Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table with a comfortable 4-1 win over Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium. It was the Gunners’ first match since their disappointing Europa League exit to Sporting CP on Thursday night, but Mikel Arteta’s side responded in style against a managerless Palace side.
Bukayo Saka was the star of the show, with two goals and an assist. The 19-year-old opened the scoring in the 28th minute, as he released Gabriel Martinelli into the box with a superb lofted pass, allowing the Brazilian to fire into the right side of the goal. Saka then got his own goal four minutes before half-time, as he latched onto Ben White’s through-ball and shot past Joseph Whitworth.
The Eagles kept fighting and pulled a goal back through Jeffrey Schlupp, but any hopes of a comeback were quashed when Saka fired home his second of the afternoon with 15 minutes remaining. Granit Xhaka had given Arsenal a three-goal cushion earlier in the second half, when he played a one-two with Leandro Trossard and got to the ball just before Joel Ward to direct it home from close range.
The victory sees Arsenal extend their lead over second-placed Man City to eight points, having played a game more, while Palace remain 12th in the table. Saka was deservedly awarded the Man of the Match for his two-goal, one-assist performance, and his continued development will be key for the Gunners if they are to remain top of the table and challenge for the title.