Three goals in 13 first-half minutes were enough to leave Arsenal in cruise control as they romped to a 3-0 win over Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
- Arsenal 3 Manchester United 0
- Alexis flicks Gunners in front
- Ozil doubles lead a minute later
- Sanchez adds stunning third
- Arsenal up to second in the table
The Gunners came out the blocks flying and found themselves 2-0 up after just seven minutes, Alexis Sanchez flicking home an audacious effort at the near post before Mesut Ozil placed a low shot into the bottom corner after being teed up by Theo Walcott.
With 20 minutes gone on the clock the scoreboard read 3-0, Sanchez grabbing his brace with a thumping drive into the top corner, and although United had their chances after the restart, they were unable to find a way past a resolute Petr Cech, who ensured a clean sheet to help Arsenal leapfrog the Red Devils into second in the standings.
Arsene Wenger's men started the match like a house on fire, and Sanchez put them ahead after six minutes, running in at the near post to get on the end of Hector Bellerin's low delivery before flicking the ball between his own legs and into the bottom corner of the net.
Less than 60 seconds later and the Gunners were two goals to the good, this time a crisp passing moving seeing Walcott played in behind, with the forward then cutting in and laying off for Ozil, who picked his spot before pinging home a first-time shot which left David de Gea rooted to the spot.
Midway through the first half and the host were in cruise control as Aaron Ramsey played the ball forward for Walcott, he in turn found Sanchez in acres of space, with the Chile international dancing his way past three defenders before rifling an unstoppable drive into the very top corner of the net.
With 30 minutes gone in the game, United were still unable to forge their first chance on goal, with their frustration manifesting itself through Darmian's tug on Sanchez, which earned the full-back an early yellow card.
Arsenal should have been four-up just four minutes later as Sanchez cut back inside to lose his man and dink a pin-point ball over to find the unmarked Ramsey, but the Welshman got his connection wrong and ballooned the ball over from just a few feet out.
Louis van Gaal's side finally mustered a meaningful effort on goal in the final minute of the first half as Anthony Martial controlled a pinged ball into the area before rolling Per Mertesacker, turning and firing at goal point blank, but Cech somehow managed to keep the forward's effort out with a trailing leg.
United knew they had to go for broke and looked a much-improved side after the restart, and Wayne Rooney almost found a way through shortly after the hour mark, but Cech was at his usual best form as he got down well to push the striker's fizzing effort behind the post.
The goalkeeper was again called into action a few minutes later, this time rushing out bravely to just smother the ball after Bastian Schweinsteiger's touch had got away from him at the vital moment.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came close to adding his name to the score sheet with a spectacular chipped effort, which had the beating of De Gea, but not the crossbar, which cruelly denied the substitute an injury-time goal.