Dubai: Points mean prizes and if Arsenal can continue their impressive form, it seems there’s nothing Manchester City will be able to do to prevent them from claiming the top spot in the Premier League.
The Gunners moved eight points clear at the top of the table thanks to a routine 4-1 home victory over managerless Crystal Palace.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City might be making waves in the Champions League and the FA Cup, but with a huge gap at the top, even having a striker like Erling Haaland might not be enough.
Arsenal might not have a 42-goal striker in their ranks, but they still sealed their sixth straight league win. Their ninth London derby victory of the season is a new top-flight record, and it leaves Palace in a sorry state. The sacking of former Arsenal idol Patrick Vieira failed to produce the desired results, and Palace are still without a win in twelve league games.
They are now contemplating sending out an SOS call to 75-year-old Roy Hodgson. Although they ended their 444-minute goal drought, they are just three points above the relegation zone, having played more games than most teams below them. Panic has broken out in their boardroom, and their ten-year run in the top flight is now seriously under threat.
Rookie Joe Whitworth had no chance when Bukayo Saka’s 28th-minute cross picked out Gabriel Martinelli, who cut inside Joel Ward and fired an unstoppable shot into the far corner for his 13th of the season.
Arsenal doubled their lead just before the break when Granit Xhaka’s drive across the face of goal was retrieved by Saka, and he exchanged passes with Ben White. Zaha didn’t even bother to chase him back, leaving Saka free to pick his spot.
Xhaka put the game beyond doubt when he stabbed home from Leandro Trossard’s 55th-minute through ball, despite a shove in the back from the hapless Ward.
Jeffrey Schlupp briefly reduced the arrears when Odegaard failed to deal with a 63rd-minute corner, but any fanciful thoughts of a Palace comeback were ended in the 75th minute when Saka struck again from Kieran Tierney’s low cut back.
The Gunners are aiming to become champions for the first time since 2003-04 and if they keep playing like this then the title is all but theirs.