Arsenal look stronger at the back, Saints may regret some of match programme content and QPR bring the excitement

It says a lot about the reign of Unai Emery that, until Sunday, it had been almost 11 months since Arsenal kept successive clean sheets in the league. Burnley and Newcastle are not the sternest tests of a side’s defence – and Arsenal rode their luck in both instances – but there is no doubt David Luiz and co have begun to look notably more assured. Fourteen years after the departure of the club’s last top-class centre-back in Sol Campbell, could this be the beginnings of a new, level-headed Arsenal backline? Mikel Arteta’s first 11 games in charge have seen his side concede eight goals; the equivalent figure from Emery’s final 11 games was 23. Goals at the other end have declined, too, by about a third, but that’s a small price to pay if it lessens the embarrassing clownishness at the back. Arteta was recruited because of his affiliation with thrilling possession football. His best work so far has been to revive the old spirit of “boring, boring Arsenal”. Alex Hess

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