For the first time in a long, long time, Arsenal are in the top half of the Premier League table.
The Gunners are slowly getting back to somewhere near their best, with Monday night’s 3-0 win over Newcastle their fourth victory in five games.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (x2) and Bukayo Saka netted the goals at the Emirates Stadium in what was a dominant performance by Mikel Arteta’s side.
Both Saka and fellow Hale End graduate Emile Smith Rowe impressed once again, but it was Thomas Partey’s return to action that pleased fans the most.
The Ghanian midfielder started a Premier League game for the first time since the Gunners’ 2-0 defeat to Tottenham at the start of December and it was like he’d never been away.
Partey dropped an absolute masterclass, with his footballing intelligence improving Arsenal in both defence and attack – the latter in particular.
The former Atletico Madrid man’s passing was crisp, accurate and penetrative, the 27-year-old delivering the assist for Aubameyang’s goal to open the scoring.
He really was a cut above the rest in north London on Monday evening and you can watch Partey’s stellar individual highlights against Newcastle below.
Partey’s masterclass vs Newcastle
He really is a midfielder who can do it all. Defensively, he’s as good as they come and the Ghanaian always looks to pass the ball forward.
Per Squawka, Partey completed 95% of his passes, entered the final third on 14 occasions, recovered the ball nine times, made three interceptions and created two chances for his teammates.
After the win against Newcastle, Arteta was understandably in a chirpy mood and full of praise for Partey.
“Really happy,” the Arsenal boss told Sky Sports when asked for his opinion on the midfielder’s display. “He got better and better as the game went on.
“He had a big influence. He gives us things that are different to any other player. Still, we have to protect him as he has missed a lot of football in the past few months, but we are really happy with his performance.”