Arsenal v Crystal Palace player ratings: Gabriel 8, Martinelli 8; Richards 3, Eze 6

Refreshed Gunners run riot at Emirates Stadium as poor Palace fall apart

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Arsenal returned from their mid-season break in Dubai with a bang as they easily swatted aside Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Mikel Arteta's side scored five unanswered goals to close the gap on league leaders Liverpool and leave the dismal visitors looking over their shoulders, with a section of the Palace support even protesting against chairman Steve Parrish and manager Roy Hodgson.

The hosts got off to a flying start as they cemented their status as the Premier League set-piece kings - no side has scored from more - with two goals from corners. Defender Gabriel headed in Declan Rice's plump cross and then forced in a second, officially credited as a Dean Henderson own goal, as Arsenal raced into a 2-0 lead.

Gabriel Jesus fed Leandro Trossard for a slick third on the counter, while Gabriel Martinelli came off the bench to slot a late brace and make it 5-0.

Arteta said: "Today we were much more efficient in the opponents' box particularly than the last few games. Last few games we had moments playing better than today but this is about scoring goals.

"Set pieces are a big part of us, especially against teams that want to defend deeply. It is a good way to win games."

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Updated: January 20, 2024, 3:17 PM