Arsenal FC grabbed back their place at the top of the table with a comfortable win over Crystal Palace at home as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a wonderful brace.
With Manchester City and Chelsea playing tonight one, even two, of Arsenal’s title rivals will drop points tonight and the Gunners thrown down the gauntlet at both these sides with a fairly comfortable win over Crystal Palace. Arsenal, who last defeat came in the 6-3 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City back in December, have continued their unbeaten run in all competitions with this win. Crystal Palace have meanwhile dropped down to 17th in the table with this defeat. With relegation battle growing knottier with each passing week, they will have to bounce back with a positive result against West Bromwich Albion in the next match.
The away side showed lot of grit and determination in the first half as Crystal Palace displayed the improvements it has been through since the arrival of Tony Pulis at the helm. Despite all their possession Arsenal failed to score a goal as Julian Speroni made some wonderful saves. But it didn’t take the Gunners long to open their account in the second half as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the first of the night with a lovely finish in the 47th minute of the game. Santi Cazorla drifted in from the right and found the England international with a wonderful pass. The 20-year-old controlled it delightfully and lifted it past Speroni in goal.
‘The Ox’ doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 73rd minute of the game with another wonderfully crafted goal, but this time it was the young Englishman who created the opportunity for himself with a wonderful run following a lovely one-two with Olivier Giroud and then finding the bottom corner of the net with his shot.
Arsene Wenger was delighted with this win and praised Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for his performance. He insisted that the youngster proved on the night what an important player he can turn out to be for the Gunners in this title race.
“We knew Crystal Palace are physically strong and we had to be intelligent, patient and take our chances.
“Oxlade-Chamberlain got us two great goals for us today and I’m very happy for him as he was out for four months this season and he had shown today that he can be a very important player for us.
“Sometimes you have to be patient to create space and I think he used it very well when the opportunity was there and he has that kind of surge to come from deep midfield to be dangerous.
“For a young player like that he has shown that he will (keep his favoured midfield position).” – The Arsenal manager told the press.