A screamer from Theo Walcott sent Arsenal into the lead against Manchester City on Monday and, ultimately, into Christmas with all three points

The England forward has a knack of scoring in big games, but he may have scored his biggest and best goal ever as the Gunners won the meeting between the two title rivals.

“In a big match like that it is always important to get on the scoresheet but most important is the three points,” the 26-year-old said after the game. “That’s the sort of player I am, that I’d rather see the team do well than myself.”

The goal was Walcott’s third of the Premier League season so far. More will be needed from him if Arsenal are to go on and win the title, and he’s more than capable of it.

“It’s always nice to score and it’s not easy to get past an England goalkeeper. Not just that, but it was an important time as the second goal was just before half-time. It completely drained them going into half-time and we were all buzzing. We had to dig in deep.”

The timing of the goals was as good as the quality they involved. Often criticised, Olivier Giroud has been delivering all season. With Walcott finding the back of the net too, Arsenal aren’t even feeling the loss of Alexis Sánchez.

As long as Walcott can manage strikes like that, the Chilean won’t be missed all too much.

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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil