A gorgeous 16th-minute volleyed goal from Olivier Giroud (beautifully assisted by Mesut Özil) and a 55th-minute own goal by Damien Delaney (on a comically-headed strike by an elevating Alexis Sanchez) was all that Arsenal got from a frenetically-played game, but it's all they needed to grab all three points from their Crystal Palace hosts with a 2-1 win at Selhurst Park.
Arsenal looked largely dominant throughout the game, with a 59-41 possession advantage and a 20-11 shot advantage, but Arsenal was unlucky on numerous first-half chances, with a few notable ones involving Alexis Sanchez. Thanks to one brief but key defensive lapse, Palace defender Joel Ward was left open to
laser gently guide a shot past a diving Petr Cech from 20 yards out in the 28th minute to tie the match. The first half was also notable for Francis Coquelin's not-quite-legitimate yellow card and some follow-up disapproving looks from referee Lee Mason on fouls that were, to be fair, legitimately cardable.
Ten minutes into the second half, Hector Bellerin lofted a perfect cross to the far post, and Alexis lept over a Joel Ward statue to head the ball toward goal -- a ball which banged off a sliding Delaney's shin into the net. An orange-card foul by Coquelin five minutes later led Twitter to instruct Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to sub him off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who helped create additional offensive pressure the remainder of the game. Mikel Arteta and Kieran Gibbs also saw action in late-second-half bus-making.
Petr Cech was tested several times late in the match by a generally likeable and spunky Palace -- bailed out by the post on one shot -- but did enough with collections and meek punchouts to preserve the victory.
To celebrate, we give you an anthem to rapidity from a fantastic German metal band of yore: