Arsenal recorded a 3-2 win at Crystal Palace on Thursday night in an entertaining Premier League clash.
The Gunners dominated the early proceedings, with Calum Chambers seeing a shot from outside of the area blocked before Granit Xhaka fired over the bar from just outside the box.
The home side had their first real sight of goal on 16 minutes, as Yohan Cabaye’s effort from 20 yards out went just wide of Petr Cech’s post. At the other end of the pitch, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil combined well to find Xhaka in the area, but the midfielder saw his shot on goal blocked.
The Gunners took the lead on 25 minutes. Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni parried Alexandre Lacazette’s shot, only for Shkodran Mustafi to score with a half-volley from the rebound from a tight angle.
Speroni was in action again on 31 minutes, producing a good save from Ozil after Sanchez had found the German playmaker with a superb through ball. The Eagles goalkeeper also kept out a Sanchez free-kick soon afterwards.
The home side offered a rare attacking threat on 33 minutes. Winger Wilfried Zaha fired wide with an effort from a tight angle. Two minutes later Lacazette showed good feet at the other end of the pitch before firing just wide of goal.
Palace looked to threaten Cech’s goal on 38 minutes, as Scott Dann’s header in the Gunners area was only half-cleared. The ball then fell to winger Andros Townsend who miss-hit his effort on goal.
The Gunners had a chance to double their lead on 47 minutes, as Sanchez’s cross found Hector Bellerin at the far post, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek put the Spaniard off.
Palace equalised five minutes into the second period. Wilfried Zaha took on Chambers and the wingers cross feel to Townsend, who hit a first time that found the bottom corner.
The home side continued to attack, as Loftus-Cheek saw an effort block before Jeffrey Schlupp sent an effort into the side netting at the near post.
The Gunners regained the lead just after the hour mark. Lacazette produced a lovely reverse pass to Sanchez, who fired an effort through James Tomkins legs and past Speroni, who could have possibly done better with the strike.
Arsenal stretched their lead on 66 minutes. Jack Wilshere played a fantastic ball over the Palace defence, Sanchez took a superb touch and rolled the ball past Speroni.
Arsenal then sat back and were quite happy to defend their two-goal lead. On 82 minutes, Bellerin tried his look from out wide with a powerful effort. However, Speroni parried the effort before Scott Dann chested the ball back to the Eagles ‘keeper.
Two minutes later Zaha missed a golden opportunity at the other end, as he outmuscled Bellerin, only for the ball to hit the winger’s shoulder rather than his head and go wide of goal.
Eagles substitute Bakary Sako fired well over the bar from inside the Arsenal area, as the home side looked to get back into the game. Palace did get a second goal on 89 minutes. Tomkins rose to head home from Townsend’s corner kick.
Despite the late goal, Arsene Wenger’s side held to the win to move level on points with neighbours Tottenham and one point behind fourth-place Liverpool.
Who was Arsenal’s man of the match against Crystal Palace?