EPL: Iwobi reignites Arsenal’s title challenge
BY JOE APU
Arsenal of England and Super Eagles’ attacker, Alex Iwobi on New Year’s Day helped his English Premiership League side to reignite her title challenge with a 2-0 victory over visiting Crystal Palace at the Emirate Stadium.
Arsene Wenger’s men were without Mesut Ozil due to illness, but took a first-half lead, thanks to a magnificent counter-attack, finished by a moment of majestic improvisation from Olivier Giroud that put Arsenal ahead.
After Lucas Perez slid in to win back possession in his own half, Hector Bellerin rolled into Giroud who back heeled deliciously to Granit Xhaka. His pass found Alex Iwobi, who set Alexis Sanchez down the left, before the Chilean’s cross was met by the heel of the flying Frenchman, his effort beating Wayne Hennessey and flying in off the underside of the bar.
The Puskas award for 2017’s best goal may be in the bag already.Arsenal couldn’t find a second before the break, despite dominating, Hennessey equal to efforts from Alexis, Xhaka and Iwobi.However, the Nigerian youngster wouldn’t be denied 11 minutes into the second half, his header looping over Hennessey with Joel Ward unable to keep it out, doubling the hosts’ advantage.
That seemingly spurred the visitors into life, with the visitors more willing to throw men forwards and have a go at their hosts, seeing Petr Cech called upon to make a number of saves just after the hour mark, notably from Benteke.
This was Palace’s 11th defeat in the league this season – only the bottom three had been beaten more often – while the three points pushed the Gunners back above Manchester City, into third.
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