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Saka shines as four-star Gunners go eight points clear

Arsenal are eight points clear in the Premier League after beating Crystal Palace 4-1 at home with Bukayo Saka making one goal and scoring two.

Britain Soccer Premier League England's Bukayo Saka celebrates one of his two goals against Crystal Palace in Arsenal's 4-1 win.
March 20, 2023
20 March 2023

Bukayo Saka has scored two goal and assisted another as Arsenal eased past Crystal Palace 4-1 to move eight points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

The Gunners were eliminated from the Europa League by Sporting of Lisbon on Thursday, but they showed no sign of a hangover against managerless London rivals Palace.

Gabriel Martinelli’s 13th league goal of the season gave Arsenal the lead at Emirates Stadium on Sunday and Saka, who set up that opener, added a second before half-time.

Granit Xhaka put the game out of the reach of Palace, who did pull one back through Jeffrey Schlupp, before Saka’s second made certain of a sixth league win in a row.

Palace had fired former Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira in midweek after 12 matches without a win, but they had only conceded five goals in the last six games.

But they had not scored in the last four. 

That run was nearly ended when Schlupp played in Wilfried Zaha, who cut onto his right foot and fired a low shot that hit the post in a lively start from Palace.

Joe Whitworth denied Saka at the other end, but the young keeper could not get a hand to Martinelli’s impressive drilled shot across goal into the bottom-right corner.

Saka doubled Arsenal’s lead shortly before half-time when exchanging passes with Ben White and coolly curling the ball away from Whitworth.

Palace were further behind 10 minutes into the second half through Xhaka’s bundled finish after being played through by Leandro Trossard.

Schlupp’s strike from six metres after Arsenal failed to deal with a corner gave the visiting fans something to cheer, but Saka’s sharp first-time finish made certain of a routine win.

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