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TStv Africa
 

Arsenal shrugged off the impending departure of Alexis Sanchez by scoring four times in the first 22 minutes en route to a 4-1 hammering of Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Chile international appears set to make the switch to Premier League rivals Manchester United, who are reportedly ready to pay £35million plus Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the forward's services.

For the second straight game, Arsene Wenger left Sanchez out of his matchday squad and the Frenchman seems poised for a pursuit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a replacement after Borussia Dortmund confirmed the Gunners had made a bid, thought to be in the region of €50m.

But whatever Arsenal's comings and goings before the end of the January window, they were certainly not short of firepower at Emirates Stadium as a sorry Palace were swept aside in a devastating opening.

Nacho Monreal capitalised on shambolic defending to score the first and then tee up the next two for Alex Iwobi and Laurent Koscielny before the returning Mesut Ozil, back after missing three games with a knee injury, played a key role in Alexandre Lacazette's marvellous fourth.

Luka Milivojevic's consolation came far too late to cause any Arsenal nerves and victory sees Wenger's men bring their five-match winless streak - since a 3-2 success at Palace in which Sanchez scored twice - to a resounding end and move within two points of fifth-placed Tottenham, who visit Southampton on Sunday.

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