Arsenal F.C. beat Crystal Palace, Liverpool held

Feb 03 2014, 13:09 IST
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Arsenal F.C.'s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates with Mikel Arteta after the triumph over Crystal Palace. (Reuters) Arsenal F.C.'s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates with Mikel Arteta after the triumph over Crystal Palace. (Reuters)
SummaryArsenal F.C. overcame struggling Crystal Palace 2-0 thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's second-half brace.

In the Premier League's top-four shuffle, it's Arsenal F.C. leading the way again - for now.

After slipping from the summit during the week, Arsenal F.C. overcame struggling Crystal Palace 2-0 on Sunday thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's second-half brace.

Now the focus turns to Monday night when Manchester City, which is two points behind Arsenal, hosts Chelsea, which is three points further back in third.

''I will watch that game with interest because it's two competitors against us and it's always interesting to see how they behave,'' Arsenal F.C. manager Arsene Wenger said. ''We gained some points through some other opponents like Liverpool and Man United over this weekend, and I think we know that our results at the Emirates will be massively important until the end.''

Liverpool F.C. remained in fourth place, but its 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion was a missed opportunity to strengthen its pursuit of Champions League qualification.

Having led through Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool F.C. defender Kolo Toure sloppily gave the ball away to allow Victor Anicheb to equalize for West Brom.

Although Wenger still talks of United as a rival, an eighth loss of the title defense - at Stoke on Saturday - means the champions are seven points behind Liverpool.

And Arsenal F.C. is 15 points ahead of United in its quest for a first league title in a decade, after bouncing back from a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Southampton on Tuesday.

Despite dominating against Palace, Arsenal was frustrated throughout the first half in its pursuit of a goal against their relegation-threatened but well-organized London rivals.

The breakthrough came inside two minutes of the restart as Oxlade-Chamberlain scored his first Arsenal goal since December 2012 on his first league start since being injured on the opening day of this season in August.

Santi Cazorla weaved his way through the Palace defense and dinked the ball over for Oxlade-Chamberlain to lift the ball over goalkeeper Julian Speroni from close range.

And the 20-year-old England midfielder netted a second in the 73rd minute as he slotted seamlessly back into the injury-hit team.

Thomas Rosicky knocked the ball forward to Olivier Giroud, who backheeled it for Oxlade-Chamberlain to strike low into the net as Arsenal went a 10th game in all competitions unbeaten.

''It's something I want to add to my game - more goals - so it was nice to get two today,'' he said.

And

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