Arsenal 5 Huddersfield 0: The Herbert Chapman derby ended in an emphatic victory for the more illustrious of his two former clubs.
Statues of Chapman feature inside and outside the Arsenal stadium in recognition of how he inspired the club to a hat-trick of top flight titles and FA Cup success in the 30s.
He had, of course, achieved the same at his previous club Huddersfield, who regularly used to thrash their London rivals before Chapman switched sides.
Chapman, who died prematurely almost 75 years ago, would have had sympathy for the club he first made his name at as the newly promoted side managed by David Wagner could not cope with Arsenal’s slick second half passing.
That was when Arsenal added four goals to Alex Lacazette’s third minute strike to take Arsene Wenger’s side clear in fourth place in the table and extend their unbeaten streak to 13 matches and 10 clean sheets.
Lacazette kicked it off with a clinical third minute finish after a great pass from Aaron Ramsey.
It was almost as if Arsenal had scored too early, too easily as they failed to sustain their opening cutting edge.
Then, out of keeping with the run of the mill flow of the match, Arsenal almost doubled their lead with just over half an hour gone.
It came from a genius piece of skill from Lacazette as he chipped Jonas Lossl as he completed a 360-degree turn right in front of the floundering Town keeper only to see his viciously spinning effort cleared off the line.
The French striker, along with fellow front men Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, recalled after missing the weekend win at Burnley through illness, were by far Arsenal’s brightest players.
Wenger’s side are yet to fail to win when the trio have started a match and it was easy to see why judging on the first half exchanges alone.
They will probably have to do without Lacazette when Manchester United visit on Saturday after the French striker was forced off the interval last night.
“It is an injury, it looked like a groin injury so he might be out for a while,” Wenger said.
Despite the Lacazette setback, Arsenal started the second half with new energy in attack as Olivier Giroud replaced his fellow Frenchman.
Arsenal carved open the Huddersfield defence in their first attack. This time, however, Ozil failed to finish the chance.
Moments later and Petr Cech was called into serious action for the first time as he made a great save with his feet from a Quaner shot.
Giroud looked a little rusty when he rounded Lossl to strike the woodwork when he seemed set to score with ease with half an hour to go.
There was no way Giroud could miss his next chance when Ozil slipped him a chance from close range ion the 68th minute.
Sanchez killed the match off a minute later when he thundered in a right foot shot.
Ozil’s dinked finish over Lossl to make it three goals in four minutes to really gave the Arsenal supporters a chance to have a go back at the Huddersfield hordes who had taunted them before kick-off for being so quiet.
Giroud got the fifth three minutes for time and revenge, Huddersfield fans discovered, is best served by Arsenal’s players on a freezing cold north London night.
(3-4-2-1) Cech 8; Koscielny 6, Mustafi 6, Monreal 6; Ramsey 7 (Wilshere , Xhaka 6, Bellerin 6, Kolasinac 6; Ozil 7, Sanchez 7 (Welbeck 73, 6); Lacazette 8 (Giroud 45, 6).
Lossl; Jorgensen, Schindler, Cranie; Hadergjonaj, Hogg 6 (Whitehead 78, 6), Mooy 5 (Williams 74, 6), Lowe; Quaner, Kachunga; Mounie 6 (Depoitre 74, 6).
Graham Scott 6.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved