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Aubameyang targeting contract talks after punishing hapless Norwich

Arsenal captain says negotiations over a new deal are ongoing after scoring twice in 4-0 victory against the Canaries

01 July, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

Premier League

ARSENAL 4 (Aubameyang 33 + 67, Xhaka 37, Soares 81)
NORWICH 0

PIERRE-Emerick Aubameyang insists he is “talking to Arsenal” about a new deal after a man-of-the-match performance against Norwich tonight (Wednesday).

The striker bagged a brace and got an assist in the 4-0 victory at an empty Emirates Stadium – his 50th and 51st goals for the Gunners.

It makes Aubameyang the quickest Arsenal player to hit the half-century mark in the Premier League era, highlighting why it’s so important for the club to keep hold of their captain.

“I’m really happy and proud to reach that landmark, and proud of the team for what we did tonight. We deserved the win,” he said.

“I’m always happy to score goals and help the team win games.”

Quizzed about his contract situation, Aubame­yang added: “We’re going to talk to the club and we’re going to see what is going to happen.

“But first of all I’m going to focus on the remaining games and the end of the season.”

For the second time in as many Premier League outings Arsenal were gifted the lead by a goalkeeping howler.

Tim Krul was caught dawdling, and Aubame­yang was rewarded for blocking the Dutchman’s clearance with an empty net to tap the ball into.

Mikel Arteta’s men then scored a quickfire second. David Luiz played a brilliant cross-field pass to Kieran Tierney, who laid the ball off to Aubameyang. The Arsenal captain cleverly found Granit Xhaka, who swept home for his first goal of the season.

As dominant as Arsenal were, Norwich had their chances. On the stroke of half-time Kenny McLean tested Emiliano Martinez’s reflexes with a rasping free-kick.

And the Argentine shot-stopper was just as slick minutes after the restart when he denied Adam Idah with a superb save.

Another mistake just after the hour mark, however, put the game to bed.

Josip Drmic passed the ball straight to Aubame­yang, who dished out the maximum punishment with a cool finish.

There was still enough time for some extra gloss, with Cedric Soares marking his first Premier League game for the Gunners with a goal.

The win was made all the sweeter for Arsenal by the news that Bukayo Saka has signed a new “long-term” contract.

The versatile 18-year-old has been a revelation since breaking into the Gunners’ first team this season.

After revealing the new deal, Saka tweeted: “London is my home. Arsenal my team. I’m so happy to finally announce my contract extension.

“I love playing for this club and I’m looking forward to what the future holds. The hard work continues so I can continue living my dream.”

Arsenal: Martinez, Mustafi (Holding, 45), Luiz, Kolasinac, Bellerin (Soares, 77), Xhaka, Ceballos, Tierney, Nelson (Willock, 58), Lacazette (Nketiah, 76), Aubameyang (Pepe, 82)
Substitutes not used: Macey, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Saka

Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Godfrey, Tettey, Lewis, Trybull (Idah, 45), McLean, Rupp (Vrancic, 75), Buendia (Hernandez, 45), Cantwell (Stiepermann, 75, Pukki (Drmic, 45)
Substitutes not used: Duda, McGovern, Thomas, Martin

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