Three Things We Learned after Arsenal beat Palace 4-1

Alan Alger on Three Things We Learned after Arsenal moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League

Three Things We Learned after Arsenal beat Palace 4-1

Unsung Martinelli just doesn't let up...

Gabriel Martinelli put midweek Europa League disappointment behind him with an all-action 83-minute display which largely contributed to our success in this game. The Brazilian youngster was the epitome of unselfish forward play, despite taking the goalscoring honours for our first goal, just before the half-hour mark.

It feels like we almost take his work-rate and professionalism for granted, especially as he's only 21. He acknowledged that he'd had a sleepless night on Thursday after missing the decisive spot-kick against our Portuguese opponents, but answered his own criticism brilliantly with this display. Sleep well tonight, Gabi!

The players sense how close we are...

With an hour gone in the game and leading 3-0, I think we got a glimpse of just how close the players know they are in the race for the Premier League title. Granit Xhaka was struggling to get the ball safe deep in our half, cue some over the top assistance in clearing the ball (blasted out for a corner) from Ben White.

The reaction from the two players and then the crowd was simply sensational for what was a routine and rather uncharacteristic way of clearing lines. Both celebrated with each other and then got the crowd going as they lined up to defend a corner. That set-piece led to Palace's consolation goal, although it would be unfair to say it let them back into the game.

A three-goal cushion was restored before we saw the game out. As much as I loved the crescendo of noise the crowd made as this incident played out, I think the players need to calm down a little - while still showing some emotion to the crowd. It's only a small step from this to the kind of speech Steven Gerrard gave (also against Palace) when he said "we do not let this slip", leading to his incident at Anfield laced with the irony of that demand.

I hate to give notes of caution when it's so easy to get carried away, but we're going to need those celebrations and fan backing for much bigger incidents (hopefully).

Tierney's 'finisher' cameo shows what we'd be missing...

Kieran Tierney could be forgiven for thinking that this season could have been better from a personal perspective. He appears to have lost what, at times, looked like one of the most certain places in our starting XI, to a new signing from our new title rivals.

No sulking from our Scottish defensive star though, he couldn't wait to get onto the pitch and effect the play. A thoroughly good tackle when tracking back at speed then a superb cut-back for Bukayo Saka's second goal - all in 25 minute appearance.

It's not just Tierney that deserves credit here, it's boss Mikel Arteta for fostering that attitude amongst what he now calls his 'finishers'. We must make every effort to keep him as a squad option.

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