Arsenal beat Luton to return to the top of the Premier League

Arsenal have returned to the top of the Premier League following a comfortable two-nil win over Luton Town this evening at the Emirates.

The Hatters survived the first ten minutes not because they were good at the back but mostly because Arsenal struggled to be incisive in creating chances, and they kept misplacing their passes.

Luton also maintained a solid defensive shape, and it seemed Arsenal were suffering from a hangover from defending too much against Manchester City, but in the 24th minute, they scored the opening goal.

Luton lost possession as they attempted to break, and Odegaard capitalised on a fine assist from Kai Havertz to score.

It was Arsenal who almost doubled their lead, as Odegaard received a delightful pass and found himself one-on-one with Thomas Kaminski, but the keeper made a crucial save.

The Gunners pressed again, with Kai Havertz testing the Luton goalkeeper who saved well, as Arsenal sought a second goal before half-time.

The impressive Emile Smith Rowe then provided an easy assist for Reiss Nelson, who bundled the ball home, but upon closer inspection, it was deemed a Daiki Hashioka own goal. Nonetheless, Arsenal had their second of the game before half-time.

Arsenal continued to push for more goals after the break, with Odegaard sending a precise through ball to Havertz, but Luton cleared their lines to stay in the game.

The Gunners maintained possession and circulated the ball while searching for space for a third goal.

With the next Arsenal goal proving elusive and Luton appearing unlikely to trouble the Gunners, Mikel Arteta substituted Havertz, who had received a yellow card, and Thomas Partey. Eddie Nketiah and Declan Rice came on as their replacements.

Nketiah nearly made an immediate impact after finding himself through on goal, but he was flagged offside.

Gabriel Martinelli and Takehiro Tomiyasu then replaced Reiss Nelson and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Another Arsenal break saw Tomiyasu with a chance at the edge of the area, but he shot wide as Arsenal continued to apply pressure.

Smith Rowe was then replaced by Jorginho, with the game’s tempo slowing down. However, Nketiah had another opportunity and struck the ball cleanly, but Kaminski made another good save.

After some attacking moves from both teams, the final whistle blew, and Arsenal returned to winning ways as expected.

Tags Arsenal v Luton Match Report

45 Comments

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  1. Nice slow game for Partey and ESR, not the best to watch but 3 points and +2 for goal difference.

    Not sure why we still haven’t sold Eddie

    1. Martinelli on the right is simply not working and Nelson dip in quality is significant, that leaves big hole in right flank if Saka gets injured. Jesus might be tried in right wing. Nelson and Nketiah both need to be replaced. We did well with squad rotation but white, saliba, gabriel and odegard has played each and every seconds, so are they gonna be rested in next match in 3 days which looks like improbable. Mancity again passed their one of their toughest remaining fixtures so now they have clear run of fixture until the end except for spurs. Difficult to predict but mancity are looking more likely to retain the title which points out draw against Arsenal favoured them than us.

  2. Definitely a game of 2 halves, with the second paling behind the first.

    Arteta certainly rang the changes tonight and it was good to see ESR play so well – well enough to be the man of the match. Like others mentioned in the previous article, the changes could have had a detrimental effect but the reality was that we now have almost a fully fit team and the opportunity to rest tired legs and to give the others a chance to shine, and I think this bodes well.

    1. Sue P
      We are a totally different team then.last season
      This time last season we would have forced the game, made errors and got punished
      This season we look more mature, see out the game and grab the points
      We march on to glory
      8 to go
      Onwards and upwards

  3. A routine win. Nothing flashy, solid 2 points, clean sheet, rotated players. I like it.

    Big, big away match against Brighton.

