Cardiff City 0 Arsenal 3
( Ramsey 29, 90, Flamini 86 )

Arsenal moved seven points clear at the Premiership summit courtesy of a well deserved victory at Cardiff City. Aaron Ramsey returned to the club he joined as a sixteen year old, and wearing the number 16 on his Arsenal shirt proceeded to break the City fans’ hearts with a deserved double. Either side of Ramsey’s goals, Mathiu Flamini celebrated his first Arsenal goal in his second spell for the Gunners – the last one came in 2008. But for Ramsey and his team mates seeing Arsenal open up a significant gap at the top of the Premiership says everything about the belief and desire that the Gunners currently play with.

Arsene Wenger kept faith with the side which saw off Southampton at the Emirates last Saturday, with Theo Walcott again being named on the substitutes bench. Cardiff were so gallant in grabbing a late point against Manchester United last weekend, and had already seen off their City neighbours earlier in the season. But for the Gunners holding the best away record, and a terrific sequence of 14 away wins from 16 games before kick off suggested that a win for Wenger’s men would be likely.

The Gunners still had to earn that right, and passing the ball and creating chances inbetween the opposition lines would always prove challenging. Jack Wilshere has seen his form and that, of Ramsey take off into the next level and soon, the England midfielder almost got the opener. With barely a minute on the clock, Ramsey played in his team mate and Wilshere let fly with a 25 yard shot that shook the corner of the post and crossbar. It would be the sign of Arsenal goals which would come.

Olivier Giroud is not known for his generosity towards opposition defences, but the France striker inexplicably stopped when in front on goal in anticipation of an offside flag which didn’t arrive as Cardiff cleared the danger.

Just shy of the half hour mark, Arsenal took the lead. Mesut Özil swung in a cross which Ramsey reached with a header that he powered in past David Marshall. Ramsey chose not to celebrate save for a dignified low key smile out of respect for his hometown club.

Frazier Campbell had the hosts best chance to level from Andrew Taylor’s cross, but Wojciech Szczesny produced an excellent save to keep his side ahead. How crucial that save proved became evident as the Gunners despite enjoying the lions share of the possession were still unable to grab a second goal.

That would change four minutes before time. Flamini came on for Santo Cazorla after 77 minutes, ostensibly to add defensive strengths to the Gunners midfield. As City pushed forwards however, they would always be vulnerable to the Gunners’ swift counter attack, and so it proved. Arsenal broke out, Özil threaded the ball to Flamini to thunder past Marshall for a 2-0 lead.

Arsenal added gloss to the scoreline when Walcott raced out of defence and seemed intent in driving goalwards himself. Instead he fed Ramsey, who fired in for his 13th goal of the season. Again Ramsey did not celebrate. At the final whistle, both sets of fans generously chanted Ramsey’s name, as Wenger’s side claimed another vital three points.