Bukayo Saka scored two goals on Sunday as Arsenal moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 4-1 victory over managerless Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.
With Manchester City in FA Cup action on Saturday, the Gunners capitalised on the chance to extend their lead against a Palace side led by interim boss Paddy McCarthy after Patrick Vieira was sacked on Friday.
Saka and Gabriel Martinelli both scored first-half goals but only after the visitors had come within a whisker of leading when Wilfried Zaha’s early effort came back off a post.
Granit Xhaka added a third shortly after the break to wrap up the points, but Palace, winless in their last 13 matches across all competitions, scored their first goal in five games when Jeffrey Schlupp turned in from close range at a corner.
Saka, though, netted his second and Arsenal’s fourth to pile the misery on Palace, who sit three points above the relegation zone.
Arsenal, however, continue their title quest when they host relegation-threatened Leeds on Saturday, April 1.
The Gunners then head to Liverpool on Sunday, April 9.
When Crystal Palace return after the March international break, their next six fixtures are against teams below them in the table.
The last time the Eagles played a team below them in the league was against Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve in 2022, which was Vieira’s last win in charge.
Palace face relegation rivals Leicester at home on Saturday, April 1 before heading to Leeds on Sunday, April 9.
More big games follow at Southampton and then at home to Everton.