Football Expert & Columnist
Arsenal: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has proved that he's back with excellent performance
Niall Quinn impressed with midfielder's brace in 2-0 win over Crystal Palace...
Last Updated: 02/02/14 7:11pm
Making his first start after five months out with injury, the Gunners midfielder celebrated his comeback with both goals in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace that sent Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League.
His performance went down well with Sky Sports expert Niall Quinn, who believes Oxlade-Chamberlain is vital to Arsenal's chances of lifting silverware this season.
Quinn said: "Alex was excellent. I think he wanted to do things all the time from the first minute.
"It wasn't that good for him in the first half, but the goal took the shackles off him to really enjoy his performance. He was trying, bringing energy to it, he got lots of touches, and he wanted the ball all the time which is a great sign for a guy that's been out injured.
"He lasted the pace as well, he didn't hold back. He was very, very decisive in everything he tried to do. As I said, it was a tough first half but he slotted in well with some prestigious players around him and he led by example at times and tackled back.
"We had been talking about transfer window and the lack of signings; I think the Arsenal fans are going home thinking a little bit more about what they have in their own squad. Even Bendtner came on to a great ovation from the Arsenal fans and the Ox goes and proves that he's back. It's a good day all in for Arsenal."
Leicester striker and fellow Sky Sports expert Kevin Phillips echoed Quinn's thoughts on Oxlade-Chamberlain's Man of the Match performance, saying: "It took him a while to get in the game but he's been out for a long time and takes time to get your second wind.
"Arsenal didn't make any new signings in the January window, but that's like having a new signing coming back after that long on the sidelines and if he can continue to improve and get fitter he's going to be a massive asset for Arsene. He's had a good day the Ox.
"He was excellent, he grew in to the game, he speaks really well and he's got an old head on young shoulders. He's grounded and it's fantastic that he's back fully fit and let's hope from England's point of view that he continues to play like that for the rest of the season."
The win means Arsene Wenger's side regain the top spot in the Premier League until Monday at least, when second and third placed Manchester City and Chelsea meet at the Etihad for Monday Night Football, and Quinn believes these three important points for Arsenal mean they can sit back and relax.
"When you look back it was workmanlike," added the former Arsenal forward.
"It could have been a lot different had Cameron Jerome scored but they got there and showed their class at all times.
"They didn't easily brush Crystal Palace aside and they deserve credit for coming here and putting up a good performance but it's three very important points.
"Now they can switch on the TV on Monday night and see which team they're going to make the ground up on - is it going to be both if they draw? Or, if Chelsea win they stay on top.
"It's a nice situation to be in and you've got to keep doing that week in week out as the season goes on."
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