Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain delighted with Emirates double
Midfielder scored two as Gunners climbed back to the top of the table with win over Crystal Palace
Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates after scoring against Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium . Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was delighted as he scored a brace on his return to the Arsenal starting line-up as the Gunners reclaimed top spot in the Barclays Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger’s side recorded their eighth win from their last nine matches and extended their unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions to go back to the summit by two points ahead of Monday night’s clash between second placed Manchester City and Chelsea, who are in third. But the defeat left Palace just one point above the relegation zone alongside West Brom on 23 points.
Man of the match Oxlade-Chamberlain told Sky Sports 1: “It’s something I want to add to my game — more goals — so it was nice to get two today. It’s always an amazing feeling to score a goal and especially at a stadium like the Emirates and I’m glad I can help the team with two goals.”
After a goalless first half Oxlade-Chamberlain put on a run to collect Santi Cazorla’s ball forward, controlled it well and tipped it over diving Palace keeper Julian Speroni from close range two minutes after the break. Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled the Gunners’ lead after 73 minutes after playing a clever one-two with Olivier Giroud as he took the ball down into the Palace box and beat Speroni with a powerful low shot.
Wenger praised match winner Oxlade-Chamberlain and said he could become a very important player for the club.
“We knew Crystal Palace are physically strong and we had to be intelligent, patient and take our chances,” he said. “Oxlade-Chamberlain got us two great goals for us today and I’m very happy for him as he was out for four months this season and he had shown today that he can be a very important player for us.”
Speaking about the fist goal, the Gunners boss added: “Sometimes you have to be patient to create space and I think he used it very well when the opportunity was there and he has that kind of surge to come from deep midfield to be dangerous.
“For a young player like that he has shown that he will (keep his favoured midfield position).”
Wenger’s side enter an important month in their search for silverware and, next up they face a daunting schedule including Premier League and FA Cup tussles with Liverpool, a league visit from Manchester United and the opening leg of their Champions League tie against holders Bayern Munich.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is confident they can keep their run going and said: “We’ve got a lot of hard fixtures but (have to take it) one step at a time. We’ve got a really big game at Liverpool away and we’re looking to put this one behind us and take the positives from it and prepare to hopefully go and get three points from Liverpool.”