Plus: Leicester show their quality in second-half turnaround at Brentford; how Thomas Frank has raised the expectations at the GTech Community Stadium; Bournemouth’s soft underbelly exposed at Aston Villa; can Alexander Isak fire Newcastle into the Champions League?

Arsenal exuded confidence and calm at the Emirates Stadium. This was the performance of a team that believes they are marching towards the Premier League title. The mood could easily have been different, nerves jangling, but that is not Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal now.

That penalty shootout defeat to Sporting in the Europa League, which featured extra-time, of course, was not the ideal build-up to this fixture against Crystal Palace. It was an awkward start too, the away team having the first two shots, Wilfried Zaha striking the post.

Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace – Match report and highlights
How the teams lined up | Match stats
But Arsenal showed again that they can go through the gears. Gabriel Martinelli, who missed the crucial kick on Thursday, is the in-form goalscorer in the Premier League with six goals in his last six games. Nobody else, not even Erling Haaland, comes close. He scored the first and Palace were overwhelmed.

The brilliant Bukayo Saka’s partnership with Ben White on the right has blossomed. Both were outstanding. But there are partnerships all over the pitch for Arsenal now, new ones emerging all the time. The third goal saw Leandro Trossard feed Granit Xhaka.

It’s far too early to anoint Ellis Simms as Everton’s answer at No 9 but the way in which the 22-year-old announced his arrival onto the scene was a welcome boost for the goal-shy Toffees.

Only Crystal Palace have scored fewer Premier League goals than Everton’s 22 this season and with Dominic Calvert-Lewin apparently unable to stay fit and Neal Maupay out of favour, Sean Dyche has felt the need to start Demarai Gray, a winger, as his striker in recent weeks.

Chelsea 2-2 Everton – Report and highlights
How the teams lined up | Match stats
But Simms, recalled from a productive loan spell at Sunderland in January, showed he could play a pivotal role in the closing stages of Everton’s campaign during his cameo against Chelsea.

With 11 minutes to go and his side staring defeat in the face, Simms was thrown on to try to save the game for Everton – and he did just that.

The way in which Simms breezed past Kalidou Koulibaly – one of Europe’s standout centre-backs before joining Chelsea – was striking and, while Kepa Arrizabalaga could perhaps have done better in trying keep out his effort, Simms deserves credit for getting his shot on target and ultimately showing his fellow forwards how to find the back of the net.
Joe Shread

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