Four Gunners goals inside the first quarter of the game was enough for Arsenal to seal their three points as they beat Crystal Palace 4-1 in the Premier League.
Setting the Scene:
It was not a rosy scenario for the Gunners for both on and off field reasons. THey hadn’t won a game in the new year yet while Sanchez saga was also not yet dealt, reportedly the Chilean left the club yesterday after getting a phone call. Good thing was that some players were coming back from injuries and perhaps the Sanchez now certain to join United would have relieved the dressing room atmosphere a bit.
Wenger deployed a back four with the returning Koscielny and Monreal starting for the Gunners. And it was a blistering start from the home side as Nacho Monreal scored from the first corner of the match to give an early advantage. Monreal turned provider a couple of minutes later as Iwobi scored to double the Gunners advantage, and minutes later it was 3-0 for Arsenal from another corner. Laurent Koscielny this time scored, much to the relief of Arsene Wenger who was in the touch line after completing his three match ban for disciplinary reasons.
The Gunners scored four in the first 22 minutes
Arsenal were sublime and then the best goal of the match came with some sleek and swift passing that curved Palace apart. Ozil’s backheel tied Lacazette up and the French striker finally scored for his new club since his goal against Manchester United.
After the break, Roy Hodgson’s side was much better and compact at the back but it was all damage limitation for them as they were blown away in the first half and results were settled. Yohan Cabaye left the game with what seems to be a calf injury, while the Eagles finally managed to get one goal back as Milivojevic slotted home past Cech. Gunners had late opportunities to increase the score through Lacazette and Iwobi but Hennessey came to Palace rescue and in the end it was an emphatic scoreline of 4-1 for the Gunners to start their life without Alexis Sanchez at the Emirates.
A returning Koscielny scored as well
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal (Maitland-Niles); Xhaka, Elneny; Iwobi (Kolasinac), Wilshere, Ozil (Nelson); Lacazette
Crystal Palace: Hennessey; Fosu Mensah, Tomkins, Kelly, Van Aanholt; Cabaye (Riedewald), Milivojevic, McArthur, Zaha, Sako; Benteke