Unai Emery oversaw his eighth consecutive victory, as a much changed Gunners side swept aside a stubborn but toothless Qarabag side in the second round of group games in the Europa League.
We may not have been at our vintage best, but there were plenty of promising signs as well as seeing all three goals scored by players grabbing their first ever goals for the club - which must be a first.
This competition in its early stages was used as a tool for rotation by Wenger last season, but with our squad on a stronger footing than it was, it seems that even with a vastly different side, Emery still named a strong side.
We were bereft of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through illness, Henrikh Mkhitaryan because of Azerbaijan’s conflict with Armenia, and Aaron Ramsey stayed at home with his wife due to give birth to twins.
It meant a start for Emile Smith-Rowe, and the teenager would make his mark.
More of that later. Sokratis made his return to the side, as did Sead Kolasinac. Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Guendouzi made up our midfield, and Welbeck, Smith-Rowe and Iwobi.
It was a strong selection, but one that still allowed a degree of rotation. It didn’t hamper our play, but we didn’t have it all our own way, even though early on, Smith-Rowe had the chance to become our youngest goalscorer since Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2011, when he slid in at the back post but shot wide.
He would get another chance.
Our side included nine changes, but one who kept his spot, Bernd Leno, had to make several smart stops in the first half, his best being low down to his right. By that time we had already gone a goal up though.
Elneny swung in a corner in the fourth minute that was met by a thumping Nacho header. Unbeknown to the Qarabag defence, Sokratis had stole in too, and diverted the ball past the goalkeeper to put the away side a goal up.
The first half was quite an even affair, despite us having the lions share of possession. Iwobi and Smith-Rowe in particular were our brightest lights, but the home team could have gone in with parity restored, if it weren’t for some smart keeping.
The second half started well for us and Emery had decided to bring on Lucas Torreira to solidify things. Within eight minutes, we had doubled our lead, and made a dream come true for 18 year old Smith-Rowe.
It is difficult not to hype up a youngster too much, and in Smith-Rowe’s case, it is inevitable. Alex Iwobi received the ball about twenty five yards from goal after picking up a Welbeck flick-on. Iwobi had the presence of mind to put his head up and notice runners. One of them was the youngster, and Iwobi dutifully slipped him in.
Great first touch, great finish - 2-0.
Emery made some changes, and may have seen some warning signs as Qarabag were still creating. Thus, he brought on some big guns in Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil.
With the added weight of Laca, Ozil and Torreira, we did assert ourselves a little more and chances were cut down for the home team, but there was a long-range bullet that Leno saved well.
With around ten minutes to go, we scored our third, and it was another first Arsenal goal. Guendouzi worked space well just outside the box and shifted the ball onto his right foot and shot across the goalkeeper and into the corner with a fizzing, accurate effort.
Guendouzi continues to impress, as does the green but talented Smith-Rowe. Sokratis was solid, as was Elneny. Leno was assured, Welbeck was effective but Iwobi was the true spark, and he seems to be relishing the new regime under Emery.
Two wins from two. Eight wins on the bounce overall, and a show of strength of our squad strength.
What’s not to like?