HomeArsenal 5-0 Crystal Palace: Gunners crush sorry Eagles to halt poor run

Arsenal 5-0 Crystal Palace: Gunners crush sorry Eagles to halt poor run

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Arsenal returned to winning ways by thrashing Crystal Palace 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium, moving within two points of the Premier League summit and piling more pressure on under-fire Eagles boss Roy Hodgson.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners slipped to fourth in the table after collecting just one point from three league games during the festive period, but they banished their poor form with a crushing win on Saturday.

Gabriel Magalhaes took centre-stage as Arsenal bullied Palace from set-pieces in the first half, nodding in an early opener before seeing another header force an own goal from visiting goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Leandro Trossard then added an excellent third on the break after half-time to kill the contest, before Gabriel Martinelli came off the bench to add two composed finishes in stoppage time.

While the victory moves Arsenal to within two points of leaders Liverpool before their trip to Bournemouth on Sunday, Palace remain five points above the relegation zone as Hodgson’s position continues to be questioned.

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Arsenal penned their visitors back from the off and needed just 11 minutes to go ahead, with Gabriel climbing above Chris Richards to nod Declan Rice’s inswinging corner home.

Their advantage was almost doubled soon afterwards when another set-piece delivery deflected off Jefferson Lerma before striking the crossbar, and Palace’s vulnerability from dead balls was exposed again as Arsenal went 2-0 up after 37 minutes.

This time it was Bukayo Saka who delivered the corner, with Gabriel’s back-post header being bundled over the line by Henderson. The Palace goalkeeper desperately appealed for a foul against Ben White, but those protests fell on deaf ears as he was credited with the own goal.

David Raya was forced into action by Eberechi Eze’s drive four minutes after the restart, but Arsenal made it 3-0 shortly before the hour mark as Trossard rounded off a devastating counterattack.

Raya’s clever throw out found Jesus sprinting clear, with the Brazilian’s square ball allowing Trossard to sit Nathaniel Clyne down before whipping his finish past Henderson.

With chairman Steve Parish in the stands, the Palace fans made their displeasure clear by unfurling a banner which read: “Wasted potential, weak decisions taking us backwards”.

Things got worse still for the travelling contingent in stoppage time as Martinelli added some gloss to the scoreline.

The Brazilian made it 4-0 when he was teed up by fellow substitute Eddie Nketiah four minutes into the additional period, then Jorginho’s ball over the top allowed him to race through to score a fifth just 90 seconds later as Palace wilted.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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