Watford 0 Arsenal 3
( Alexis 62, Giroud 68, Ramsey 74 )

Arsenal came through a tough post international break examination at Watford, and having soaked up the early pressure from home side, came away from Vicarage Road with a well earned three points. Fresh from his travails and goals for Chile, Alexis Sanchez only arrived back in North London on Thursday afternoon. Having seen him train however, Arsene Wenger had no hesitation in his selection, and that proved to be the spark to the Gunners win here. Alexis got the first goal just past the hour mark, with substitute Olivier Giroud doubling the Gunners lead moments later. Arsenal’s lethal 12 minute spell then produced a third with Aaron Ramsey completing a great week for his club – and with Wales qualifying for their first international tournament in decades, Euro 2016 – and country. Watford did compete and had the power if not the finesse to take advantage of their openings. With Petr Cech in such fine form, and notable outings from Laurent Koscieleny and Hector Bellerin, the Arsenal ‘keeper was worthy of his fifth Premier League clean sheet of the season.

Arsenal started brightly and Watford too were playing their game and not intending to merely defend. Ramsey’s early cross, Walcott attempted to angle his header, but Gomes comfortably held with four minutes on the clock.

Francis Coquelin, was his reliable tough tackling self and against the big Watford bodies, he needed to be. Coquelin won possession and, found Mesut Özil. He played in Sanchez who unleashed from range but again Gomes was able to produce the save.

Watford were not sitting by and admiring the passing of their visitors however, not by any stretch of the imagination. Troy Deeney held off the attentions of Coquelin, and unleashed a powerful shot which required the attentions of Petr Cech.

Arsenal continued their attacking sorties, but Walcott was found to be offside twice in quick succession, and that was a shame given Özil’s Aaron Ramsey’s and Santi Cazorla’s involvement in the move.

Buoyed buy their home support, Watford came again through the powerful Deeney, who was just about to pull the trigger, but Bellerin was alert and produced what was a goal saving tackle to deny the Watford striker.

It was another sharp attack from Watford, Deeney cut in from the left and with Odion Ighalo in space went to cross. Last Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny however was able to block the cross and clear for a corner.

After another neat passing move, Ramsey had a gilt edged chance to open the scoring, but having got past his marker, hit over Heurelho Gomes bar from Alexis’s penetrative cross after 28 minutes. Two minutes later, Watford engineered a break and should have taken the lead but top scorer Ighalo missed horribly, under pressure from the retreating Arsenal rearguard.

Bellerin’s pace was having its reward, and his run and cross had to be dealt with by Alan Nyom, with no other red shirts in attendance. Watford thought they had a shout for a handball as Cech came out to clear, but he could do nothing to stop the ball’s momentum and much to the dismay of the home support, nothing was given.

Goalless at the break and Arsenal emerged in search of the game’s opener. Ozil, subtle, sublime, sometime appearing lethargic if we’re being super critical, but here he was in the mood to play. His cross caused panic and almost an own goal, but soon that would be a mere stepping stone to the game’s opener.

From the left, Sanchez fed Özil, then to Cazorla. He slipped in the return to Özil, who appeared to be taken out by Nathan Ake. No need to appeal for a nailed on penalty however, as there was Alexis to slam home from close in for 1-0 to the Arsenal.

Wenger took off Walcott for Giroud, and six minutes later, the France striker doubled the Arsenal lead. Ramsey’s cross came out to Ozil on the right. His cross fell perfectly for Giroud to hook in his fourth Premier League goal of the season. If the first goal hadn’t knocked the stuffing out of a tiring Watford, the second came as the hammer blow which did just that. And soon it would get worse for the Hornets.

Bellerin raced up from defence, and facing Ake, got the better of the former Chelsea defender, to set up Ramsey. The former Wales’ captain struck low and by way of a slight deflection, the ball went beyond Gomes for Gunners’ third goal of the game.

Alexis came off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and his pace was the last thing Watford needed. Giroud’s header from Cazorla’s corner seven minutes from time produced another fine save from Gomes. By then however, Arsenal were home and hosed, three more points in the board and back into second place in the Premier League table.

Now, to do the same to Bayern Munich on Tuesday. On their day, it is possible.