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

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  • 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.

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    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.

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    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.