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The Gunners put in an imperious first-half performance in a 4-1 rout of Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. Nacho Monreal opened the scoring with a header and then assisted the next two goals for Alex Iwobi and Laurent Koscielny inside 13 minutes. But the Spaniard’s part in the big victory lasted just 34 minutes, with the defender getting substituted due to injury.
Mesut Ozil exchanged passes with Jack Wilshere and upon receiving the return, he flicked a sumptuous backheel into the path of Alexandre Lacazette, who swept home into the bottom-right corner. In the second half, Luka Milivojevic scored a consolation in the 77th minute.
Ozil was replaced by Reiss Nelson and Iwobi was replaced by Sead Kolasinac with eight minutes left to play. Palace improved a lot in the second half but ultimately paid the price for their poor defending in the early part of the match.
Attackers Wilfried Zaha and Bakary Sako were on parade for the Eagles throughout the duration of the game but could not save Roy Hodgson’s side from the defeat. Yohan Cabaye was carried off on a stretcher just before full time and added himself to a lengthy Palace injury list that includes Andros Townsend, Mamadou Sakho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Scott Dann.
Cech made some really good saves, most notably Benteke’s one-on-one effort. He was only beaten by a pretty much unsavable goal from Milivojevic.
He made some superb incisive runs but his final product was terrible. He was caught off position a few times and looked shaky in defence.
Apart from getting his name on the score-sheet, he coped really well with Benteke. A solid defensive display from the skipper.
Becomes an assured customer in the company of Koscielny. Put on a good display in an overall comfortable afternoon.
It was a bittersweet day for Monreal. Scored a brilliant header to open the scoring, and supplied two assists before being substituted due to injury. Let’s hope the injury isn’t serious.
Started things on a high with a corner kick that produced the opener. He kept the midfield ticking with his passing and distribution. A good show!
It is a surprise that he doesn’t start week in and week out for the Gunners. Brought so much steel in the midfield. However, he was lucky that a penalty was not given to Palace when he tripped Wilfried Zaha.
Class act from Wilshere, who looks to be the real deal for the Gunners now. Played a major part in the 4th goal.
He caused Palace’s defence a number of problems with his direct running and pace. Scored a fine goal and was unlucky not to have bagged a brace.
Ozil ran the show, dictating the play throughout. His touch, vision and technique were breathtaking at times. The German’s cut-back for Lacazette’s goal was pure class.
A lively display. Scored the goal after a barren run and always looked to be on the move.
Made one horrible mistake which almost led to a Palace goal but other than that, the young gun coped well against the threat of Zaha.
Never really got into the game. Had a few opportunities but failed to make the most of it.
Replaced Iwobi on the left and played for the final few minutes.