Arsenal 4 Crystal Palace 1
Monreal 6, Iwobi 10, Koscielny 13, Lacazette 22, Milivojevic 78

Arsene Wenger asked for a response after the loss at the Vitality stadium last Sunday and his side waited all of 22 minutes to deliver one emphatically. By then, the Gunners were back and firing, with four unanswered goals and looking in ominous mood. Wenger had stated that should Alexis Sanchez’s controversial move to Manchester United not be finalised by Friday’s deadline, he would select the Chile striker for this game. Alexis remains an Arsenal player for now, but Wenger wisely omitted him and that seemed to liberate an Arsenal side who now played as a devastating team. Back from injury, Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal the lead on six minutes which Iwobi doubled four minutes later. Returning captain Laurent Koscielny struck three minutes after that and midway through the half, Alexandre Lacazette finished off the move of the game and an assist from Özil. Alexis who? Arsenal were in scintillating form as Crystal Palace looked out of their depth and bereft of ideas, although Luka Milivojevic grabbed one back for the South London side on 78 minutes, Arsenal were in truth home and hosed well before then. A couple of negatives in that Monreal seemed to pick up another knock and was replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and Petr Cech’s wait for his 200th Premier League clean sheet continues.

Post match, Wenger revealed that he was actually tempted to start Alexis, but then declared that you can’t play in London and drive up to the northwest at the same time. So that move inches closer although nothing has been sorted yet, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s move to the Emirates stadium also remaining on hold. It could be that both players end up exactly where they already are, and that would be embarrassing for the Gunners and Manchester United.

Wenger had Koscielny and Elneny back with Monreal having a devastating half an hour or so before he came off with what Wenger later said was as a precaution due to a kick. The Spain defender was unmarked for the opener as Palace switched off from a corner. Monreal then set up Iwobi from almost the same spot he headed in from, and Arsenal were comfortable, but hungry for more. Koscielny netting from another corner made it 3-0, but the move of the match created the goal of the match.

Özil had six touches of the ball in the move as well as the final pass to Lacazette who made no mistake for his first Premier League goal in his last ten games. 4-0 at half time and Arsenal were oozing quality and looked very much a team.

Palace emerged in sterner mood for the second half, but even they knew the game was well and truly beyond them. Christian Benteke missed a gilt edged chance to beat Cech, who came out when faced with a one on one to deny the Belgian. More injury worries for Palace when Yohan Cabaye was stretchered off, however Lukas Milivojevic’s smart control and shot eventually saw Cech beaten and the visitors reduce the arrears.

Jack Wilshere is still in contract talks with the club, and on the strength of his latest performance, Arsenal need to not only tie him up to a long term deal, but then build the side around him and the skill of Özil. Should Mkhitaryan arrive at N5, Wenger will have a nice selection problem. But as we have already seen this season Arsenal can dominate and destroy on any given day.

Post Alexis, the trick is to do it as they did today with everyone playing their part.