Posted by News Express | 21 January 2018 | 1,976 times
Arsenal showed there was plenty of life after Alexis Sanchez as they beat Crystal Palace 4-1 in the English Premier League on Saturday without the Manchester United-bound Chilean forward.
With Sanchez moving slowly but surely towards a £35 million transfer to Old Trafford, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger left him out of his Matchday squad.
Any fears Arsenal would struggle up front without him proved groundless as they surged into a 4-0 lead inside 22 minutes at the Emirates Stadium.
An unmarked Nacho Monreal headed in from a corner in the sixth minute against a Palace side managed by former England boss Roy Hodgson.
Monreal turned provider for Alex Iwobi before Laurent Koscielny scored Arsenal’s third.
Palace’s defence collapsed again when a sweeping move involving Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere ended with the onrushing Alexandre Lacazette firing home from 12 yards.
Luka Milivojevic’s volley 12 minutes from time denied Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech a clean sheet.
Arsenal remain outside the top four but heartened manager Wenger said: “We played our real game in the first half, real pace and real combination.”
MKHITARYAN KEY TO SANCHEZ MOVE
Manchester United moved to within nine points of runaway league leaders Manchester City with a 1-0 win at Burnley.
A game where United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the proposed makeweight in the Sanchez deal, was left out by Jose Mourinho, was decided in the 54th minute when striker Anthony Martial scored his third league goal in as many matches.
City, however, would later restore their double-figure lead by beat struggling Newcastle 3-1 at the Etihad.
As for his prospects of signing Sanchez, Mourinho said: “Expect soon or never. So close, so close, so close...I know my people doing absolutely everything they can.”
But Wenger warned: “Sanchez will only happen if Mkhitaryan comes here; that will be decided in the next 48 hours.”
Chelsea won 4-0 away to Brighton as the reigning Premier League champions leapfrogged Liverpool into third place, 48 hours before the Reds play Swansea.
The Blues’ first league win of 2018 saw Eden Hazard score twice, his opener and a goal from Willian making it 2-0 inside six minutes before second-half goals from Hazard and Victor Moses sealed victory.
“We started with a lot of worries, for injuries and suspensions, but the response of the team was incredible,” said Chelsea coach Antonio Conte.
On a day when all Premier League fixtures were preceded by a minute’s applause in memory of the former West Bromwich Albion and England forward Cyrille Regis, a trailblazer for black players who died aged 59 last week, the Baggies drew 1-1 with Everton.
LAMBERT STARTS WITH STOKE WIN
Jay Rodriguez put West Brom 1-0 up in the seventh minute but Theo Walcott, on his Everton debut following a midweek move from Arsenal, laid on Oumar Niasse for his 70th-minute equaliser.
But the sight of Toffees midfielder James McCarthy going off with a broken leg after blocking a Salomon Rondon shot cast a shadow over Everton boss Sam Allardyce’s 1,000th game as a manager.
New Stoke manager Paul Lambert won his first game in charge of the Potters as they beat Huddersfield 2-0 thanks to second half goals from Joe Allen and Mame Biram Diouf to climb out of the relegation zone.
“I was enjoying my life last weekend and then you come back into this,” Lambert told the BBC. “But I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Leicester beat Watford 2-0 with a Jamie Vardy penalty six minutes before the break and Riyad Mahrez’s stoppage time strike, while West Ham and Bournemouth shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw where the Cherries barely had time to enjoy Ryan Fraser’s 71st minute goal before Javier Hernandez equalised for the Hammers.
Tottenham Hotspur continue their quest for a Champions League place on Sunday when manager Mauricio Pochettino returns to former club Southampton. (AFP)
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