The pressure is on Unai Emery to deliver at Arsenal this season. Failure to finish in the top four or win a trophy could signal an abrupt end for Arsene Wenger’s successor at London’s biggest club. Wenger’s early success and general brilliance ultimately afforded him 22 years running football affairs so replacing him was always going to be a challenge despite fortunes waning towards the end of his reign.
Between defeat at Chelsea in their first away game under Emery and mid-December, Arsenal took 14 of a possible 18 points on the road, but face trips to Brighton and Liverpool having been haunted by the ghost of seasons past against Southampton at St Mary’s.
Alexis Sanchez has finally left the Emirates to pick up a reported €570,000-a-week contract at Manchester United but the Chilean couldn’t resist one last dig at Arsenal legends who have labelled him “the biggest mercenary in football”.
An emphatic first win of the New Year does not definitively prove there is a bright future for Arsenal without Alexis Sanchez but manager Arsene Wenger confirmed his players had been destabilised by the uncertainty over the Chilean’s transfer to Manchester United.
Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappe underlined why they have had Europe's top sides chasing them all summer as they scored three goals between them in France's crushing 4-0 victory over Holland in a World Cup qualifier at the Stade de France.