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Arsenal: Martin Odegaard ran the show against Forest

Arsenal had come flying out of the blocks this season and until the last seven days, it had looked rather rosy for Mikel Arteta’s side.

The Gunners had lost just once all season and rather remarkably hadn’t drawn a match since January.

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Yet, Southampton and PSV Eindhoven had other ideas with a stalemate playing out at St Mary’s last weekend and a woeful defeat occurring on Thursday evening in the Europa League.

It was a tepid performance from Arsenal who looked devoid of ideas, cutting edge and most worryingly, energy.

Fortunately, there was no European hangover on Sunday as the north London side were back to their best, defeating Nottingham Forest 5-0.

The Emirates Stadium outfit were always going to be favourites for this game but after Steve Cooper’s men beat Liverpool last weekend, they had renewed confidence.

All of that was sapped away early on, however, by Gabriel Martinelli’s brilliant-headed opener. Arsenal would then put Forest to the sword in the second period with substitute Reiss Nelson finding the net twice before Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard rounded off proceedings.

Nelson’s introduction came about as a result of a concerning injury to star man Bukayo Saka but he played deputy in the best way imaginable.

The young winger had been destined for a first-team breakthrough long before the aforementioned Saka even arrived on the scene but a host of injuries and inconsistent loan spells have really stunted his development.

Though, there has always been a special talent in there and he proved that on Sunday afternoon with a devastating performance in the final third that also saw him register an assist.

He was helped willingly by Odegaard who was as composed as ever in the centre of the pitch. The Norwegian had a barnstorming start to the campaign with three goals in his opening four matches of the league campaign.

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The skipper hadn’t scored since August in the Premier League, though, but marked his return to the score sheet with an excellently taken late strike that rifled past Dean Henderson in the Forest net.

Odegaard received possession courtesy of Gabriel Jesus before he took the ball under his spell and scored his fourth of the campaign.

It was a masterful performance from the 23-year-old and at some stages during the match, it felt like we were “watching Bergkamp” in the words of Football.London editor Hush Kerai.

Indeed, he showed all of the class and elegance of the flying Dutchman in his prime, providing a game-high five key passes from his 68 touches of the ball.

He produced a whopping 11 crosses during the course of the game, attempted two dribbles and also saw two shots blocked as he looked to devastate Forest.

Not everything that Odegaard attempted came off but it was still a superb performance from the former Real Madrid man who is going from strength to strength this term.

At £30m, he is proving a mere snip.

Article title: Arsenal: Martin Odegaard ran the show against Forest

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