Arsenal 3 Watford 0
Mustafi 8, Aubameyang 59, Mkhitaryan 77

The rebuilding process continues. Three unanswered goals with Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on target, as well as Petr Cech finally claiming a record 200 Premier League clean sheets. For now all seems right in the Arsenal camp. Watford had beaten the Gunners last October, and afterwards, their captain Troy Deeney questioned Arsenal’s “cajones.” With the score at 3-0, the Emirates faithful asked him what the score was, the Hornet’s striker’s afternoon had become all the more miserable when Cech saved his second half penalty with the score then at 2-0. The Gunners rallied and should have won by a greater margin, but following their 2-0 Europa League win over AC Milan in the San Siro, this represented the perfect build up to Thursday’s return clash at the Emirates against the Rosseneri.

Arsene Wenger made six changes from the trip to Milan, with Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny among those sitting this one out. Jack Wilshere was named among the substitutes.

Arsenal should’ve taken the lead after just two minutes when Aubameyang raced onto Mesut Özil’s clever through pass, only to see Orestis Karnezis get enough on the ball to save. The Gunners weren’t denied from taking the lead for much longer however. Six minutes later, Mustafi jumped the highest to head the ball back from where it came from Özil’s free kick from the left to score, and Arsenal were in front.

Further chances fell to Alex Iwobi who skied it when clear and with time on his hands, and then Özil himself who took a return pass to take him one on one with Karnezis. The Watford keeper made the save as Özil and those inside the Emirates thought he had scored. Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka were further denied by Karnezis. Busy and full of movement, Watford saw Richarlison’s header kept out by Cech and the Brazilian squandered two further chances as the visitors finished the half strong.

On the hour mark, a move that was made in the Bundesliga at Borussia Dortmund would see Arsenal double their lead. Mkhitaryan’s pass was perfect for Aubameyang to race onto before side stepping Karnezis to score. The somersault celebration was also a special sight as Arsenal’s game was turned up a notch.

Watford’s route back was thwarted by Cech from the penalty spot. Roberto Pereyra was stopped by Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Iwobi and Martin Atkinson pointed to the penalty spot. Up stepped Deeney, but Cech stood firm to palm clear for his first penalty save for the Gunners.

With 77 minutes on the clock, Özil raced out wide on the left. His cross fell to Aubameyang who turned to lay up Mkhitaryan for the Armenian to strike his first Premier League goal for the Gunners. That would be his last taste of action, Wilshere came on and fizzed in the midfield, setting up substitute Danny Welbeck whose shot produced another good save from Karnezis.

The win was Wenger’s 700th Arsenal win in his 1,222nd match in charge, while Özil reached 50 Premier League assists in 141 games, two fewer than previous record holder, Eric Cantona of Manchester United.

Mustafi’s opener was Arsenal’s 1,000th goal at home in the Premier League, making the Gunners only the second team to reach the landmark after United who are on 1066.