Kenny McLean says Arsenal “didn’t have to be good” to thrash beleaguered Norwich City 5-0 on Boxing Day.
Bukayo Saka scored in each half, with Kieran Tierney, Alexandre Lacazette and substitute Emile Smith Rowe also finding the net at Carrow Road as Arsenal recorded their joint-biggest margin of victory away from home in a Premier League match.
McLean, however, feels that Norwich did not make Arsenal work for their win and warned the bottom-of-the-table Canaries must make life much more difficult for opponents.
“That’s the worst result we have had recently for sure against a good Arsenal team who didn’t have to be good,” McLean said to the BBC.
“We gave them everything. We need to show some character. We’re not here to complain about injuries and Covid-19.
“Everyone has got those issues. We need to be doing more.”
5 – Arsenal’s 5-0 win at Norwich was their joint-heaviest margin of victory in an away @premierleague match, level with 6-1 victories at Middlesbrough in April 1999 and Everton in August 2009. Rampage. pic.twitter.com/fYLn1UQjKy
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 26, 2021
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta heaped praise on his side after they eased to a fifth consecutive win.
“It’s a very satisfying result because in this festive period we have to keep performances to a high level,” Arteta said to the BBC.
“We looked really sharp and committed. It’s a big win for us. I am really pleased. The amount of chances we create is pleasing.
“We go to every ground to try and impose our game. Today was a really good example. The unity we have around the club and with our fans is very pleasing.”
The 39-year-old was evasive when asked about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s continued absence – with the forward not featuring since a substitute appearance against Everton on December 6 – and insisted that his side can beat Wolves on Tuesday despite the short gap between matches.
“[Aubameyang] wasn’t selected for today’s match,” Arteta said. “We’ll take it game by game. That was the decision.
“We will try and recover as well as we can and try and win the game [against Wolves].”
The Gunners have scored more goals in their last two Premier League away games (nine) than they managed in their first eight on the road this season (six), also netting four or more goals in consecutive away games in the competition for the first time since April 2009.