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Arsenal 5-0 Crystal Palace: Player ratings as Gabriel stars in routine Gunners victory

Arsenal players

Arsenal eased to a 5-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime at the Emirates Stadium, bringing a four-game winless run in all competitions to an end.

The Gunners took the lead early in the first half, centre-back Gabriel climbing above the Palace defence to head the hosts in front. The defender then struck again before the break, another far-post header offering Mikel Arteta’s side a two-goal cushion.

In a straightforward second half, Leandro Trossard managed to grab a third for Arsenal with 59 minutes on the clock before Gabriel Martinelli’s stoppage-time brace gave the Gunners a healthy victory after their mini-break.

How the game unfolded

After successive Premier League defeats, Arsenal knew the importance of coming away from Saturday’s early kick-off with all three points. However, it didn’t take the Gunners too long to punish Crystal Palace’s five-man defence.

Declan Rice swung in a wonderful far-post corner from Arsenal’s left-hand side just ten minutes in, Gabriel towering over Eagles defender Chris Richards to head home. Not for the first time this season, a set piece proved decisive for the north London outfit.

Just two minutes later, Arsenal struck the woodwork following a tempting corner from the other flank, the ball ricocheting off Jefferson Lerma and on to Dean Henderson’s crossbar.

Despite Arsenal’s dominance, Crystal Palace almost drew level just after the half-hour mark, Lerma thrashing an effort goalward following David Raya’s poor clearance. Fortunately for the home supporters, the Spaniard was well placed to rebuff the Colombian’s effort.

However, Arsenal would double their advantage before the break and it was that man Gabriel who was heavily involved yet again. The Brazilian got free at a corner at the far post and redirected his header goal-ward from Bukayo Saka’s cross, the ball smashing off Henderson on its way in and ultimately being awarded as an own goal.

Trossard could have put the game beyond doubt shortly after half-time, but fluffed his lines after Gabriel Jesus picked him out with a lovely cross inside the area.

However, the same combination did produce Arsenal’s third goal before the hour mark, the Brazilian picking out the former Brighton man, who sat Nathaniel Clyne down before tucking home with aplomb.

Substitute Martinelli poured salt in the gaping Palace wounds late on, delivering a stoppage-time brace to take Arsenal’s tally to five for the afternoon. Both of the winger’s efforts were remarkably similar, caressing beyond Henderson calmly after being released down the left flank.

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