Watford 1 Arsenal 3
Cazorla 9 pen, Alexis 40, Ozil 45+1, Pereyra 57

Arsenal claimed their first Premier League win of the season with a comfortable win at Watford. That is to say, the first half was comfortable for the Gunners who raced into a three goal half time lead with goals courtesy of Santi Cazorla from the penalty spot, Alexis Sanchez and a Mesut Ozil header on the stroke of half time. Whatever was said to the Watford players at the break however seemed to transform the home side who came out strong to give the Arsenal rearguard a stern test. Substitute Roberto Pereryra clawed a goal back for the Hornets and that also energised the home fans. Petr Cech had earlier produced a magnificent first half reflex save to deny a Laurent Koscileny deflected shot, and he completed his fine afternoon’s display with a double save from Pereryra and Odion Ighalo on the follow up. The energy sapping temperature had an effect on both sets of players, but more so it seemed the visitors as Watford threatened an amazing comeback. The Gunners held firm and saw Alexis, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott go close to extending their lead, but the first half damage had already been done to Watford.

The Gunners had the impressive Rob Holding alongside Laurent Koscielny again, with Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal competing the defence. With Santo Cazorla and Granit Xhaka in front of them and Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain alternating on the wings, Mesut Ozil was pulling the midfield strings with Alexis feeding off his runs and passes. There seemed more of a stability, a confidence about the Arsenal play and with everyone barely settling into their seats, we had our first goal.

Özil’s flighted ball was on course to reach Alexis, until Nordin Amrabat clattered into the Arsenal number seven. Up stepped Cazorla to strike down the middle as Heurelho Gomes went to his left. The goal settled Arsene Wenger’s team and their passing game was to the fore. Walcott was alert to Cazorla’s effort to strike from a tight angle, but Gomes was able to keep the ball out.

Beaten by Chelsea last week end, Watford sent about getting on parity here, and the penalty culprit Amrabat was giving Monreal a test for pace and strength. However it was his shot which clipped Koscielny, which seemed to be destined for the goal, that was until Cech responded with an excellent reflex save to preserve his side’s lead.

Christian Kabasele headed wide from a Watford corner, but Arsenal sensed more goals at the other end. Alexis raced clear of his marker on the left hand side, swapped passes with Ozil but saw his shot blocked as did Cazorla with the follow up on 35 minutes.

Five minutes before the break, Arsenal had doubled their lead. Alexis found Ozil who in turn fed then Bellerin for Walcott to cross. Alexis had stepped in to clip an angled shot past and over the wrong footed Gomes. Despite the ball being hooked out by Sebastian Prodl, it had crossed the line, the video technology confirming as such and Arsenal were 2-0 up.

Watford seemed shattered and bereft of ideas. Walcott forced another Gomes save, and in first half time added on, Arsenal had a third. Again Alexis was involved. The Chile striker had time to look up and put in a cross from the left and Özil went through unmarked to head past Gomes for a 3-0 halftime scoreline.

Watford replaced Adlene Guedioura with Pereyra at the break and shortly afterwards Kabasele was replaced by Daryl Janmaat.

Still full of attacking intent, Arsenal went in search of a fourth goal. Bellerin stood up to the strength of Younes Kaboul to send over a fizzing cross, but there was no Arsenal player higher up in zone for what would have been a simple tap in.

Etienne Capoue struck an effort which at Cech held and with their next move Watford pulled a goal back.

Koscileny’s low headed clearance, saw the ball ping about in the Arsenal defence, as Pereyra struck to beat Cech for a 3-1 scoreline. Watford upped their game, but found Cech and the Gunners defence unwilling to budge

Arsenal countered with Walcott’s chip which beat Gomes, but sailed over his bar. When Bellerin broke, he fed Oxlade-Chamberlain who chipped again but again high over bar.

Jose Holebas thought he had scored his side’s second goal, but, Cech produced another brilliant save and again with the follow up from Ighalo to keep the score line at 3-1 to the visitors.

Wenger replaced Ozil with Jack Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain with Mohamed Elneny as Arsenal went about stifling the Hornets’ latent attack. Ighalo produced a spectacular overhead kick which flew just over Cech’s bar, and the Arsenal keeper did well again to hold onto substitute Isaac Success’s header.

When Alexis outmuscled Kaboul, and threatened late on, Gomes held his effort, but by then the Gunners had the three points in their sights and duly completed a well fought away win.