The game was made a lot closer thanks to a Mikel Arteta red card.
Arsenal dominated possession in the first half, but were unable to create any significant chances. Palace actually created a few half chances and were probably happy with their first half efforts.
However, their first half shift was quickly undone when they conceded a sloppy penalty right as fans were returning to their seats. Arteta calmly put the penalty away and the Gunners were on their way.
All that changed in the middle of the second half with Arteta’s sending off and Arsenal had to dig in deep to survive. A stunning save by Szczesny and a shot off the crossbar kept the Gunners in front.
Late in the game Arsenal hit Palace on the break; Giroud sealing the victory and putting the game out of reach. Arsenal stay on top of the Premier League.
Szczesny 9. One stunning save off a volley from Jelinak, makes him my man of the match. He made a couple of good saves, although he came rashly off the line in the first half and missed a cross.
Sagna 8. A great game from Sagna. He was solid at the back, contained the youngster Bolasie and he made some good crosses.
Gibbs 7. A good game from Kieran who was good going forward and helped to keep the defence solid.
Mertesacker 7. A good game from Per, although his first half back header needed an alert Szczesny to spare him any blushes.
Koscielny 7. Laurent played another good game and kept Palace from getting any clear chances.
Flamini n/a. A worrying injury for Matthieu early in the game. Hopefully he’ll be back for the Dortmund game.
Arteta 7. Mikel played very well, was involved in the attacks, and he scored the penalty with ease. The red card? I felt the referee was harsh, that Chamakh initiated the contact, but Arteta got too close and gave the referee the choice to pull the red card out of his pocket. Will now be badly missed in important upcoming fixtures.
Ramsey 7. A good game for Aaron who got stronger as the game got longer. He made a memorable chip pass to Giroud for the second goal.
Cazorla 7. Was quiet for most of the first half, but made a dangerous cross late in the first half. Was playing well with all of the extra room in the second half, but Arteta’s sending off led to him being replaced by the more defensive Wilshere.
Ozil 7. Involved in most of Arsenal’s attacking moves. Missed a volley which could have been goal of the month if he’d pulled it off. As Palace tired he became more influential. That said, he did look tired at the end of the game.
Giroud 8. Olivier scored his eighth goal of the season to seal the victory. Should have scored on a header earlier in the game, but he battled all afternoon and linked up well with his teammates.
Gnabry 8. Serge had a good outing. Almost won a penalty in the first half and won a penalty in the second half. Had to be sacrificed after the red card.
Monreal 8. An excellent cameo for Nacho, who several times slalomed his way through the Palace defence. Unfortunately he was unable to find a good shot at the end of his moves.
Wilshere 7. Jack never quite got the day off as he expected. He had a tidy outing, helping to solidify the Gunners defence.
Source: Arsenal World