Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League table with a dominating 3-0 win over Brentford on Sunday.
Goals from William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira restored the Gunners’ one-point advantage over Man City ahead of the international break.
It was an important win and performance for Mikel Arteta’s side as they bounced back from their loss to Manchester United last time out.
There were no Oleksandr Zinchenko and Martin Odegaard, but they were boosted by the return of Thomas Partey.
Arsenal were quick to stamp their authority on the game with William Saliba leading his side to an early first-half lead.
The defender met Bukayo Saka’s corner and the ball went from the far post and over the line to put the Gunners 1-0 up.
Bees striker David Raya fended off the ball but it had already crossed the line, with the strike awarded by goal-line technology.
Gabriel Jesus headed home to put Arsenal 2-0 up and in control at Brentford.
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The in-form Brazilian lost his marker before delivering a fine finish after encountering Granit Xhaka’s masterful cross.
Fabio Vieira came in from 20 yards to put Arsenal 3-0 up shortly after half-time on his full Premier League debut.
The Portuguese midfielder’s finish was sublime and made a strong impression in Odegaard’s absence.
The Gunners then made Premier League history by bringing in Ethan Nwaneri to become the competition’s youngest ever player at 15 years and 181 days.
Brentford were unable to muster any response and the talkSPORT pundit was delighted with Mikel Arteta’s squad.
“They’re totally dominant in every aspect of this game,” Townsend said. “This score does not flatter Arsenal.”
The Gunners return to the top of the Premier League table after seven games and have fans dreaming of a title challenge.
However, Townsend remains unconvinced that they will mount a realistic challenge.
He added: “I don’t think they’ll be around when it counts, but I’m very impressed with what I’m witnessing right now.”