Arsenal thrash Crystal Palace to ease back to winning ways

Arsenal thrash crystal palace to ease back to winning ways0

Arsenal re-energized their Premier League championship push with a 5-0 victory against Crystal Palace.

Centre-back Gabriel caused most of the damage before halftime, heading in the opening and forcing Palace custodian Dean Henderson into an own goal.

Leandro Trossard made it 3-0 around the hour mark, before replacement Gabriel Martinelli scored twice in dead time.

Victory brings Mikel Arteta’s team level with Manchester City and Aston Villa, two points behind leaders Liverpool.

Arsenal have only won once in seven games before a two-week winter break.

However, a warm-weather training camp in Dubai seems to have reenergized last season’s runners-up, even if they did have extremely accommodating guests in struggling Palace.

The Eagles have only won once in 12 games, keeping them narrowly above the relegation zone and piling pressure on 76-year-old manager Roy Hodgson.

Arsenal’s lack of a natural striker up top has been questioned throughout their recent slump, and the fact that one of his defenders broke a goalless streak will continue to worry Arteta.

Arsenal has scored the most goals from set pieces in the Premier League this season, and Palace’s defeat came from two corners before halftime.

Gabriel outmuscled Chris Richards to rise highest and meet Declan Rice’s pass with a downward header, calming the home crowd’s worries only 11 minutes in.

Palace were primarily limited to long-range pot shots as Jefferson Lerma tried David Raya after the goalkeeper’s weak clearing, which gave the Colombian control.

Gabriel outpaced Richards to meet Bukayo Saka’s corner, and the ball deflected off Henderson, resulting in a goal.

Hodgson was booed by his own supporters after removing Eberechi Eze in Wednesday’s 1-0 FA Cup loss to Everton to keep the England international fresh for the trip to the Emirates.

The closest Eze got to having an impact was another long-range attempt that Raya was forced to turn away from.

To make matters worse, Palace conceded from one of their own set-pieces.

Raya gathered a cross in the box and sent Gabriel Jesus sprinting clear on the counterattack.

The Brazilian crossed for Trossard, who maintained his composure to cut inside Nathanial Clyne and score his eighth goal of the season.

The defeat keeps Palace five points above the relegation zone.

And a banner unfurled in the away end in the final moments will do nothing to boost Hodgson’s argument for staying until the end of the season.

“Wasted potential on and off the pitch, weak decisions taking us backwards,” was the message sent by Palace supporters to co-owner and chairman Steve Parish.

Martinelli made matters worse by scoring twice in stoppage time after coming off the bench.

The Brazilian has been demoted after scoring just two goals in the Premier League this season.

But he quickly doubled his score, slotting twice past Henderson into the far corner.

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