Crystal Palace 0 Arsenal 2
(Arteta 47 pen, Giroud 87)

Ten man Arsenal produced a thoroughly professional performance to see off Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Mikel Arteta opened the scoring from the penalty spot early in the second half, with Olivier Giroud heading in his fifth Premiership goal of the season. Arteta’s afternoon however was to come to a dramatic and sudden end after he impeded former Gunner Marouane Chamakh. Although the challenge was closer to the half way line than Wojciech Szczesny’s goal, the referee Chris Foy brandished a red card in Arteta’s direction. The decision was harsh and especially given that Laurent Koscileny was still the covering defender. But despite a late Palace flurry, Arsene Wenger’s side held on for the three points which keeps them at the Premiership summit.

The early exchanges followed a familiar pattern, Arsenal caressed and passed the ball in their customary manner, Palace contrived to break up the sequence with an attempts at a counter. Adding to the subdued opening. Arsenal suffered an early injury to their key midfielder. After suffering from concussion in their home win over Norwich City last weekend Arsenal welcomed back Mathiu Flamini to their ranks but his return was to last just until the seventh minute. The France midfielder was replaced by Serge Gnabry after picking up what looked to be a groin injury. By then the Gunners had already had a sighter on the a Palace goal. Bacary Sagna crossed from the right, but Olivier Giroud couldn’t guide his header onto the target.

Just on the half hour mark, manager-less and point-less from their last five Premiership games grew in confidence and crafted two long range efforts from another former Gunner, Marouane Chamakh and Adelene Guedioura from range as Wojciech Szczesny was brought into action.

Palace had earlier created their an opening, from former Gunner Jerome Thomas’s cross which was headed over by Barry Bannan. Arsenal should have opened the scoring his through Santi Cazorla but saw he his low shot fizz past Julian Speroni’s upright. The Gunners should have been awarded a penalty when Gnabry was brought down by Dean Moxey, but suggesting the offence was outside of the area, referee Chris Foy awarded a free kick.

Moments later, Ramsey’s powerfully hit shot was saved by Speroni at point blank range and moments later Giroud hit down from Özil’s cross which Julian Speroni collected comfortably.

Two minutes after the restart and the Gunners finally took the lead. Gnabry was tripped by Guedioura, and this time the penalty was the definite and correct decision. Up stepped Arteta to score his first goal of the season past Speroni’s desperate dive.

The Gunners lead should have been doubled moments later. Giorud was well placed to get his head onto Sagna’s cross, but somehow managed to miss the goal from close in.

Drama after 65 minutes however when Arteta was shown a straight red card for impeding the galloping Chamakh. It was clumsy at best and despite Laurent Koscileny being the covering defender, from over forty yards from Szczesny’s goal, Foy still baffled many by producing a red card.

Palace still would not throw in the towel and forced Szczesny to brilliantly deny Ward, and then from the resultant corner, spectacularly denies Jedinak from the follow up attack.

Nacho Monreal came on for Cazorla, playing in the left midfield position. He beat two defenders but the cross couldn’t find another no yellow shirt.

Two minutes before time, Arsenal doubled their lad. Ramsey crossed and this time Giroud’s header had both power and direction, and Speroni was beaten again. Arsenal have now taken 22 points from a maximum 24 points in their last eight games, and sustaining that form will be crucial to the Gunners’ ambitions this season.