Alexis Sanchez scored twice in five minutes as Arsenal moved level on points with fifth placed Tottenham with just their third win away from home in the Premier League this season, as they beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Andros Townsend had equalised for Palace early in the second half after Shkodran Mustafi's 25th minute opener, before Sanchez's brace just after the hour mark secured the points for the Gunners. The visitors were then made to sweat by James Tomkins' late header, on a night when Arsene Wenger equalled Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League record 810 games as a manager.
Looking to continue their resurgence that has seen them climb out of the relegation zone, Palace made just one change from the draw with Swansea, as Christian Benteke returned from suspension to replace James McArthur.
Wenger meanwhile marked his historic night by making three changes from the side who drew 3-3 with Liverpool, with Callum Chambers; Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac replacing Nacho Monreal, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Iwobi.
The opening ten minutes saw both sides show their attacking intent, but Granit Xhaka's attempt to recreate his long range strike against Liverpool was well over for Arsenal, and Yohan Cabaye was similarly off target at the other end for Palace.
It was Palace who continued to press the issue in the opening exchanges, and Cabaye's second long range attempt on the quarter hour mark was closer than his first, drifting just wide of Petr Cech's bottom right hand post.
That close call prompted a quickening of the Arsenal pace, as first Wilshere and then Xhaka had shots blocked inside the area, before a speculative effort from Wilshere bounced comfortably into the arms of Speroni in the ensuing five minutes.
That pressure finally told in the 25th as Arsenal got their opener through the returning Mustafi. After Palace failed to clear their lines from a free kick, Alexandre Lacazette's effort from a tight angle was parried to the feet of Mustafi by Speroni, and the German fired home his second goal of the season.
The Gunners came close to a second five minutes later, Alexis Sanchez long through ball bobbled across the Palace penalty area, just escaping the reach of the onrushing Ozil before being tipped wide by Speroni.
Arsenal have scored the opening goal for the 3rd time in 10 away PL matches this season— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 28, 2017
The Gunners have led for the fewest minutes in away PL matches this season (69). Next come Crystal Palace (89) #PL
Palace then went close to an unlikely equaliser as Wilfried Zaha cut inside Mustafi and fizzed an effort across the face of Cech's goal.
That however would be a moment of brief respite for Palace as Lacazette went close to doubling Arsenal's lead after 34 minutes. The Frenchman twisted and tuned away from three Palace defenders to make space on the edge of the area, but his subsequent shot was driven just wide.
Moments later the chance for a second came and went once more for Arsenal. Counter attacking from a Palace free kick, Sanchez again put it on a plate for Ozil, but the German was unable to control while one on one with Speroni, and after the ball ran wide Xhaka struck Lacazette's pull back into the arms of the goalkeeper.
Sanchez' passing continued to cause problems for the hosts right from the start of the second half, this time it was Bellerin who was however unable to get his shot away after Sanchez' ball over the back four found him arriving at the back post.
Almost out of nothing, Arsenal were made to rue their missed chances as Palace found an equaliser on fifty minutes. Working into space down the left, Zaha delivered a pinpoint ball into Andros Townsend in the centre of the Arsenal area, and the former Spurs man gleefully rifled home with Cech helpless.
Having ridden out a subsequent spell of pressure from the hosts, Arsenal retook the lead in stunning style through Alexis Sanchez just after the hour mark. The Chilean was at the heart of the move from the beginning, nodding down a long ball to the feet of Lacazette, and after re-positioning himself, thumped home an emphatic near post strike from his strike partner's layoff to restore the Gunners' advantage.
Less than five minutes later, Sanchez had his second and Arsenal's third, thanks largely to an outstanding pass from Jack Wilshere, a high ball over the Palace defence to take them out of the game and allow Sanchez to slot home the simplest of finishes for 3-1.
GOAL!— ArsenalFanTV (@ArsenalFanTV) December 28, 2017
What a pass from Jack Wilshere, what a pass. He sets up Alexis for his second of the match.
礪 1-3 pic.twitter.com/BraniHziTy
Arsenal came close to spectacular fourth in the 80th minute as Bellerin's powerful half volley from a tight angle was beaten away by Speroni. At the other end, Palace were perhaps unlucky not to pull one back as Zaha's attempt at a diving header from substitute Sako's cross bounced well wide off his shoulder.
Palace however would be rewarded for their continued pressure in the final minute, as an unchecked James Tomkins climbed highest to head a goal back for Palace at Cech's unguarded far post.
Four minutes stoppage time however wasn't enough for a desperate Palace and Arsenal hung on for the three points.