Arsenal 4-0 Watford: Alex Iwobi scores again as Gunners cruise to win
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 02/04/16 8:12pm
Arsenal kept the pressure on Leicester and Tottenham in the Premier League title race with a 4-0 win over Watford on Saturday.
Alexis Sanchez put the Gunners ahead after four minutes at the Emirates, before Alex Iwobi's second goal for the club in as many games doubled their lead shortly before half-time.
A deflected strike from Hector Bellerin made it three just after the break, and substitute Theo Walcott added a fourth with a close-range finish in stoppage time.
Ikechi Anya squandered Watford's best opportunity late on, while goalkeeper David Ospina was called into action just once to deny Troy Deeney.
The win means Arsenal sit four points off Tottenham after their Saturday Night Football draw against Liverpool, and eight points behind league leaders Leicester, who take on Southampton on Super Sunday.
Having lost to Watford in their FA Cup quarter-final last month, Arsene Wenger picked the same team that beat Everton a fortnight ago and the hosts eased any nerves of a repeat with the opening goal inside four minutes.
Iwobi crossed for Sanchez and when the Chilean's initial effort was saved by Heurelho Gomes, he reacted quickest to turn home his first league goal at the Emirates since October.
The Gunners controlled the first-half, restricting Watford to a single shot on goal, and nearly added to their lead when Iwobi's curling effort was tipped over by Gomes.
Danny Welbeck went close as Arsenal kept the pressure on, but it was the impressive Iwobi who doubled their advantage seven minutes before the break, following up his strike against Everton with his second senior goal.
The young winger capped a flowing Arsenal move with a first-time finish, but lax marking from Etienne Capoue drew the ire of Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores, who substituted the midfielder before half-time.
But it did little to stem the tide as Bellerin extended Arsenal's lead via the aid of a deflection two minutes after the interval. The former Watford loanee saw his low shot strike Ben Watson, wrong-footing Gomes to put Arsenal in firm control.
They threatened to run riot as Iwobi then struck the crossbar before Gomes denied Ozil and Sanchez in quick succession.
The visitors almost pulled a goal back when Sebastian Prodl's header was cleared off the line by Nacho Monreal, and Ospina stayed alert to palm clear Deeney's snap-shot with 20 minutes to play.
But Arsenal put the icing on the cake when Walcott, who replaced Iwobi to a rousing ovation for the Nigeria international, swept home from Joel Campbell's cross.
Just moments before Anya had wasted Watford's best opening, unselfishly heading back across goal for Deeney when well placed to test Ospina himself.
It summed up a disjointed performance from the away side, who face Everton next at Vicarage Road. As for Arsenal, they travel to West Ham before back-to-back home games against Crystal Palace and West Brom.
Soccer Saturday verdict - Matt Le Tissier
The game was more one-sided than the scoreline would suggest, it was an absolute walk in the park for Arsenal. They dominated possession from the first few minutes, got the goal early and Watford weren't at the races.
Quique Sanchez Flores made his first substitution after 38 minutes, just after the second Arsenal goal. He made another change at half-time in an attempt to change things up because they were nowhere near the pace.
Arsenal scored a very early goal in the second half and it was game over, from that point on the Gunners let their foot off the gas and coasted through.
Arsenal: Ospina (6), Bellerin (7), Gabriel (6), Koscielny (6), Monreal (6), Coquelin (7), Elneny (7), Iwobi (8), Ozil (7), Sanchez (7), Welbeck (7)
Subs used: Walcott (7), Campbell (7), Giroud (6)
Watford: Gomes (6), Nyom (5), Prodl (5), Cathcart (5), Ake (5), Capoue (4), Watson (5), Suarez (5), Abdi (6), Deeney (6), Ighalo (5)
Subs used: Guedioura (6), Amrabat (6), Anya (6)
Man of the match: Alex Iwobi