LONDON — Bukayo Saka scored twice as Arsenal moved eight factors clear on the prime of the Premier League with a 4-1 win in opposition to Crystal Palace.
Regardless of sacking supervisor Patrick Vieira on Friday, simply 48 hours earlier than he would face the membership he as soon as captained, Palace failed to finish their woeful run that has seen them fail to win any recreation in 2023. Arsenal had been simply too robust as Saka (2), Gabriel Martinelli and Granit Xhaka scored their targets, with Jeffrey Schlupp netting within the second half for Palace.
1. Saka shines as formidable Arsenal hold Man Metropolis ready for a slip
A lot for Arsenal falling away within the title race after dropping to Manchester Metropolis. Since dropping 3-1 to the champions on the Emirates on Feb. 15, Mikel Arteta’s crew have gained six video games on the spin within the Premier League and are actually eight factors clear on the prime of the desk.
Bukayo Saka impressed the Gunners to their newest win in opposition to Crystal Palace, with two targets in a top-class efficiency and the England winger exemplified the arrogance and perception that’s now coursing by means of this Arsenal crew.
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After dropping to Metropolis and briefly surrendering prime spot, a lot of the speak was about Arsenal chucking up the sponge and even being overtaken by third-place Manchester United. However six video games (and 18 factors) later, Arsenal have silenced all the doubters by avoiding each single hazard that has fallen of their path.
In most title run-ins, even the eventual champions slip up in video games the place you least anticipate them to drop factors. However though they wanted to attain essential late winners in opposition to Aston Villa and Bournemouth, Arsenal held their nerve and recorded the victories. Each time Metropolis thought their title rivals would drop factors, Arsenal merely stepped up and gained after they needed to.
On this event, there was by no means any doubt that Arsenal would coast to victory after Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring on 28 minutes, making it a fairly stress-free win. That stated, successful with ease is an achievement in itself in a title race, and Arsenal’s skill to take action will probably be an rising concern inside the Metropolis camp.
The Gunners should nonetheless go to the Etihad subsequent month they usually even have a tough journey to Liverpool, however with video games working out, Metropolis want Arsenal to lose someday quickly. The excellent news for Arsenal, although, is that they do not appear like doing that.
2. Arsenal show their squad can deal with accidents
Sunday may have been seen as a check of Arsenal’s obvious lack of depth of their squad, however they handed it with flying colors.
For the primary time within the league this season, supervisor Mikel Arteta was with out centre-half William Saliba due to a again harm, however Rob Holding stepped in and produced a commanding efficiency alongside Gabriel. At right-back, Ben White was excellent within the absence of the injured Takehiro Tomiyasu whereas Eddie Nketiah, out with a foot harm, wasn’t missed up entrance.
There have been many questions requested of Arsenal this season, with squad depth famous as one of many recurring points anticipated to price them their shot on the title. However they’ve additionally withstood the three-month absence of striker Gabriel Jesus — he is now match and enjoying once more — to keep up their place on the prime of the desk, so Arteta and his gamers will now be buoyed by the assumption that they’ve the personnel to go all the way in which.
Their bench in opposition to Palace additionally had the likes of Kieran Tierney, Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson, Fabio Vieira and Jorginho primed for motion – a gaggle of gamers that will stroll into most Premier League groups. With solely 10 league video games left to play and no cup distractions following Thursday’s Europa League exit in opposition to Sporting, Arsenal have the squad to deal with the run-in.
3. Palace look doomed regardless of supervisor sacking
Do not be fooled by Crystal Palace’s mid-table place. The managerless crew are in a downwards spiral and it may simply see them relegated this season.
The sacking of supervisor Patrick Vieira on Friday may need been a shock to many, however Palace have performed 13 video games in 2023 with out successful any of them. Not less than they ended their four-game run with no objective when Jeffrey Schlupp scored within the second half.
They are saying that the league desk would not lie, however it’s actually giving a false sense of safety the Selhurst Park membership proper now. Palace are nonetheless in twelfth place after dropping on the Emirates, however they’re simply three factors above the underside three and solely 4 factors away from backside crew Southampton. Of the eight groups beneath them, solely Nottingham Forest have did not win any of their final six video games; there must be a rising sense of alarm at Palace about their rivals starting to seek out type within the relegation battle.
Other than an eleventh minute effort from Wilfried Zaha that hit the submit, Palace carried no menace in opposition to Arsenal beneath interim supervisor Paddy McCarthy, and defeat was inevitable as soon as Gabriel Martinelli put the house facet forward.
Palace had been already struggling beneath Vieira, but it surely’s powerful to see who may are available and arrest their droop. They appear like a crew heading for relegation.
Greatest and worst performers
Ben White, DF, Arsenal: The Arsenal right-back nullified the specter of Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and was an important cog going ahead, instigating the strikes for the primary two targets.
Bukayo Saka, FW, Arsenal: Nice end for Arsenal’s second objective and an all-round commanding efficiency on the proper flank. On the right track to be a worldwide star within the years to come back.
Rob Holding, DF, Arsenal: Filling in for the injured William Saliba was a tall job, however the Arsenal centre-half did effectively alongside Gabriel.
Wilfried Zaha, FW, Crystal Palace: Confirmed glimpses of menace going ahead, however his lack of focus and poor marking led to Arsenal’s first two targets. Zaha cannot simply assault and neglect about defending.
Joel Ward, DF, Crystal Palace: Made it too simple for Martinelli to attain Arsenal’s opening objective by failing to get tight sufficient to the Gunners’ winger.
Odsonne Edouard, FW, Crystal Palace: Did not benefit from the absence of William Saliba within the Arsenal defence by making life powerful for Holding and Gabriel. Could not maintain the ball as much as assist his crew.
Highlights and notable moments
Arsenal did not simply rating 4 occasions on Sunday; additionally they produced some finishes that had been exceedingly pleasing to the attention. For instance, the primary objective, which was coolly dispatched by Gabriel Martinelli. Love the build-up after which how effectively he creates area to swing his left foot by means of the ball.
Gabriel Martinelli LOVES to attain in opposition to Crystal Palace.
— NBC Sports activities Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) March 19, 2023
After which there’s the primary Bukayo Saka objective, by which the Gunners demoralized that Palace protection with a nifty give-and-go.
Saka provides a objective as Arsenal lead 2-0 on the half!
— NBC Sports activities Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) March 19, 2023
After the match: What the gamers/managers stated
Quotes will seem right here later…
Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Info analysis)
– Gabriel Martinelli scores his twenty fourth profession Premier League objective, breaking a tie with Nicolas Anelka for the second-most by an Arsenal participant earlier than turning 22. Bukayo Saka is first on that checklist with 29 targets
– Bukayo Saka is the youngest PL participant with 10 targets and 10 assists in a season in at the very least the final 15 seasons
– Saka can be the primary Arsenal participant with 10 targets and 10 assists in a Premier League season since Alexis Sanchez in 2016-17
– Bukayo Saka’s 29 profession Premier League targets are tied with Raheem Sterling for the Tenth-most PL targets by a participant earlier than turning 22
Arsenal: The Gunners face a pair of winnable, however probably tough, matches after the worldwide break. Leeds United go to the Emirates on April 1 in Premier League play earlier than Arteta & Co. journey to Anfield for a giant match in opposition to Liverpool on April 9.
Crystal Palace: Following the break, Palace get a pair of matches in opposition to groups additionally battling in opposition to the specter of relegation, with a house recreation vs. Leicester Metropolis (April 1) and away date at Leeds United (April 9).