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Iwobi Shines As The Gunners Put Chelsea To The Sword

A rampant first half performance saw Arsenal take the lacklustre Chelsea defenders to the cleaners at the Emirates, securing a 3-0 win and celebrating victory over their London rivals for the first time since 2011.
Alex Iwobi-Cahill
Alex Iwobi
It was a typically fluid Arsenal performance, one we’re not so used to seeing them produce against fellow title rivals. The burgeoning backline stability on Saturday night has caused many experts to suggest Arsenal are real Premier League contenders this season, as they kept the likes of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Willian extremely quiet for the entirety of the game.

However, it was Nigerian forward Alex Iwobi who picked up the Man of the Match award and he continues to stake a claim to make the left-sided forward birth his own in the Arsenal starting eleven.

The Arsenal academy graduate made his Premier League debut this time last year and ended up making 13 league appearances during the rest of the campaign.

The absence of Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud at the start of this season, meant there was a position up for grabs before Arsenal’s first game against Liverpool. Iwobi was selected to start ahead of some other high profile teammates, but after a disappointing team performance, he was unlucky to lose his place in the starting line-up.

Iwobi was restored to the first eleven for the away trip to Paris St. Germain and put in a typically energetic performance, linking up well with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez and helping set up a late Arsenal equaliser.

He’s started both of Arsenal impressive league wins since then, and although he hasn’t managed to get on the scoresheet himself, he’s added some much needed pace and drive to an Arsenal team who often lack in killer instinct.

At this stage last season, before even making his debut for Arsenal, Iwobi followed in his Uncle Jay-Jay Okocha’s footsteps and made his debut for the senior Super Eagles side. Although he couldn’t help Nigeria qualify for the 2017 African Cup of Nations, it would have meant missing over a month of the domestic campaign if they had made it to the tournament in Gabon. So as far as his blossoming Arsenal career goes, his national team’s failings could prove to be a blessing in disguise.

Four wins from their last five games has left Arsenal handily placed in the Premier League table. They will want to continue their good form throughout next month, before facing a tricky run of fixture during November, but it’s been an encouraging start to the season for the Gunners and a very promising season so far for Alex Iwobi, as he continues to blossom into an important player for both club and country.

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