Arsene Wenger needed his Arsenal players to react to last week's 2-0 home defeat to West Ham and react they did. After an energetic afternoon at Selhurst Park, the Gunners emerged victorious after the unwilling right boot of Damien Delaney gifted the away side all three points with an unfortunate own goal. Arsenal had taken the lead in the first half through Olivier Giroud, but Palace scraped back into it thanks to a rare strike from Joel Ward. The game was deadlocked until Delaney converted Sanchez's header into his net.
Palace, almost expectedly, set up to attack Arsenal, but they were issued a warning of the Gunners' threat on the counter from the game's first corner. After Yohan Cabaye's attempted volley from 25 yards was blocked, the away side blitzed forward and could have easily taken the lead through Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean was played in by Olivier Giroud and after a stuttering first touch, drove his shot against Joel Ward. Pouncing on the rebound, Sanchez then saw his second effort cleared off the line by the retreating James McArthur.
With one-touch passing and plenty of pace in the final third, Arsenal started the game with serious intent, as a side who looked determined to shrug off that bruising home defeat to West Ham last weekend and they capitalised on their early superiority with the opening goal through Giroud.
After Sanchez pounced on a loose ball, he slipped in Mesut Ozil, with the midfielder's cross spectacularly converted by the French striker in acrobatic fashion. After a string of missed chances in the opening game, it was exactly what Giroud needed. Unsurprisingly, the raucous Selhurst crowd fell deathly quiet.
Palace looked uncertain at the back, however and they were guilty of some sloppy errors. After Wilfried Zaha squandered possession cheaply, Sanchez dropped the shoulder and unleashed a fierce drive, that forced a smart save from McCarthy.
Then, just as it looked as though Arsenal were finding their rhythm, Ward pulled the sweetest strike out of the top drawer to level the scoring and send Selhurst into raptures. After a flowing move, Connor Wickham teed up the advancing right-back, who struck a beautiful, whistling low drive straight into the corner, leaving Petr Cech utterly helpless. Suddenly, out of nothing, Palace were level once again.
Perhaps Palace were right to feel aggrieved in not ending the half with a numerical advantage after Francis Coquelin, who had already been booked, clipped Zaha on the break and managed to escape a second booking from Lee Mason. Then, a minute later, McArthur was booked for a similar challenge on Coquelin himself - infuriating Selhurst Park and an irate Alan Pardew on the touchline.
Unsurprisingly, the hosts were left to rue that missed chance after Damien Delaney's own-goal nudged Arsenal back in front on 55 minutes. Ozil's ball from the right was met by the head of Sanchez, whose effort was turned into his own net by Delaney after he was unable to sort out his feet. It was a poor goal to concede for the Eagles, especially after getting themselves back into the game and starting the second half stronger than the first.
Palace were then further incensed by Mason's unwillingness to brandish a second yellow to the rash Coquelin, who dived in on Wickham and was penalised. Putting his hands to his head, the French midfielder believed he was about to be given his marching orders but, much to the displeasure of those inside the stadium, the referee issued one final warning. It was no surprise to see Wenger replace him a minute later. Undoubtedly, a hugely fortunate sequence of events for Arsenal.
Although Palace gave it their all in the closing stages, the Arsenal rearguard stood firm and managed to see out a victory in what was a very tricky fixture, boosting the Gunners with confidence and momentum heading into next week's showdown with Liverpool at the Emirates.
Man of the Match: Santi Cazorla