3 positives & negatives from Arsenal's 5-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace

• Weaponising set pieces

• Concerns over the fitness of Declan Rice

• Emile Smith-Rowe shines after being given a sign of trust

Arsenal FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Arsenal FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages
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Positive #2: David Raya's quality is shining through

David Raya
Arsenal FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Since his arrival last summer, much has been made of the goalkeeping dynamic at Arsenal, with Aaron Ramsdale being reduced to being Arteta's second-choice goalkeeper, and Raya assuming the role as first choice.

Some have claimed that this is unfair, and that the Spaniard does not represent an upgrade on Ramsdale but, against Crystal Palace, Raya showed signs of exactly why Arsenal were so keen to recruit him.

He made five saves in the match and was vital in orchestrating our third goal after making an excellent long throw to launch a counter-attack. He did make one mistake after gifting Crystal Palace possession in the game, but rectified it immediately by making a good save to deny the visitors.

Many will understandably still feel pity for Ramsdale's situation, but we can surely all appreciate the promising signs that are being shown now by Raya, and not for the first time this season.

Negative #2: Huge concern amid Declan Rice's apparent injury

Declan Rice
Arsenal FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

When Declan Rice was substituted in the 73rd minute, he seemed to mouth "hammy" as he walked off. This has, quite rightly, raised concerns over the possibility of a hamstring injury for the English midfielder, who has been an integral cog in our midfield this season.

Arteta offered some optimism in his post-match press conference, saying: "He was feeling some tiredness. I don’t know exactly what muscle it was, but when he says that at 3-0 obviously we don’t want to take any risks."

It goes without saying that it is a huge concern to lose your club record signing to injury, but Arteta's comments suggest some degree of optimism over any possible issue and also display good man-management - something that has been lacking in recent weeks and months.

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