Gunners excellent in must-win fixture
Arsenal ran out 4-0 winners over a Watford side eager to bounce back from a forgettable defeat of their own prior to the international break - and did it in style. Alexis Sánchez was mightily impressive once again operating down the right flank, and broke the deadlock when his rebound floated above Heurelho Gomes after Alex Iwobi's teasing delivery was headed goalwards. The former Tottenham goalkeeper made a smart reactive stop from close-range, before the Chilean pounced onto the loose ball to open the scoring after four minutes.
The Gunners knew they needed to build from their excellent away display against Everton at Goodison two weeks ago, and the home supporters were in for a performance to remember. Danny Welbeck and Alexis both came close before the lead was doubled, with Iwobi scoring a neatly-taken strike in the box. A fast-paced passing exchange saw Alexis in space with time to make a decision, and he unselfishly cut the ball back for the 19-year-old Nigerian, who was cool and collected as he slotted home low near the penalty spot.
Hector Bellerín made it 3-0 after some tireless work on the edge of the area, as well as some fortune too. His strike took a deflection and nestled past a helpless Gomes - making it three and comfortable for the hosts. They were not finished there, though. Iwobi hit the crossbar and was equally hard-working before being replaced in the latter stages to a standing ovation from the Gunners faithful - a number of half-chances were squandered before two substitutes combined to seal a fantastic fourth. Joel Campbell weaved past his marker on the flank, hit a driven cross low into the area - and Theo Walcott was in the right place at the right time to slot home from close-range.
As a result, the north Londoners have closed the gap between themselves and league leaders Leicester to eight points. Can they continue to close the gap and silence their critics with an unlikely - but equally possible - Premier League trophy come mid-May? Time will tell.