Arsenal 5-0 Crystal Palace: Player ratings as Gabriel stars in routine Gunners victory

Arsenal eased to a 5-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime at the Emirates Stadium, bringing a four-game winless run in all competitions to an end.

The Gunners took the lead early in the first half, centre-back Gabriel climbing above the Palace defence to head the hosts in front. The defender then struck again before the break, another far-post header offering Mikel Arteta’s side a two-goal cushion.

In a straightforward second half, Leandro Trossard managed to grab a third for Arsenal with 59 minutes on the clock before Gabriel Martinelli’s stoppage-time brace gave the Gunners a healthy victory after their mini-break.

How the game unfolded

After successive Premier League defeats, Arsenal knew the importance of coming away from Saturday’s early kick-off with all three points. However, it didn’t take the Gunners too long to punish Crystal Palace’s five-man defence.

Declan Rice swung in a wonderful far-post corner from Arsenal’s left-hand side just ten minutes in, Gabriel towering over Eagles defender Chris Richards to head home. Not for the first time this season, a set piece proved decisive for the north London outfit.

Just two minutes later, Arsenal struck the woodwork following a tempting corner from the other flank, the ball ricocheting off Jefferson Lerma and on to Dean Henderson’s crossbar.

Despite Arsenal’s dominance, Crystal Palace almost drew level just after the half-hour mark, Lerma thrashing an effort goalward following David Raya’s poor clearance. Fortunately for the home supporters, the Spaniard was well placed to rebuff the Colombian’s effort.

However, Arsenal would double their advantage before the break and it was that man Gabriel who was heavily involved yet again. The Brazilian got free at a corner at the far post and redirected his header goal-ward from Bukayo Saka’s cross, the ball smashing off Henderson on its way in and ultimately being awarded as an own goal.

Trossard could have put the game beyond doubt shortly after half-time, but fluffed his lines after Gabriel Jesus picked him out with a lovely cross inside the area.

However, the same combination did produce Arsenal’s third goal before the hour mark, the Brazilian picking out the former Brighton man, who sat Nathaniel Clyne down before tucking home with aplomb.

Substitute Martinelli poured salt in the gaping Palace wounds late on, delivering a stoppage-time brace to take Arsenal’s tally to five for the afternoon. Both of the winger’s efforts were remarkably similar, caressing beyond Henderson calmly after being released down the left flank.

Leandro Trossard, Gabriel JesusLeandro Trossard, Gabriel Jesus

Trossard and Jesus combined for Arsenal’s third / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

GK: David Raya – 6/10 – An inaccurate clearance almost proved costly, but Raya produced a good stop to deny Lerma’s long-range strike.

RB: Ben White – 7/10 – A comfortable afternoon for White down the right-hand side, with Jeffrey Schlupp not giving him too much to think about.

CB: William Saliba – 7/10 – Overshadowed by his centre-back partner, but he still dealt with Jean-Philippe Mateta’s physicality well.

CB: Gabriel – 9/10 – Rose highest to nod home Arsenal’s opener, athletically leaping above his marker Richards at the far post. His header forced the Gunners two in front before the break and he was a constant menace from deliveries into the box.

LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7/10 – Stepped into midfield well and was one of Arsenal’s key attacking threats with his passing range.

CM: Martin Odegaard – 6/10 – Not his busiest day at the office, but still tidy in possession and neat in his passing.

CM: Declan Rice – 7/10 – A sumptuous corner delivery for Gabriel’s header. Wasn’t tested too often by Crystal Palace midfielders running in behind him.

CM: Kai Havertz – 6/10 – Not too involved in central areas and was seldom instrumental in the Arsenal attack. Another quiet display.

RW: Bukayo Saka – 6/10 – Enjoyed an interesting duel up against compatriot Tyrick Mitchell, one that was very evenly-matched. Not at his sharpest.

ST: Gabriel Jesus – 7/10 – Spent more of the first half offside than onside, regularly flagged by the linesman for his darts in behind the Palace backline. Came away with a lovely assist, but no goal.

LW: Leandro Trossard – 7/10 – After wasting a wonderful chance at the start of the second half, he made amends with an ice-cold finish shortly afterwards. A much-needed goal for his confidence.

Substitutes

SUB: Gabriel Martinelli (69′ for Trossard) – 9/10 – An impressive late cameo that came with two lovely finishes.

SUB: Emile Smith Rowe (69′ for Havertz) – 6/10

SUB: Jorginho (73′ for Rice) – 7/10

SUB: Jakub Kiwior (81′ for Gabriel) – 6/10

SUB: Eddie Nketiah (81′ for Jesus) – 7/10

Subs not used: Aaron Ramsdale (GK), Reuell Walters, Cedric Soares, Reiss Nelson.

Manager

Mikel Arteta – 7/10 – A measured performance from his Arsenal side, who seemingly had some more gears to go through. An important victory after a tough run.

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-CRYSTAL PALACEFBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-CRYSTAL PALACE

Eze was Palace’s biggest threat / BEN STANSALL/GettyImages

GK: Dean Henderson – 5/10 – Bombarded by corners in the first half, with his only acts picking the ball out of his own net. Unfortunate to get an own goal to his name.

RB: Nathaniel Clyne – 5/10 – Bamboozled by Trossard for Arsenal’s third, the veteran struggling to deal with the Belgian.

CB: Chris Richards – 4/10 – Easily beaten in the air by Gabriel as Arsenal took the lead and didn’t look entirely comfortable all afternoon.

CB: Joachim Andersen – 5/10 – The deepest of Palace’s defenders and ended up with five going past him.

CB: Marc Guehi – 6/10 – Part of a centre-back trio and featured on the left-hand side. Not his best display, but had his back against the wall for much of the game. His late substitution proved costly as Arsenal added two more in his absence.

LB: Tyrick Mitchell – 6/10 – Fought well with Saka down Palace’s left, keeping tight to Arsenal’s dynamic winger.

RM: Eberechi Eze – 6/10 – Showed glimpses of his quality in the opposition half, but was often left to do too much all by himself.

CM: Jefferson Lerma – 6/10 – Tested Raya with a few long-range efforts, the first of which was a sweet strike.

CM: Will Hughes – 5/10 – Limited in his impact and was often a yard too slow to the ball. Substituted after the hour mark.

LM: Jeffrey Schlupp – 5/10 – Covered plenty of ground defensively and wasn’t asked to do too much going forward.

ST: Jean-Philippe Mateta – 5/10 – Incredibly isolated up top, often losing the physical duels with Arsenal’s centre-backs.

Substitutes

SUB: David Ozoh (68′ for Hughes) – 6/10

SUB: Matheus Franca (76′ for Schlupp) – 6/10

SUB: Naouirou Ahamada (76′ for Clyne) – 6/10

SUB: James Tomkins (87′ for Guehi) – N/A

Subs not used: Sam Johnstone (GK), Jairo Riedewald, Malcolm Ebiowei, Omotayo Adaramola, Odsonne Edouard.

Manager

Roy Hodgson – 3/10 – With the players he currently has missing, Hodgson decided to go for an ultra-defensive approach. It didn’t pay off, especially given his side’s difficulties defending corners.

Player of the match: Gabriel (Arsenal)

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