LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal ended a five-game winless streak in all competitions by thrashing London rivals Crystal Palace 4-1 with four goals inside the first 22 minutes in the Premier League on Saturday.
Goals from Nacho Monreal, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscielny and Alexandre Lacazette left Palace reeling and lifted the spirits among fans and players alike at The Emirates.
Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez, who is widely expected to sign for Manchester United soon, was left out of Arsenal’s squad but the team did not appear to miss his services.
The win leaves the Gunners in sixth place, two points behind rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who visit Southampton on Sunday.
They took the lead in the sixth minute when Monreal headed in from a Granit Xhaka corner and then turned provider for goals by Iwobi in the 10th and Koscielny three minutes later.
French striker Lacazette soon made it four for the home side, collecting a clever back-heel from Mesut Ozil in the area before turning to curl his strike past keeper Wayne Hennessey.
Palace had more of the ball as the half progressed but struggled to put together any attacking moves.
Visiting winger Wilfried Zaha looked sharp and had one late shot on target but striker Christian Benteke gestured in frustration at the lack of service from his team mates.
Benteke came close to scoring on the hour as Palace raced up the field on the break, only to thump the ball straight at onrushing keeper Petr Cech.
Palace captain Luka Milivojevic scored in the 78th minute, chesting the ball down before turning and shooing into the corner, but the result had long been beyond doubt by then.
Reporting by Hugh Lawson; Editing by Ken Ferris