Arsenal ended a run of three Premier League games without a win as a four-goal burst in the first half helped to see off Crystal Palace. Nacho Monreal opened the scoring with a header and then assisted both of the next two goals for Alex Iwobi and Laurent Koscielny inside 13 minutes. Alexandre Lacazette then rounded off a brilliant move to make it 4-0 after 22 minutes. Luka Milivojevic scored late on, but Palace slipped to 13th in the table. Arsenal remain sixth, two points behind Tottenham.
Monreal’s part in Arsenal’s victory lasted just 34 minutes, with the Spanish defender being substituted due to an injury. His inclusion in the starting line-up was one of four changes to the side that had lost 2-1 at Bournemouth last week, with Mesut Ozil, also recalled after injury, outstanding in partnership with Jack Wilshere. Palace were much improved in the second half, but ultimately paid the price for their poor defending in the early part of the match to end a run of five games unbeaten away from Selhurst Park. Yohan Cabaye was carried off on a stretcher just before full time, and may add to a lengthy Palace injury list that includes Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Andros Townsend, Mamadou Sakho and Scott Dann.
Possible moves for Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan had also dominated the Arsenal news agenda of late, but this was a performance that was perfectly timed for manager Arsene Wenger. His side had won only twice in their last nine league outings, but having Ozil, Monreal, Koscielny and Mohamed Elneny back gave Arsenal a much steelier look and feel compared to the one that seen a lead overturned at Bournemouth last time out. Ozil touched the ball six times in the wonderful move that ended with Lacazette’s goal, the German international providing the assist with a deft touch into the striker’s path. Arsenal may not come up against a defence as leaky as Palace’s in the remainder of the season, but if they are to make a couple of attacking additions then this display bodes well for the post-Sanchez era.