Huddersfield Town’s poor away record continued with the Terriers imploding in four second-half minutes to allow Arsenal to romp to a 5-0 victory on a bitterly cold night in north London.
Town were behind after two minutes, when a clever Aaron Ramsey flick allowed Alexandre Lacazette to steal in and slot home past Jonas Lossl, but a staunch defensive effort before the break saw Town head into the interval just one behind.
But the Terriers’ efforts were undone in the second period, with Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil all getting on the scoresheet in the space of four minutes.
Giroud wrapped up the scoring late on in the second period to hand Town their heaviest defeat since October 2016 - when they were beaten by the same scoreline by Fulham.
David Wagner made six changes to the Town side that battled so defiantly against Manchester City last time out, with the Terriers switching to an unfamiliar 3-4-3 formation.
The German head coach looked to cancel out Arsenal’s identical formation and go toe-to-toe with Arsene Wenger’s Gunners.
Scott Malone made way for Martin Cranie in the defence, while Florent Hadergjonaj replaced Tommy Smith and moved into midfield.
Danny Williams made way Chris Lowe, who started wide on the left, with Steve Mounie, Elias Kachunga and Collin Quaner starting in place of Tom Ince, Laurent Depoitre and the suspended Rajiv Van La Parra as the attacking trio.
In the build up to the match, Wagner had emphasised Town’s need to hold Arsenal until late in the game in order to bring them out of their shell and create spaces in behind for the Terriers.
That plan went out of the window after just three minutes, when a clever Aaron Ramsey flick allowed Alexandre Lacazette to steal in behind Town's three-man defence before the Frenchman calmly steered the ball past the on-rushing Jonas Lossl.
Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen almost brought the scores level when he powered a header over the bar from Chris Lowe’s whipped free kick, but it was Wenger’s side who dominated the first 45 minutes.
The hosts, who went into the match on an 11-game winning run at home in the Premier League, continued to pressure Town throughout the first half, but could not find a way to goal for a second time - with Christopher Schindler making a superb block on Alexis Sanchez after the Chilean star appeared to have wriggled free in the box.
Lacazette came closer than the rest to extending the Gunners’ lead, with his chip over Lossl from an acute angle being cleared off the line by Cranie, before Sead Kolasinac blasted wildly over.
But the ball wouldn’t quite fall for the Gunners in the area, and Town grew in confidence ahead of the interval.
And the visitors could have had a penalty late on in the first half when Mounie looked to be body-checked by Shkodran Mustafi in the box.
Referee Graham Scott waved the incident away and the teams headed into the break.
It was nearly deja vu for Town after the break, with Arsenal going close to scoring minutes after the restart, but Cranie was there again to block an Ozil shot which looked certain to make the net bulge.
After the sluggish start to the second period, Town clicked into gear with Quaner testing Petr Cech from close range, before the Arsenal stopper punched a blocked Mounie shot onto his own bar minutes later.
To the Czech international’s joy, the ball landed safely on the roof of the net after clattering the horizontal.
Despite Town having their best period of the match after half time, Arsenal did have a couple of chances, with substitute Giroud first being denied by a Schindler block before he struck a post after rounding Lossl later.
The Gunners also thought they should have had a spot kick, when the ball skidded onto Quaner’s shoulder from a corner.
The ref said no, but Arsenal kept knocking and were eventually handed their reward with 25 minutes to go.
And, like London’s famous red buses, you wait for one and three come along at once.
First Giroud doubled the hosts’ lead after some clever play by Ozil and Sanchez down the left, before the architects both had their names on the scoresheet.
Sanchez rasped a deflected effort past Lossl from in the area after being teed up by Ozil, before the Chilean returned the favour to the ex-Real Madrid man a minute later, with Ozil delicately steering his effort past the helpless Lossl.
And ex-Montpellier forward Giroud made it five of the best for Arsenal after Kolasinac bundled through the Town defence and set up the French international for his second of the game.
It was a night to forget for Town, although the 5-0 scoreline may not reflect the true nature of the defeat.
Town defended valiantly in the first half and looked to have the hosts on the ropes midway through the second period before the Gunners’ big cannons fired Arsenal to victory.
Town have still not won away from the John Smith’s Stadium since the opening day of the season. Will that change at Everton?