Alexis continued his impressive form with two first-half goals to hand Arsenal maximum points against West Brom on Thursday at the Emirates with a 2-0 victory, ensuring the Gunners toppled Manchester City for the third spot.
The Chilean scored a superbly-taken goal with just six minutes on the clock, before curling home a free kick to double his tally.
After a frustrating couple of results, Arsène Wenger freshened up his side for Thursday’s night clash in north London. Per Mertesacker replaced Gabriel in the heart of the defence.
Aaron Ramsey – in for his first start since the north London derby on March 5 – came in for Francis Coquelin in midfield, with the only other change seeing Olivier Giroud spearhead the attack in place of Danny Welbeck.
The visitors may have averaged less than a goal a game under Tony Pulis, but having kept clean sheets in 41 per cent of their matches under the manager, their defensive resolve was clear to see.
The Chilean forward had scored in each of his previous three matches, and wasted little time in adding to his tally here as he fired in a low drive after six minutes.
Hector Bellerin – fresh from being named in the PFA Team of the Year – was in flying form in support of Alexis, and one charge forward and shot brought the Emirates to its feet.
But it was Alexis who the eye was drawn to, and he claimed his second just before half time with a curling free kick that somehow found its way through the West Brom wall.
Alex Iwobi was at the heart of the action after the restart, setting up Olivier Giroud for one chance, before having a go himself soon afterwards and then playing in Mesut Ozil for a decent opening.
With Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny controlling the midfield, and Alexis, Iwobi and Ozil orchestrating the attacks, Arsenal were in total control.
Arsenal may not have added to their advantage, but this remained an evening full of encouragement as Arsène Wenger’s side leapfrogged Manchester City into third place.