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Watford 0-3 Arsenal: Gunners blast off in fluid second half

  • Arsenal keeps pace with City
  • Gunners rise above United on GD
  • Alexis, Ramsey, Giroud score

Arsenal sleepwalked through the first half, but looked like champions in a dominant second-half display at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud scored in a six-minute span of play, and Aaron Ramsey also scored as Arsenal handed Watford a 3-0 loss.

[ MORE: Watch full match replays ]

Laurent Koscielny was that at the center of the first half’s action. He took a wayward elbow to the throat, was caught flatfooted by Odion Ighalo, and flashed a scoring chance just wide of the goal.

Watford was not intimidated by its first meeting against Arsenal in almost a decade, and Troy Deeney nearly set up Ighalo for an early goal if not for the interception of -- you guessed it -- Koscielny.

Ighalo also worked himself into a partial breakaway, but poorly mishit a ball that went well wide of an endangered Petr Cech.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score ]

Despite Watford controlling the match and having a penalty shout in the 61st minute, Arsenal scored a minute later. Nathan Ake’s takedown of Mesut Ozil could’ve been a penalty anyway, but the ball rolled on for Sanchez to net from an awkward angle. 1-0.

Substitute Giroud scored just five minutes later, as Ake was caught in no man’s land again. He didn’t commit to a wide-open Ozil, and then failed to mark Giroud. The Frenchman buried the pass from Ozil to make it 2-0, 68'.

Ramsey made it 3-0 when he fired into the box to force a ball past Heurelho Gomes.

27 - Aaron Ramsey has scored his first Premier League goal of the season with what was his 27th shot (inc. blocked). Wait.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 17, 2015

Follow @NicholasMendola