Alex Iwobi celebrates after scoring for Arsenal[/capti
Olivier Giroud’s incredible scorpion kick set Arsenal on the way to a victory over Crystal Palace which moved them up to third in the Premier League.
With a cross from Alexis Sanchez delivered behind him, Frenchman Giroud elastically reached the ball with his left foot, looping it over his head and in off the underside of the bar.
An Alex Iwobi header gave Arsenal a scrappy second before Palace briefly rallied to force saves from home goalkeeper Petr Cech.
The win moves the Gunners back to within nine points of leaders Chelsea, while Palace stay 17th, two points above the relegation zone.
The visitors have won only once in 12 league games, with manager Sam Allardyce awaiting his first victory since taking over from Alan Pardew.
Giroud marked his return to the Arsenal starting line-up on Boxing Day by scoring the only goal in the win over West Bromwich Albion, and followed up here by pulling off one of the most memorable moments of this or any other season.
Indeed, it was made all the more remarkable for its echoes of a similarly breathtaking goal scored by Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the defeat of Sunderland on Monday.
If anything, Giroud’s was even more impressive, an acrobatic finish to a head-high cross delivered from the left by Sanchez at the end of a pacy Arsenal counter-attack.
As the ball arrived, a sprinting Giroud turned to reach out his left foot, flicked the ball over his head and saw it arc over the leap of Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, off the woodwork and into the net.
“It was an unbelievable finish,” said former Arsenal defender Martin Keown on BBC Radio 5 live. “It has to be up there with the goal of the season already.
“He’s hooked that with a gadget foot – the ball is behind him and he has no right to get his foot to it.”
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