Premier League - Oxlade-Chamberlain double fires Arsenal top

Premier League, Emirates Stadium - Arsenal 2 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 47, 73) Crystal Palace 0

Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League table courtesy of an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain double in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at the Emirates.

Operating from central midfield, Oxlade-Chamberlain struck twice on 47 and 74 minutes after an indifferent first half performance by Arsenal that saw Palace's defensive ploy work to perfection.

Arsene Wenger's side are two points clear of Manchester City before Manuel Pellegrini's side host Chelsea on Monday evening.

Wenger can be thankful to Oxlade-Chamberlain for his contribution after he chipped the ball over Julian Speroni for the opening goal just after half-time before hammering a shot through the Palace goalkeeper for his second goal of the afternoon.

Palace fought gamely throughout the match, but were ultimately undone by a lack of quality in the final third.

They have the consolation of being a point ahead of third-bottom West Ham and remaining just above the automatic relegation spots.

KEY MOMENTS

7' - SPERONI STOP: Fine stop by Speroni to come off his line to make a block from Monreal after he was sent in on goal by Ozil.

32' - SPERONI AGAIN HALTS ARSENAL: Speroni with a nice save to nudge the ball behind from the Koscielny flick on. Super stop by the visiting goalkeeper who hasn't been overworked so far.

47' - OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN FINDS OPENING GOAL: Oxlade-Chamberlain lifts the ball into the net over Speroni. Lovely ball from Cazorla. Arsenal lead 1-0.

52' - JEROME SQUANDERS A CHANCE TO LEVEL: Brilliant stop by Szczesny. Golden chance for Jerome, but he can't beat the keeper from five yards out with the header. Bolasie came up with the header on. Should probably have scored.

73' - A SECOND FOR ARSENAL: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain breaks into the Palace box before slamming the ball beyond Speroni. And that should be that.

KEY STATS

Arsenal have 55 points from their opening 24 matches this season. This is the third best ever top flight points tally at this stage of the season; they had 58 in 03/04 and 57 in 07/08.

Arsenal have won seven Premier League matches 2-0 this season, they are one of only two teams this season to have had the exact same result seven times; the other team is Palace, who have now lost 2-0 seven times.

Arsenal extend their unbeaten run vs. Palace to seven league matches. Tony Pulis has now failed to win a Premier League match at Arsenal in six attempts.

Oxlade-Chamberlain’s second was the 150th Premier League goal Crystal Palace have conceded away from home, excluding own goals.

Opta

TALKING POINT: Should Oxlade-Chamberlain now be classified as a central midfielder? Can do the job out wide, but is certainly involved more from the central area. Two goals, a bundle of energy and healthy appreciation from the club's fans and manager must boost his confidence levels. Will Oxlade-Chamerlain be a key part of England's midfield at the World Cup finals after his recent return from a serious injury? Stranger things have happened.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND PLAYER RATINGS

MAN OF THE MATCH

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal): The young winger/forward was deployed in a slightly deeper role as an attacking midfielder, but showed the sort of class that he brings to this Arsenal side. England manager Roy Hodgson will also note such a telling contribution.

PLAYER RATINGS

Arsenal: Szczesny 7, Sagna 6, Mertesacker 6, Koscielny 6, Monreal 6, Arteta 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 8, Cazorla 7, Ozil 7, Podolski 6, Giroud 6..subs: Gibbs 6, Rosicky 6, Bendtner 6

Crystal Palace: Speroni 7, Ward 6, Gabbidon 7, Delaney 7, Parr 6, Bolasie 6, Dikgacoi 6, Jedinak 6, Puncheon 6, Chamakh 5, Jerome 5..subs: Bannan 6, Gayle 6

MATCH IN A TWEET