  4. controversial, but I thought it was a poor performance

    I love ESR, his first half was good, the second half non-existent

    Partey made a number of errors that might have cost us against better opposition

    Zinc, my goodness, liability

    I love Nelson and Nketia too, regrettably just not at elite PL winning level

    lucky it was Luton, against Villa tonight it might have been different, and we have them to come

    unfortunately the gulf between our 1st XI and this first rotation is huge = prey no injury crisis because on this performance we do not have enough quality to cover and be PL champions

    apologies, I am as disappointed by the truth as you

      1. not sure this qualifies as a ‘rant’, particularly on JA

        my first word was ‘controversial’ as I knew was against the prevailing popular opinion

        my view is Arsenal were slow, lacking decisiveness and made a number of ponderous errors, e.g. Zinc and Partey, which might have been punished by higher quality opposition

        i think we got away with it rather than dominate

    1. The match against Luton is a reality proof of lack of rotation. The rustiness really showed on a number of them. But thank God they held on until the end. ESR is an asset if he got game time. Partey showed some flashes of a top player. But he and joginho have to move on. For Nketia, we are waiting for Summer for him to be offloaded.

  5. One thing I’m sure of, it’s going to be some end of season. Liverpool should win tomorrow so it is back to where we were but we have to win at Brighton or we could find ourselves in 3rd place at the weekend. Man City beat Villa 4-1 with KdB, Haaland and John Stones on the bench and not needed. Very very tight but I still believe we can win the EPL if we keep our key players fit.

  6. How about we line up a midfield of Partey.Rice.Odegard
    And a forward of
    Trossard.Jesus.martinelli.
    That will blow up Brighton before halftime. Then introduce Smith Rowe and saka and Jorginho to finish the job. 3point and 3goals in the bag.

    1. It should be a forward line of Martinelli-Havertz-Jesus and bring on Saka in the second half as he is not fully fit. If he has fitness doubts rest him completely for the Bayern game.

  7. ESR’s high pressing won the ball for the Odegaard goal (Havertz assist) plus the assist for Nelson’s second. A very impressive reintroduction to the team by ESR.
    A good solid 2-0 win, with another clean sheet for Arsenal’s impressive defence.
    LutonTown have an excellent manager, who deserves greater Board support. His players turn out for him and the club every week and deserve to stay up.

  8. A comfortable win and we never had to go out of second gear. Havertz continues to impress and great to see starts for ESR, Nelson and Partey. Good that the main players got a well deserved rest ahead of the crunch fixtures this month. Luton are a decent team and hope they stay up. They have played well despite having the lowest budget in the PL and decimated by injuries. Good luck to them staying up.

      1. He did just about manage an assist, HH, to add to a growing number of assists and goals
        Considering we are in such a healthy spot in the league and Havertz has been very much part of our current success your obsession with finding fault with him is close to scapegoating

        1. Don’t you see that you never find fault with Arteta signings until he drops them then you see all their faults.

          Never when they are in gaffer’s favor. Unfortunately what I see from you SueP it’s all Arteta in everything. As long as it’s his signings and he likes them then the performance doesn’t matter.

          1. You have a completely twisted idea about what I think of Arteta.

            If he doesn’t maintain the levels that he attained having started from scratch then I will be concerned. I became concerned at the 2 year mark, but then the tide turned. I have always put Arsenal- the Club – above an individual and that will not change.

            Apart from our youth, I’d struggle to find a player that gets in the match day squad nowadays who isn’t one of Arteta’s signings

            I have also expressed my concerns that Sambi and Tavares have not looked like they are Arsenal material imo and I’m keeping an open mind on Vieira as I did with Havertz. I can’t help it if Nketiah who came through the system doesn’t look to have the right ingredients to be a top player but he has had chances

            The role of Arteta is to keep things moving along. If he keeps his job for long enough then all of the players will be moved on because
            A) they have gone off the boil/don’t suit the system
            B) they are getting too old
            C) get sold on at a vast profit which allows for reinvestment

            You chose not to answer my point about your view of Havertz and instead threw in the view that I’m virtually wedded to Arteta

            I did and do support him. It’s a pity that so many were unwilling to give the guy some time to find his feet and carry out the difficult job of restructuring the team to his way of thinking.

