Arsenal extended their winning start to 2024 in the Premier League with a dominant 4-1 win over Newcastle, matching Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the table.

After a series of spiky meetings against Newcastle, the Gunners controlled Saturday’s game pretty much from start to finish and their clinical finishing put the Magpies on the back foot from the off. 

As we saw last season, grabbing an early opener makes Arsenal almost impossible to beat.

A big factor in the Gunner’s success was the re-introduction of Jorginho at the base of the midfield, controlling the tempo and allowing Declan Rice to play more in a traditional box-to-box midfield role.

This allowed Rice to push higher up the pitch, especially when pressing, which forced a lot of turnovers high up the pitch to set Arsenal on the attack in dangerous areas.

Jorginho in his own right had another solid game and his contributions this season have been vital. In the next summer or two, Mikel Arteta will need to be in the market for a tempo setter in a similar mould.

The midfield structure pushed Kai Havertz up to striker, where he has looked his most dangerous in an Arsenal shirt, and the German crowned another positive display with a goal and assist.

His movement creates constant problems for defenders and opens up so much space for the Arsenal forward line to operate, helping result in his goal off the back of Gabriel Martinelli’s cutback.

Although Havertz often divides opinion, he is trusted by Arteta and plays almost every game regardless of position – just like Granit Xhaka used to. 

Victory left Arsenal two points behind Liverpool, who won the EFL Cup at Wembley, and one point behind Manchester City who also won at the weekend.

The Gunners are in a race with two exceptional sides who will barely put a foot wrong the rest of the way, but Arsenal’s advantage comes in the manner of their recent victories, scoring 25 goals and conceding just three in their past six league games.

Arsenal travel to Bramall Lane on Monday night to face bottom-of-the-league Sheffield United. The Blades are in turmoil at the moment so it could be another high-scoring game for this rampant Gunners side.