“You’ll batter us today” was the quote I heard as I ordered my first pint yesterday. A Sheffield United fan had travelled down from Yorkshire with his mates and they had come for a day out rather than any expectation of an upset.

Naturally my response was measured; a few pleasantries about never knowing and football can be weird sometimes was uttered, but in reality both myself and this Blades fan knew what was going to be in store just a few short hours later.

And so it came to pass. Arsenal kicked off and never really looked back. We saw some changes from Mikel Arteta – Ødegaard and Gabriel dropping to the bench and Nketiah coming in for the injured Gabriel Jesus – but such is the depth and quality of this team that ultimately that rotation made very little difference against a side which looked and felt more like a lower division team coming to The Emirates for an FA Cup third round tie.

Sheffield United are pretty bad. They do have a fair few injuries which is compounding their misery, but they just weren’t at the races yesterday and the final scoreline of 5-0 reflected that.

To be fair to them in the first half they at least kept us at arms length. We still got the goal through an impressive first touch and good finish beyond Fotheringham by Eddie Nketiah, but in that first half Sheffield United tried to keep it tight, sat in a deep low-block shape, barely venturing in to our half.

We always knew it was going to be like that and so at halftime the discussion wasn’t about making sure we keep them from our end, but more how we were going to unlock Sheffield United’s defence whilst making sure we don’t concede to some scabby corner or set piece.

We needn’t have worried though, because five minutes in to the second half we’d doubled our lead and it was Eddie again who reacted really quickly inside the box to swing his boot around the ball and lash it in after a bit of flapping from Fotheringham. It wasn’t great ‘keeping but Nketiah won’t care – he’d got another goal and was just warming up, as it turned out.

That third goal from Eddie five minutes later was a peach though. I love it when we win the ball back in the opponents half and Smith Rowe had a low-key assist by feeding the ball to Eddie outside of the box, but his finish from circa 25 yards was brilliant. ‘Keeper had no chance, but it was such a pure strike that even if he’d have been standing in a slightly better position, he might not have saved it. It’s also the type of goal we’re not used to seeing from him; usually that type of finish is reserved for the likes of Ødegaard, so to have him bag one from outside of the box feels like a bit of a collectors item for those people in the ground yesterday.

With Ødegaard being rested (as we found out from Arteta after the game – he’d been carrying a knock for a while so they decided it was a good time to get somebody else on), it was up to somebody else to take up the long-shot mantle and Eddie certainly executed with aplomb.

And it’s nice that we were able to give a few players some game time yesterday too. Smith Rowe came in for his first Premier League start of the season at left eight and I thought he acquitted himself quite well overall given he hasn’t had much game time, plus Arteta experimented with Havertz in Ødegaard’s right eight position too; I’m not sure it really worked though as I think Havertz had another indifferent game. On a day where you win 5-0 you don’t really want to bag on certain players, but this was an opportunity to stamp your authority on a clearly inferior opponent and apart from a stoppage time shot that hit the side netting, I’m not sure he did that.

But yesterday it didn’t matter and it was all about the likes of Eddie stepping up, but also for a couple of other unusual goal scorers to get themselves on the scoresheet. Fabio Vieira was up in the second half with his penalty that he himself had won, and at that stage it was more about seeing how we get on with our goal difference more than anything else. We’ve had loads of penalties already this season, haven’t we? I mean, they’ve all been actual penalties and it’s not like we haven’t deserved the ones we’ve got, but it’s just funny how things happen like that sometimes.

We weren’t finished though, with super sun Tomiyasu also bagging his first for the club. It was lovely to see the players push him forward towards the fans in the celebrations too. He comes across as such a nice guy and is clearly well liked at the club.

So that was that. A lovely five goals bagged which means we have the joint best goal difference in the league and that is always pleasing to see when you’re sharing a league with the likes of Man City. They will probably bag a few against a – frankly rubbish – United side today who are in the doldrums, but we’ve gone out bit and Arteta can have asked for no more of his squad than what they delivered yesterday.

It’s also good to see some of that rotation because we have the League Cup on Wednesday and so I suspect some of those players will also be getting minutes there too, like the likes of Kiwior who came in yesterday and who I thought was excellent. He looked very calm and composed on the ball and his distribution was very good – which is exactly what you want to see when your deputy defender comes in.

Onwards and upwards to West Ham on Wednesday.

The guys did a post match wash up on the Same Old Arsenal pod yesterday evening, so if you fancy a bit more post match praise, check it out here.

Other than that, from me it’s ‘cheerio’ for today and I’ll catch you lovely people tomorrow.