* Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 1-0
* Giroud produced an inspired scorpion flick to convert Sanchez’s cross
* Iwobi put Arsenal 2-0 ahead with a looping header
* Christian Benteke wasted Palace’s best chance
* Arsenal travel to Bournemouth next, Palace host Swansea
LONDON, Jan 1 (Reuters) - ARSENAL 2 CRYSTAL PALACE 0
Jan 1 (Reuters) - Olivier Giroud scored with a superb, improvised backheeled volley as Arsenal eased past struggling Crystal Palace with a 2-0 win that moved them into third spot in the Premier League on Sunday.
The France international produced a flying scorpion-like flick with his left heel to convert Alexis Sanchez’s cross while tumbling forward following an Arsenal counter-attack, which helped build with another neat flick, in the 17th minute.
It was uncannily similar to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal for Manchester United against Sunderland on Boxing Day.
While Arsenal’s first goal was a stunning piece of improvisation their second after 55 minutes was a messy affair with Alex Iwobi’s looping header dropping in via Palace defender Joel Ward who failed to make a goalline clearance.
Christian Benteke wasted the best of Palace’s few chances when he headed wide shortly before Iwobi’s effort and though Sam Allardyce’s side did briefly rally having fallen two goals behind they never looked likely to get back into the game.
But Arsenal were dominant as they moved above Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur into third, nine points behind rampant leaders Chelsea and one ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who beat Watford 4-1 away earlier on Sunday. (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Mitch Phillips)