            1. Havertz is like Ozil in his last years at Arsenal only worse because he is not as talented.

              A player costing 65M, paid 300k a week, the highest paid at a club and one of the highest in England.

              What we have received in return is 9 goals and 4 assists out of 40 competitive games played.

              Leandro has more with way fewer minutes played than Havertz.

              Like I said to you yesterday, the transfer fee matter, the wages matters even more. It’s why some are paid 40,000 and others 300,000. Why? Because we expect a player getting paid that much to be a game changer.

              Is Havertz a game changer? Of his 9 goals how many won us games? Did he score them in 9 games and them being decisive goals or he scored them in 3 to 4 games against poor oppositions when we were already winning?

              The wages were the issue with Ozil and Aubameyang compared to their performances why have they stopped being an issue when it comes to Havertz? The only reason I can think of it’s because he is Arteta signing and one of his favorites.

              It will explain why some people who were so vocal against Ozil and Aubameyang and their words now tell us wages doesn’t matter when Havertz is concerned. Why the obvious double standard? The only reason is he is Arteta signing and one of his favorites.

              I have seen this theme before when we were all singing praises of Ramsdale and when the boss stopped favouring him so did his fans.

              What we have seen of Havertz is all we are going to get from him. We are never going to see the Havertz of Leverkusen days. We would have by now having been in the EPL for the fourth season.

              1. If I remember correctly there were few here who were negative with Ramsdale’s signing and his subsequent performances yet they always faced the ire of Arteta fans.

                When he was dropped the same people who wouldn’t hear anything negative about him are at the forefront of pointing out his weaknesses and have shifted their unconditional support to Raya.

                1. I just suggest you read what HD and gunnerforlife have said. Apart from anything else you have not admitted that you are scapegoating Havertz purely because of his costs

                  I’d also suggest that Havertz is doing what Arteta hired him to do which ozil was unable to deliver on – age or unsuited – and nor could PEA. Both had been well remunerated and one spent a lot of time on social media offering to pay the club mascot and the other couldn’t turn up for work on time. I’m not getting any vibes that Havertz is difficult. Instead of digging in deeper why not actually see that after a slow start that Havertz is delivering.

                  Such is your dislike of him that you can’t even give him the assist last night. An easy tap to Odegaard is dismissed- but he made that pass happen for the goal. And that is not to underestimate the importance of ESR who thoroughly deserved his motm

                  I’m afraid you are clutching at straws imo

      2. @HH: Havertz provided the key assist for the first goal and was very good in the press as usual. He has a total of 12 goal contributions for this season, 4 goals and 8 assists, his best return in the PL and there are still 8 games remaining. Although he was ineffective in the early part of the season, he has improved with time and repaid the faith shown in him by Arteta.

  9. My biggest takeaway from the match is we won while heavily rotating. Yes, the team wasn’t as effective as the first 11 but that should be expected considering match fitness. I hope this gives Arteta the confidence to rotate more and keep the whole squad match fit

  10. Nine out of ten with our only blip in the sequence was a goalless draw against the champions on Sunday.

    We have conceeded just four goals in the league since January, as we look forward to travel to the Seagull on Saturday in what looks to be a tricky game, but with the world class player back among the ranks those three points are a God given right.

  11. Pleased to see ESR influence the game on his first start for some time.Not unexpectedly, he started to cramp up in the second half and really ought to have been replaced earlier.A real talent who could be a huge asset when match fit.Neither Trossard nor Nelson impressed me last night and I sincerely hope Arteta does not start Zinchenko against Brighton who will be a tough hurdle to overcome.

    1. agreed, Zinc is a major concern

      gone from inspiration to liability

      on the for sale in the summer list for me while we still get good money – de ja vu from the left back he replace who is now worth pennies

  12. Zinchenko had a forgettable performance and should be sold this Summer.

    Kiwior is miles better defensively, and Timber showed more in preseason than Zinchenko has this year.

    He should be sold before his value drops.

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