Arsenal have recorded their first win of 2018 as the Gunners recorded a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace in Saturday’s Premier League fixture at the Emirates Stadium.
All four goals came in the opening 22 minutes, with Nacho Monreal, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscielny and Alexandre Lacazette getting on the scoresheet in North London.
Palace got better as the game progressed and the Eagles deserved their late consolation through Luka Milivojevic, but manager Roy Hodgson will be desperately disappointed to have suffered just a second defeat in 13 matches in such circumstances.
Arsenal went into the contest short of confidence and without Alexis Sanchez – who is close to joining Manchester United – but the belief came rushing back in a 19-minute spell at the start of the game.
The opening goal came from the returning Monreal, who was perfectly placed at the back post to volley into the net from close range after meeting Granit Xhaka’s corner.
Palace looked lively when they went on the attack but there was a sense that they could concede each time that they came under pressure and Arsenal’s third goal came after just 13 minutes, with Koscielny bundling the ball home after Monreal had been found at the back post from a corner.
The fourth goal was the best of the lot, with a team move ending with Mesut Ozil flicking the ball into the path of Lacazette, who coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner from 16 yards out to end his seven-week goal drought.
To Palace’s credit, they improved as the first half progressed but aside from a weak effort from Bakary Sako and a deflected strike from Wilfried Zaha which was tipped wide by Petr Cech, the visitors did not look like troubling the scorers.
In the first 10 minutes after the restart, it was Palace who made most of the running but only a shot on the turn from Martin Kelly came close to getting the visitors back into the match.