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Unai Emery’s system beats out a dull rhythm that fails to entrance | Jacob Steinberg

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Arsenal’s predictability in possession against Everton meant they were reliant on bursts of inspiration from their strikers

How did Arsenal secure their fourth consecutive Premier League win and the first clean sheet of the Unai Emery era? Was it with solidity in defence, enterprise in midfield and breathtaking invention in attack? Were there signs of a team slowly getting to grips with their new manager’s demands after a summer of seismic change? Could it be time to declare Arsenal are back?

Not quite. Slow down, step back. Resist the urge to look at the result and declare that this was a routine stroll for a rampant side. Listen instead to Marco Silva, who pithily observed this is football. It is not always fair, it does not always make sense and Emery could afford to smile when asked if he had been preparing to remove Alexandre Lacazette shortly before the striker gave Arsenal an undeserved lead early in the second half.

Related: Lacazette strikes as controversial goal puts gloss on Arsenal win over Everton

Related: Per Mertesacker: ‘It gives you the goose bumps … on the pitch you see actual joy’

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