Arsenal returned to winning ways as Alexandre Lacazette struck either side of a Gabriel Martinelli tap-in to secure a 3-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday. Lacazette latched onto a brilliant flick from Dani Ceballos to slot the visitors ahead before Martinelli converted from close range on the rebound, and the French striker put the icing on the cake when he drilled into the bottom-left corner to send the Gunners ninth in the Premier League table.
Mikel Arteta's men recorded their first victory in five outings across all competitions, helped by their first clean sheet in three, having previously conceded six goals in two games. Forget the math, though, this was all about a deft Ceballos flick and a stunning Lacazette performance.
The Gunners will be sweating on the fitness of Bukayo Saka, who needed an ice pack following his withdrawal.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- It's hard to pick fault with the Arsenal manager as his side cruised to three points against a Sheffield United side lacking in desire and quality when it really mattered.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Bernd Leno, 6 -- Untroubled, although the Arsenal keeper still had to be on his toes to deal with an awkward back-pass that had a bit more zip on it than he would have liked. Aside from that he punched a John Egan effort to safety, but that was as busy as his night got.
DF Calum Chambers, 7 -- Did well to fizz a volleyed cross across the face of goal after a Ceballos ball took a deflection on its way through to him, but a blue shirt failed to get on the end of it. The full-back didn't really need to get out of second gear on an easy night's work.
DF Rob Holding, 7 -- Untested at the back for the most part and he picked out Nicolas Pepe with a neat ball forward, although he needed every inch of his 6-foot-2 frame to nod Oliver Norwood's cross to safety.
DF Pablo Mari, 7 -- Given cause for concern when David McGoldrick was able to give himself a yard of space and fire wide. To Mari's credit, he responded well and showed good awareness and strength to see off Oliver Burke as the Scotland international looked to nip in.
MF Dani Ceballos, 8 -- A key cog in the middle. He linked up the play really well and assisted Lacazette with a gorgeous flick around the corner, which the Frenchman calmly tucked away to cap a breathtaking goal for the visitors.
MF Granit Xhaka, 7 -- Another steady outing from the tussling midfielder, who did well to escape the press of John Lundstram in his only real moment of concern. Nothing too glamorous, but he protected the Arsenal defensive line throughout.
MF Thomas Partey, 7 -- Took aim from distance early on but he could only strike into the body of Norwood. However, he later twisted away from Ben Osborn spectacularly before threading through Lacazette, who smashed in the third.
MF Nicolas Pepe, 7 -- Showed good movement in the opening exchanges, accelerating forward on the flank before neatly cutting inside of Enda Stevens, only for the flag to go up. He was quieter after the break, but his parried strike allowed Martinelli to make it 2-0.
MF Bukayo Saka, 7 -- It was virtually impossible to work out where the energetic youngster was playing in a game in which he seemed to pop up in just about every position. Another breathless outing, but he limped off in the 69th minute.
FW Alexandre Lacazette, 9 -- Thirteen goals for the season now for Lacazette, who calmly rolled the past Aaron Ramsdale to put Arsenal ahead having played a vital role in the build-up play too, before lashing into the bottom corner to put the game beyond any doubt.
FW Gabriel Martinelli, 8 -- A rare opportunity for the Brazilian, who had United defenders scrambling from the off and capped a good night's work when he gratefully tapped into an empty net after Ramsdale could only parry Pepe's strike straight to him.
MF Mohamed Elneny, N/R -- Replaced Martinelli late on as Arteta opted to save the Brazilian for another day.
FW Eddie Nketiah, N/R -- A cameo appearance for the youngster, who replaced Lacazette in the 89th minute.