Olivier Giroud provided Arsene Wenger with a reminder of what he can do by coming off the bench to help Arsenal record a 3-0 away win over Watford in the Premier League this evening.
The Hornets held their own for 62 minutes before Alexis Sanchez’s opener, and Giroud doubled Arsenal’s lead six minutes later with this confident close-range finish from Mesut Ozil’s precise cutback.
The Frenchman has started only one of Arsenal’s last six games, with Theo Walcott having, for now, earned his manager’s confidence as a central striker with a run of four goals in seven outings.
But Giroud’s strike as a substitute at Vicarage Road, combined with his double for France this week, may give Wenger food for thought ahead of Tuesday’s huge Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.
Sanchez was another Gunner among the goals on the international break, scoring three times for Chile, and he ended Watford’s resistance to take his tally to 10 in his last six games for club and country.
Santi Cazorla combined beautifully with Ozil, who was brought down by Chelsea loanee Nathan Ake as he threatened to shoot, but Sanchez thumped the loose ball into the roof of the net from six yards.
Alexis Sanchez goal video: Chilean continues spectacular form with Arsenal’s opener at Watford
Watford had previously defended with admirable organisation and calmness, although at the expense of their attacking threat as Odion Ighalo screwed only clear-cut chance wide at the end of the first half.
And, once their goal had finally been breached, Arsenal picked Watford off in a classy second-half showing as Giroud netted his fourth league strike of the campaign at the end of a delightful team move.
It was only another six minutes until Arsenal were out of sight. Hector Bellerin went on a charge from right-back and squared for Aaron Ramsey to open his account for the season via a deflection.
Victory sees the Gunners regain second in the table from Manchester United – with Manchester City two points clear at the top – and should give them a boost ahead of a crunch week in Europe.
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