Aaron Ramsey has scored twice against his old team to help Arsenal beat Cardiff 3-0 and provisionally extend their Premier League lead to seven points.
Ramsey headed in a pinpoint cross from Mesut Ozil in the 29th minute to put Arsenal ahead, and finished off the victory on a counterattack in injury time with his 13th goal of the season in all competitions.
The Welshman refused to celebrate these two, though, having started his career at Cardiff, where he made his debut at 16.
“This is where I started my career and where everything began, and hopefully they’ve seen the player they produced today,” said Ramsey, arguably the Premier League’s star player so far this season.
In between, Ozil set up the second goal as well, slotting a perfectly weighted pass into the area for the onrushing Mathieu Flamini to hammer into the net in the 86th.
The win puts Arsenal seven points ahead of second-placed Liverpool and third-placed Chelsea, who both play on Sunday.
Everton’s 4-0 rout
In other Premier League action, Everton moved level on points with Liverpool and Chelsea, when they thrashed Stoke 4-0 at Goodison Park.
Gerard Deulofeu scored in the 45th with a left-footed shot from the six-yard box before Seamus Coleman added a second four minutes after the interval.
Bryan Oviedo’s low strike from outside the area made it 3-0 in the 58th before Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, grabbed a fourth at close range in the 79th.
The Toffees have 24 points from 13 games and are undefeated at home in the league throughout the calendar year.
Stoke, hovering near the relegation zone, have 13 from 13.
Newcastle are just one point and provisionally one place further back after a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion secured by goals from Frenchman Yoan Gouffran and Moussa Sissoko in the team’s fourth victory in a row.
Meanwhile, West Ham beat struggling Fulham 3-0 at Upton Park, and Sunderland moved off the bottom of the Premier League table with a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa.
The Black Cats move above Crystal Palace, who lost 1-0 to Norwich at Carrow Road.