Arsenal grabbed a comfortable 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, moving into fifth place in the Premier League standings in the process.
Nacho Monreal gave the Gunners the lead early in the first half, scoring from close range after a wild scramble in the box. Alex Iwobi added to the advantage after the break, and the Gunners cruised to the finish line.
Here's a look at the two teams:
Arsenal FC @Arsenal
Our team once more: Cech, Holding, Mustafi, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Alexis, Lacazette #AFCvBHA https://t.co/3YDGghrZQg2017-10-1 10:07:50
BHAFC ⚽️ @OfficialBHAFC
Here's how #BHAFC line up against @Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium today. #ARSBHA https://t.co/Ht3P1I2UuW2017-10-1 10:00:22
Alexandre Lacazette nearly gave the hosts a dream start, hitting the post with a clever half-volley after some good work from Iwobi. The Gunners moved the ball quickly, and Mathew Ryan had little time to breathe, with Alexis Sanchez putting him to work with a low shot.
The Australian again had to intervene, with Iwobi testing his reflexes, but there was little he could do about Monreal's opener after 16 minutes.
The Spaniard converted after the ball pinballed around the goalmouth following a free-kick, although the visitors were adamant the ball had gone out of play.
Per OptaJoe, scoring does not come natural to the defender:
1660 - Nacho Monreal has scored his first Premier League goal since 16th March 2013 vs Swansea; 1660 days ago. Cheesy. https://t.co/n4yWPlp1Gh2017-10-1 11:20:45
Solly March almost hit back with Albion's first real chance of the half, with a smart free-kick routine resulting in a free shot that hit the post. On the other side of the pitch, Lacazette fired a shot right at Ryan when he perhaps should have played in Sanchez instead.
Aaron Ramsey soon put Ryan to work again after a clever cutback from Hector Bellerin. The final chance of the half fell to the visitors, but Davy Propper's shot flew well over Petr Cech's goal.
The second half started with a slightly slower pace, with few chances early. Iwobi converted the first real opportunity of the half, courtesy of a great pass by Sanchez. The Premier League's official Twitter account rightly offered praise:
Premier League @premierleague
GOAL Arsenal 2-0 Brighton (56 mins) A delightful backheel from Sanchez falls to Iwobi who scores his first #PL goal of the season #ARSBHA2017-10-1 12:13:29
Sead Kolasinac went close to scoring a third Arsenal goal, but March managed to clear his header off the line. Sanchez also had a look with a free-kick as the home team continued to dominate.
Glenn Murray headed a chance narrowly wide for Albion, but the visitors couldn't build enough momentum to truly threaten Arsenal. A few half-chances in the final minutes didn't result in any goals, and the Gunners easily held on to their advantage.
Manager Arsene Wenger was not impressed with his team.
"I would say that we kept a clean sheet, we got the points and offensively we were certainly not ruthless enough," Wenger told the media after the match. "Our focus and the pace in the game was a bit in and out. We had good moments and as well moments when we lost a bit our concentration in balls that we usually don’t lose, but we got what we wanted and [it was] just before the break."