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Five minutes into the north London derby and Lucas Torreira had clattered Dele Alli. That challenge set the tone.
Camera perspective cleverly showed Alli towering over his fellow midfielder, but in the end, it was Torreira who stood tallest.
The tenacious Uruguayan had the final say, netting the fourth goal to seal a 4-2 win. It was his first for Arsenal and he celebrated with the same intense manner in which he plays. Wild eyed and bare chested, he roared with delight, sliding on his knees, his passion was obvious.
Torreira has only been with Arsenal a matter of months, but he is already a fan favourite and embodies much of what they are becoming under Unai Emery.
For too long, the Gunners were considered nice, teams did not fear them. Arsene Wenger would bemoan a decision or a bad result, but the style which had won so many plaudits over the years, began to favour substance.
“The team is and was too nice,” former defender Bacary Sagna said. “They never liked to argue. We were just too nice to each other, we were like friends.”
While they lacked a ruthless streak for a sustained period under the Frenchman, Emery has installed it and Torreira has played a major role in that.
Arsenal are unbeaten in 21 matches. They are yet to lose when Torreira has started and having begun the first five matches as a substitute, he is now a fixture in their side. At £22million, he is rightly considered a bargain and a strong contender for signing of the season.
For years, Arsenal longed for a combative central midfielder. Patrick Vieira has been gone for 13 years, Gilberto Silva a decade.
“Torreira and Vieira could not be more different in terms of size and stature but their drive and determination is exactly the same,” said Gunners legend Martin Keown.
“He recognises that to win titles, you need to squeeze every drop of tenacity and passion from the squad.”