Aaron Ramsey returned to Cardiff with two fine goals as Arsenal won in the Welsh capital to move seven points clear at the Premier League summit.

Ramsey teed up Jack Wilshere to hit the bar, before nodding the opener against his old club from Mesut Ozil's cross.

In-form Gunners

Arsenal have now won 10 of their last 12 Premier League games and continue to hold the division's best away record

Fraizer Campbell almost equalised for Cardiff with a header that Wojciech Szczesny kept out with a crucial save.

Arsenal made it two when Ozil set up Mathieu Flamini to slam home and Ramsey drilled a third after a slick attack.

Wales international Ramsey joined Arsenal from Cardiff in 2008, when just 17. He refused to celebrate his goals, which were applauded by sections of the home crowd, and some Cardiff fans joined their Arsenal counterparts in singing Ramsey's name late on.

He responded by tapping both hands against his head - known by Cardiff supporters as the Ayatollah  - following an impressive display.

The result gives Arsenal breathing space above their title rivals, with none of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City or Manchester United playing until Sunday.

Arsenal were dominant - Wenger

Cardiff now sit just one place above the relegation zone but arrived buoyed by a draw against Manchester United, their latest impressive home result following victories over Manchester City and Swansea.

Arsenal, however, presented arguably the toughest test of their maiden Premier League season to date and it was immediately clear why.

With only a minute on the clock, Ramsey fed Wilshere and the England midfielder's curling strike from 20 yards came back off the woodwork as he looked to add to a midweek double against Marseille.

The hosts went close as Campbell headed wide from a Kevin Theophile-Catherine cross and Jordon Mutch later hooked off target following Peter Whittingham's free-kick, yet those were rare forays forward.

Arsenal might have taken the lead through Olivier Giroud, but the Frenchman stopped playing in anticipation of an offside flag that never arrived, enabling Steven Caulker to block his eventual shot.

Ramsey grateful for Cardiff fans' respect

They made amends when Ozil crossed from the left for an on-rushing and unmarked Ramsey to direct a clinical header past David Marshall.

Arsenal continued to probe and Giroud found Ramsey to fire wide prior to half-time, and it was roles reversed after the break as Ramsey picked out Giroud and his shot was cleared off the line by Ben Marshall.

That reprieve seemed to rejuvenate Cardiff, their supporters responding in kind, and it needed a magnificent low one-handed save by Szczesny to stop Campbell's header from an Andrew Taylor cross.

With Malky Mackay's side pushing hard to draw level, they were leaving themselves exposed to counter-attacks and Arsenal capitalised with a crunching first-time finish by substitute Flamini from Ozil's cute pass.

They confirmed victory when Peter Odemwingie lost possession and Theo Walcott, another substitute, raced away before squaring for Ramsey to convert his 13th goal in all competitions this season.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall
  • 28 Théophile-Catherine
  • 03 Taylor (Cornelius - 87' )
  • 08 Medel
  • 04 Caulker
  • 06 Turner
  • 19 Cowie
  • 18 Mutch
  • 10 Campbell (Odemwingie - 65' )
  • 13 Kim (Noone - 75' )
  • 07 Whittingham

Substitutes

  • 05 Hudson
  • 09 Cornelius
  • 11 Odemwingie
  • 16 Noone
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 32 Lewis
  • 39 Bellamy

Arsenal

  • 01 Szczesny
  • 03 Sagna
  • 28 Gibbs Booked
  • 16 Ramsey Booked
  • 04 Mertesacker
  • 06 Koscielny
  • 10 Wilshere (Monreal - 81' )
  • 08 Arteta Booked
  • 12 Giroud
  • 11 Özil (Walcott - 91' )
  • 19 Cazorla (Flamini - 77' )

Substitutes

  • 05 Vermaelen
  • 07 Rosicky
  • 14 Walcott
  • 17 Monreal
  • 20 Flamini
  • 21 Fabianski
  • 44 Gnabry
Ref: Lee Mason
Att: 27,948

Match Stats

Shots

10 15

On target

4 6

Corners

3 3

Fouls

6 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Cardiff City 0, Arsenal 3.

90:00 +5:03 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Arsenal 3.

90:00 +4:43

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Ben Turner.

90:00 +2:00 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Cardiff City 0, Arsenal 3. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Theo Walcott following a fast break.

90:00 +0:53

Offside, Arsenal. Wojciech Szczesny tries a through ball, but Aaron Ramsey is caught offside.

90:00 +0:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Theo Walcott replaces Mesut Özil.

88:24 Booking

Booking Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

88:21

Hand ball by Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal).

86:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Andreas Cornelius replaces Andrew Taylor.

85:28 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Cardiff City 0, Arsenal 2. Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a through ball.

84:06

Attempt missed. Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mathieu Flamini.

83:24

Attempt saved. Don Cowie (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

82:42

Foul by Nacho Monreal (Arsenal).

82:42

Craig Noone (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

80:55

Attempt missed. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mikel Arteta.

80:34 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Nacho Monreal replaces Jack Wilshere.

79:11

Offside, Cardiff City. Peter Whittingham tries a through ball, but Ben Turner is caught offside.

78:45 Booking

Booking Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

78:37

Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

78:37

Don Cowie (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:12

Attempt saved. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

76:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Mathieu Flamini replaces Santiago Cazorla.

75:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Craig Noone replaces Kim Bo-Kyung.

67:51

Attempt saved. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jack Wilshere with a through ball.

67:02

Offside, Cardiff City. Jordon Mutch tries a through ball, but Peter Odemwingie is caught offside.

64:10 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Peter Odemwingie replaces Fraizer Campbell.

63:22

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jack Wilshere following a fast break.

60:17

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:17

Foul by Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City).

58:18

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

58:18

Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:25

Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

54:28

Attempt saved. Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Don Cowie.

53:01

Attempt blocked. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrew Taylor.

51:51

Attempt missed. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

51:41

Attempt blocked. Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

50:32

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Per Mertesacker.

50:27

Attempt saved. Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kim Bo-Kyung.

49:21

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:21

Foul by Ben Turner (Cardiff City).

47:05

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Andrew Taylor.

46:10

Attempt blocked. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

45:00

Second Half begins Cardiff City 0, Arsenal 1.

45:00 +4:04 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Arsenal 1.

45:00 +1:25

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Laurent Koscielny.

45:00 +0:56

Foul by Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal).

45:00 +0:56

Don Cowie (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00 +0:14

Attempt missed. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Olivier Giroud with a through ball.

43:47

Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

43:47

Foul by Don Cowie (Cardiff City).

39:46

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Ben Turner.

39:45

Attempt blocked. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Kieran Gibbs with a cross.

33:20

Attempt missed. Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) right footed shot from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Kim Bo-Kyung following a set piece situation.

33:18

Attempt missed. Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Peter Whittingham with a cross following a set piece situation.

32:38 Booking

Booking Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

32:21

Foul by Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal).

32:21

Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

29:35

Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

29:35

Don Cowie (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:25 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Cardiff City 0, Arsenal 1. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross.

26:03

Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:03

Foul by Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City).

24:42

Attempt blocked. Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

24:30

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

24:10

Delay in match Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City) because of an injury.

23:12

Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

23:12

Foul by Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City).

21:58

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

17:24

Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:24

Foul by Ben Turner (Cardiff City).

16:30

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Kieran Gibbs.

15:40

Hand ball by Mesut Özil (Arsenal).

14:41

Attempt blocked. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a through ball.

9:39

Attempt missed. Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Kévin Théophile-Catherine with a cross.

9:24

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

7:00

Delay in match Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) because of an injury.

1:03

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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