Arsenal bounced back from their recent poor form in style today, crushing Crystal Palace 5-0 at the Emirates thanks to goals from Trossard, Saka, Martinelli, and a Gabriel brace. The result sees the Gunners return to the top of the Premier League table ahead of the Manchester derby tomorrow.
Arsenal Dominate from Kick-Off
The Gunners started strong and piled pressure on the Palace defense from the first whistle. An early attacking move led to them winning a corner, which Gabriel headed home to put Arsenal 1-0 up within five minutes. The home side continued to dominate, and got their reward when a lethal counter-attack in the 22nd minute allowed Trossard to fire home Arsenal’s second.
Bukayo Saka got in on the act just before half time. The inform winger showed his class to beat two defenders and slot the ball into the bottom corner to give Arsenal a comfortable 3-0 lead at the break.
The scoreline barely reflected Arsenal’s utter dominance in the first 45. Mikel Arteta’s men completed over 500 passes in the half, enjoying a staggering 84% possession. Gabriel Jesus was pulling the strings and Arsenal were playing arguably their best football of the Arteta era.
Late Martinelli Strikes Add Gloss to Scoreline
The onslaught continued in the second period, but Palace dug in and managed to keep the deficit at 3 for much of the half. Arsenal fans had to wait until the 78th minute for their next goal, but boy was it worth it. A stunning strike by Gabriel Martinelli crashed into the top corner from 25 yards out. The Brazilian then added an even better goal just two minutes later, controlling outside the box before firing an unstoppable shot into the far corner.
In the end it was utter domination from the League leaders against a poor Palace side. Arteta’s Arsenal seem to be emerging from their recent crisis in style, playing arguably their best football of the season today. The win sees them return to the Premier League summit for now at least, one point ahead of defending champions Manchester City. However City play Manchester United tomorrow and have the chance to go top again.
Raya – 7: Had very little to do but handled what he had to cleanly. Distribution was solid.
White – 7: Dealt comfortably with the limited threat posed by Palace’s attackers. Rarely troubled.
Saliba – 8: Cool, calm, composed as ever. Great tackle to snuff out one of Palace’s only chances. Has been brilliant since returning from World Cup.
Gabriel – 9 (MOTM): Early goal set the tone. Dominant in both boxes, barely gave Palace a sniff. Has added goals to his game this year – now has 4 including a brace today.
Zinchenko – 8: Superb as always. Intelligent in possession and clever movement led to Arsenal’s ruthless counters.
Xhaka – 7: Did the simple stuff well as he so often does these days. Kept Arsenal ticking.
Odegaard – 8: Magnificent performance from Arsenal’s captain. Ran the show and notched two assists with delicious passes to tee up both Gabriel goals.
Saka – 8: Just when Palace thought they had him worked out, produced a bit of magic for his fine goal before the break. Gave Mitchell nightmares all game. Has been on fire lately.
Trossard – 8: Super debut goal thanks to well timed run and composed finish. Looked dangerous whenever he got on the ball. Very promising signs.
Martinelli – 9: Two wonder goals capped off a display full of menace and direct running. So much ability for one so young, the scariest thing is he’s still improving.
Jesus – 8: Didn’t score but contributed two assists and was at heart of Arsenal’s relentless attacking moves. World class link up play.
Nketiah – 7: Came on for Jesus and maintained intensity. Unlucky not to score.
Vieira – 6: Replaced Odegaard but didn’t have much chance to impact game.
Tomiyasu – 6: Slotted in for Zinchenko for last 10 minutes. Did his job.
Guaita – 5: Caught in no man’s land for opening goal, could have come to claim corner. Beaten far too easily for other goals.
Clyne – 4: Given torrid time by Martinelli, who ghosted past him with ease. Way past his best these days.
Guehi – 5: Sold short by teammate for Arsenal’s second goal but still struggled with Gunners’ movement all game.
Andersen – 5: Supposed to be Palace’s star defender but completely overran today. Chasing shadows in the second half.
Mitchell – 3: Saka destroyed him down Palace’s left. Embarrassing display up against Arsenal’s flying winger.
Eze – 4: Anonymous in midfield before being hauled off on the hour mark.talent but little to no impact today.
Doucoure – 5: Tried to stem the tide but out of his depth against Arsenal’s midfield trio.
Schlupp – 4: Offered no protection for Clyne vs Martinelli. Could have closed down Saka better for Arsenal’s third too.
Olise – 4: Talented dribbler but barely got a touch of ball. Kept very quiet by Arsenal defense.
Zaha – 5: As always Palace’s main threat but contained well by White and Saliba. Little magic from Ivory Coast international.
Edouard – 4: Isolated up top. No chances or decent touches before being substituted just after the hour mark.
Ayew – 5: Replaced Edouard but made minimal impact.
Ebiowei – 5: On for Eze but unable to spark Palace into life. Showed glimpses of potential.
Milivojevic – 5: Late cameo in place of Schlupp. Struggled like every Palace player to contain rampant Arsenal.
The result sees Arsenal return to winning ways and top spot after losses to Spurs and Manchester United had checked their title charge. The Gunners won’t get too far ahead of themselves though – major tests await with clashes against defending champions Manchester City home and away next up in the league. Those games could go a long way to shaping Arsenal’s season.
For Palace, the heavy loss adds to the mounting pressure on under fire manager Roy Hodgson. Once the darling of Selhurst Park, Hodgson has come under increasing scrutiny amidst a dire run of form which has seen Palace slide down the table to the Premier League’s bottom three. With tricky trips to Wolves and West Ham coming up, things could get worse for Hodgson’s men before they get better. The veteran boss will need to turn things around fast if he is save his job and keep Palace up this season.
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