Declan Rice’s midfield masterclass against West Ham set a new Premier League record in Arsenal’s 6-0 win on Sunday.
The England international, who was booed by sections of the home support, might not have celebrated when he scored but may have done post-match as he set a Premier League record this season.
It was Rice’s corner that helped the Gunners break the deadlock after half an hour, planting a cross right on William Saliba’s head that was nodded in.
What followed was a 15-minute siege that saw Arsenal score a further three times with goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Magalhaes and Leandro Trossard.
Gabriel’s goal came from another perfect delivery by Rice, who gave the Brazilian the simple task of getting his head onto the cross to head past Alphonse Areola.
But the 25-year-old, who made 245 appearances for the Hammers, was not done yet and went on to score a screamer after latching onto a moment of confusion from Martin Odegaard and Trossard.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta immediately took Rice off with the score at 6-0 and Rice received a standing ovation from sections of the crowd that hadn’t already left the ground, quite the turnaround from the reception he initially received.
“It’s always difficult to come back to your old club,” Arteta said. “The fans were really good to him [Rice].
“When he went to take the corner they clapped him so it’s great to see that kind of reception.
“He loves this club so much and I know what it meant to him to play today.
“We have to share the goals. That desire and that commitment to get into the box to make things happen, it was excellent.”
Arsenal have gone level with points with Manchester City but remain third despite having the same goal difference. Liverpool are two points ahead at the top of the Premier League table.
While their goal glut on Sunday certainly helped their cause, City have still netted three more in the Premier League while Arsenal face Burnley next on Saturday.