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Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace: Giroud, Iwobi fire Gunners 3rd

Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Olivier Giroud of Arsenal scores the opening goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on January 1, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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Olivier Giroud provided a single moment of magic, which proved all Arsenal needed against Crystal Palace on Sunday, to send the Gunners past Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City for third in the Premier League table at the halfway point of the 2016-17 season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Giroud opened the scoring not long after the quarter-hour mark, and (probably) nabbed the goal of the year title in the process. Alexis Sanchez delivered the cross from the left wing, but placed it a foot or two behind the big Frenchman. No problem for Giroud, though. Scorpion kick it is (WATCH HERE).

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It took longer than they’d have hoped, but Arsenal managed what they too frequently fail to do: seal a dominant performance with a second goal to put the game out of reach. Nacho Monreal’s cross soared high into the air not far off Wayne Hennessey’s goal line, and Alex Iwobi headed the ball back across the face of goal, off the head of Joel Ward, off the underside of the crossbar, and over the line.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — Chelsea, Liverpool hold serve in title race ]

Arsenal (40 points) go a point ahead of Tottenham and Man City in third, and remain just three back of Liverpol for second. First-place are nine points clear of the Gunners. As for Palace, they remain 17th in the league table, just two points clear of 18th-place Sunderland, who currently occupy the third and final relegation place. The Eagles have one point from two games since Sam Allardyce took charge.

Follow @AndyEdMLS