The Warmdown: Saka and Ødegaard star as the Gunners lash five past the Canaries.
(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Arsenal continued their dominance and increased their lead in the top four run, despite teams below having multiple games in hand due to postponements. The Gunners' win means they sit six points ahead of rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who do have three games in hand due to COVID outbreaks. 

Mikel Arteta needed only one change, with all four right backs testing positive for COVID-19 (Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Cedric Soares, Calum Chambers & Takehiro Tomiyasu). Ben White filled the vacant right back spot while Rob Holding partnered with Gabriel Magalhaes at the back. 

The Canaries were without experienced goalkeeper Tim Krul, although fielded a rather strong side with Teemu Pukki, Josh Sargent and Max Aarons

Six thousand singing Arsenal fans sold out the away end, while Norwich still had a good number despite the transport bonanza that always happens on Boxing Day. 

Arsenal's midfield excel yet again:

It took only six minutes for Arsenal to get on the scoresheet, with a wonderfully worked goal which Mikel Arteta seemed to be delighted about. Kieran Tierney recovered the ball after immense pressure from Gabriel Martinelli. The Brazilian then played a one-two with Alexandre Lacazette playing the ball onto Martin Ødegaard. The Norwegian did what he did best, smartly spotting Bukayo Saka's run on the right who cut in and placed it delicately through the Norwich defence and right past the hands of an outstretched Angus Gunn

It was Martinelli and Ødegaard who combined again on the brink of halftime, creating space for Kieran Tierney to latch onto on the left hand side. The Scotsman's pace beat England U21 international Max Aarons and neatly finished into the bottom right, wheeling away in jubilation towards the away fans. 

But it was all about Bukayo Saka, twisting and turning around Manchester United loanee Brandon Williams and scoring spectacularly with a low drilled finish from outside of the box. The England international now has five goals and four assists and is propelling Mikel Arteta's Gunners into the Champions League spots. 

Three wasn't enough and substitute Emile Smith Rowe interlinked with Lacazette who was brought down recklessly by former Liverpool man Ozan Kabak to award the Gunners yet another penalty in their campaign. Despite missing against West Ham in the exact same spot, a little stutter was enough to put Gunn off and Lacazette calmly placed the ball in the bottom right to give Arsenal a four goal cushion. 

There was another chance for the Canaries to lick their wounds, with Ødegaard sliding Nicolas Pepe in who's attempt rebounded into the feet of who else but Smith Rowe who only needed to guide the ball into the net, directly in front of him. Emile now has eight goals making him Arsenal's leading goalscorer in the Premier League. 

Did you know?

"Emile Smith Rowe has a better shot conversion rate than Mohammed Salah, despite playing 417 minutes less than the Egyptian who does have a game in hand."

For more facts like these, make sure to check out @thearsenaladdict on Instagram. 

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Looking forward:

Arsenal have now recorded four consecutive wins in the Premier League, but have a tricky start to the New Year starting with league leaders Manchester City. The Gunners' are in a different situation to when they last faced them though, scoring 12 goals in their last three games compared to a grand total of zero last time out.

With the Wolves game that was meant to be only 46 hours succeeding Norwich postponed due to a lack of players in the Wolves squad, it means Mikel Arteta's squad has a chance to recuperate and rest before an important match on New Year's Day. 

For Dean Smith,, the bottom of the table is looking like a lonely spot and with Newcastle United earning a valuable point against Manchester United on Monday night, their clash with a Wilfried Zaha free Crystal Palace is crucial in their aim to stay up. With only three points splitting 20th and the escape area, it is still an achievable target, but considering the performance they put in against Arsenal, you can't expect that much.

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