We all know just how bad Arsenal have been away from home to the ‘big six’ in recent years.
However, yesterday, the Gunners put that hoodoo to rest as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang slotted home a penalty that saw Mikel Arteta’s men win their first game at Old Trafford since 2006.
Despite victory in what proved to be a fairly easy encounter for the boys in red, you can’t help but feel there’s still one incredibly frustrating issue to address.
In the first half of the fixture, the Gunners dominated as they created numerous chances, but, it took a penalty from a mistimed Paul Pogba tackle for the north London outfit to score.
Whilst, it may not seem like a big problem, Arteta’s men have now gone without a goal from open play in their last three Premier League games.
With an embarrassment of riches in attack, you scratch your head at the thought of no goal from open play for so long.
How can a team with Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe and Aubameyang struggle in front of goal? Add England Under-21s most prolific goalscorer, Eddie Nketiah, into the mix and it gets all the more confusing.
Well, the issue is simple, the Gunners lack a creator from midfield.
With Mesut Ozil having been reduced to just training with the first team squad, the Emirates Stadium giants lack any sort of creativity in the final third this season.
The club have managed just 60 shots on goal in their seven league games thus far this season, the 14th-most in the division.
They’re outperformed in this area by relegation candidates Fulham, who despite their poor start to the season are proving much more threatening in the final third.
It looks even more bleak the deeper you analyse the situation with Dani Ceballos having played the most key passes per game with a meagre 1.5.
Compare that to the German playmaker, who has only dipped below an average of two, once during his time in the English top-flight (1.9).
How long can Arsenal persist with this problem? Well, it’s hard to tell with the club sitting just one point off a lucrative Champions League place. With fellow ‘big six’ clubs struggling a return to Europe’s premier competition is still on the cards.
However, you can’t help but feel like the side’s current performances will catch up on them and that a solution is needed.
The solution to the issue is far from simple, but, adding someone of the £8.10m-rated ace’s quality back into the fold come January can go a long way to solving it in the short term.
Arsenal fans, do you think the club missed a trick leaving out Ozil from the Premier League squad? Let us know!