For Unai Emery the theme of the evening was the perfect 10. It is now 10 victories on the spin in all competitions for his energetically developing Arsenal – seven of them in the Premier League – and the manager owed it all to the maestro in the No 10 shirt.
Mesut Özil had one of those games in which everything comes off for him and he was a joy to watch. When he was withdrawn towards the end, after scoring one and playing a central role in Arsenal’s other two – tapped home by the substitute, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – he received a stirring ovation. For the first time in his Arsenal career, Özil had worn the captain’s armband from the outset. How it inspired him.
Unai Emery thinks “we’ve got our Arsenal back” chants are a little premature, but try telling the red half of north London that if his team extend their match-winning run to 10 matches. They have not tasted defeat since 18 August and their form since could be described as peerless were it not for Manchester City still effortlessly stuffing teams for five and six. “I think we need to improve a lot,” Emery said. “Our demands need to be very high. The supporters can enjoy it with us but also we’re speaking with our reality every day.”
For Leicester, whose manager Claude Puel will celebrate a year in charge on Thursday, it is an opportunity to showcase their young talent. A trio of flourishing England internationals, Ben Chilwell, Harry Maguire and James Maddison have all impressed this season, but the jury is still out on Puel himself. His future remains the elephant in the room, despite a fairly sound start to this campaign. The lineups will be upon us shortly, but fit-again Mesut Özil is likely to feature, while Alexandre Lacazette, who started his career with Puel at Lyon, has four goals in five matches.