, I didn't expect him to score straight away and it shows the desire is there.”
The returning Welbeck, who was making his first start of the season, gave Arsenal the lead with a lovely chipped finish over home goalkeeper Harry Lewis after fifteen minutes.
He soon doubled the gunners lead after controlling an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pass and sliding the ball home, he then squared a pass for Walcott to get his first of the game.
Alexis Sanchez, who replaced Welbeck after 65 minutes, then squared from the by-line for Walcott to score again, and the Chilean then put the ball on a plate for the English winger to slot home his third of the tie.
Wenger made ten changes from Sunday’s win over Burnley, with only centre back Shkodran Mustafi retaining his place.
"People say I make changes but I bring in Walcott, Welbeck and Perez, all top-quality players,” Wenger said after the game.
"After that I try to find the best balance for the team."
Return of Welbeck pleases Wenger
It was a special night for Welbeck, who had a brief cameo in the last round against Preston North End.
“He worked very hard and he went through some moments of very deep disappointment”, said Wenger.
“I think it was great to see that he hasn’t lost his runs, he hasn’t lost his finishing. It shows as well, when you are able to transform that frustration of not playing into efficiency, that’s a special guy”.
On whether he ever doubted Welbeck would be able to come back, the Arsenal boss said he “wondered first of all if he’d be solid enough mentally to cope”, but that he “never moaned, worked very hard and tonight everbody is delighted for him”.