The Gunners captain’s winning goal in the 66th minute released the tension that had been bubbling within Emirates Stadium and lifted his team off the foot of the table.
Arteta had reportedly been given four games to save his job after Arsenal’s worst start to a league campaign in 67 years.
Arsenal entered the bottom of the table, behind Norwich 19 by virtue of goals scored after falling to three consecutive defeats and scoring no goals before the international break.
A coronavirus outbreak and the injuries of key players like Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Martin Odegaard had compounded Arteta’s problems.
There was a disappointing start to the season despite being the Premier League’s biggest spenders in the summer transfer window, shelling out nearly £ 150 million ($ 208 million).
Arsenal have not competed in the Champions League since 2017 and last season failed to qualify for Europe for the first time since 1996.
Despite that decline, an upbeat atmosphere raised local support ahead of kickoff, as news of North London rivals’ 3-0 defeat to Tottenham. crystal Palace filtered through.
Fans also gave Arteta warm applause and there were new faces in the starting lineups as he delivered the Premier League debuts to goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and Japan’s defender. Takehiro tomiyasu.
Aubameyang had Arsenal’s clearest opportunity in the first half when he clung to Odegaard’s fly ball in the 20th minute, but Tim Krul stopped his effort.
Rookie Tomiyasu almost became an instant fan favorite when his thunderous volley flared and revived the Emirates faithful on the edge of the break.
Denied loan from Manchester United, Brandon Williams Nicolas Pepe a certain point-blank goal after the break after Bukayo Saka’s deflected shot.
But Arsenal finally broke their Premier League duck with 24 minutes remaining in chaotic circumstances.
Pepe saw his effort overturned to the post by Krul and hit the post again in a rebound fight with Williams before Aubameyang hid the fumble for his fifth goal in his last three games against Norwich.
Referee Michael Oliver confirmed the goal to Norwich Fury after a VAR review, with relieved Arsenal fans chanting wryly “We stayed awake.”
Aubameyang, Emile Smith Rowe and Pepe all had chances to end the match, but Arsenal kept awaiting a much-needed victory.