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Gabriel helps Arsenal end 3-game losing streak with its 5-0 win over Crystal Palace

Gabriel helps Arsenal end 3-game losing streak with its 5-0 win over Crystal Palace

LONDON (AP) — Central defender Gabriel Magalhaes helped Arsenal solve its scoring problems as the Gunners ended a three-game losing streak in all competitions with a 5-0 win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

Having seen the team’s forwards waste a slew of chances during its recent skid, Gabriel took matters into his own hands in the first half at Emirates Stadium. The Brazil international first headed in a corner in the 11th minute and then forced an own goal by Palace goalkeeper Dean Henderson from another set piece delivery in the 37th.

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Leandro Trossard added the third after a quick counterattack in the 59th and substitute Gabriel Martinelli finished off the rout with two near-identical goals in stoppage time as Arsenal climbed above Aston Villa into third in the Premier League standings. Mikel Arteta’s team cut the gap to Liverpool to two points ahead of the leader’s game at Bournemouth on Sunday.

Arsenal’s inability to turn its dominance into goals had cost it dearly in recent losses to West Ham and Fulham in the league, and Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Arsenal’s Gabriel celebrates scoring its first goal with teammates against Crystal Palace in the Premier League. | Photo Credit: ANDREW BOYERS/ Reuters

So it came as a relief to the home crowd when Gabriel climbed above Chris Richards to meet a perfectly delivered corner from Declan Rice with a well-taken header in the 11th minute.

The center back thought he had scored a double when he popped up at the far post to nod in another delivery from Bukayo Saka from close range, but it was ruled an own goal after the ball bounced off the head of Henderson and into the net.

“We work a lot on set pieces because we know the quality we have,” Gabriel said. “Today I scored two so we keep that going.”

Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya had a quiet game as the hosts controlled proceedings but had to make a two-handed save at full stretch to deny Jefferson Lerma’s long-range strike in the 33rd — although that was only because his own poor clearance had sent the ball straight to his opponent.

Defender Gabriel celebrates scoring Arsenal’s opener in the 5-0 hammering of Crystal Palace. (AP PHOTO)

Arsenal’s third goal also came from a corner — but a Palace one this time. Raya collected the delivery into the box and quickly released Gabriel Jesus on the counter. The Brazilian striker squared the ball to Trossard, who cut inside a defender and unleashed a fierce strike into the corner from near the penalty spot.

Martinelli added some gloss to the scoreline in the fourth minute of stoppage time after running onto a pass from Eddie Nketiah and rolling a low finish inside the far post. Just a minute later, he replicated that with a similar finish after being teed up by Jorginho.

That might end the talk about Arsenal’s scoring woes, at least for a while.

“We knew we needed a game like that where we had a clean sheet and scored five goals,” Martinelli said.

Palace stayed in 14th place, five points above the relegation zone. And speculation about manager Roy Hodgson’s future might pick following the big defeat, especially with former Chelsea and Brighton coach Graham Potter watching the game from the stands.

Input from Associated Press Written BY MATTIAS KAREN

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