MATCH REPORT: Crystal Palace 2-2 Arsenal

Arsenal’s 11-game winning streak has been brought to an end at Selhurst Park after an 82nd minute Luka Milivojevic penalty earned Crystal Palace a 2-2 draw.

The Serbian midfielder fired the hosts into the lead in the first half, but that advantage was soon overturned in the second period through Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang strikes.

A second penalty would bring Palace back level, however, as Milivojevic earned himself a brace late on, securing a point each for both sides at full time.

Xhaka held his place at left-back, with Aubameyang also joining the Swiss midfielder on the flank in the starting eleven at Selhurst Park.

Palace sought the danger early on through Wilfried Zaha, getting on the end of Andros Townsend’s cross in the 16th minute before striking the outside of Bernd Leno’s near post.

Just a minute later, Townsend scuppered the chance to tuck away a well-worked move from the hosts, as Patrick Van Aanholt’s cut-back was steered wide of the mark from close range.

Arsenal’s response came via Alexandre Lacazette’s off-balance strike at goal in the 23rd minute, with the Frenchman firing wide on his way down from the edge of the box.

With the game braced for deadlock going into the break, Shkodran Mustafi’s late challenge on Cheikhou Kouyate, who placed himself between the player and ball, earned Palace the chance to go a goal up just before half-time.

Milivojevic claimed full responsibility from the 12-yard-mark and would make no mistake when stroking the penalty into the bottom-left corner, as Roy Hodgson’s men edged themselves in front.

The Gunners reported back with purpose in the second half, with Xhaka finding the top corner with an acute free-kick to equalise for his team in the 52nd minute.

Arsenal flipped the script in the 56th minute, amid shouts of a Lacazette handball in the build-up, as Aubameyang popped up at the back-post to stab in a second for his side.

Palace looked to respond with the likes of Max Meyer and Alexander Sørloth entering the field of play, as Emery’s side began to struggle with the inclination of the game.

With ten minutes on the clock, the hosts looked to Zaha to inspire some magic, as the Ivory Coast international skipped past Xhaka before tumbling to win a second penalty for the Eagles.

Milivojevic was on hand to repeat the dosage from the spot, as the Serbian made it 2-2 in the 82nd minute.

Arsenal could’ve bowed out on another twist with two minutes of normal time still to play, after Xhaka lifted a cross for the on-rushing Aaron Ramsey to attack, but the Welshman would fail to get anything behind his flick-on.

The two London clubs wouldn’t go beyond a share of the spoils, however, as Arsenal’s winning streak came to an end with a 2-2 score-line.

By Patrick Ribeiro (@P_SRibeiro)

Player Ratings: Bernd Leno (6) – Héctor Bellerín (6), Shkodran Mustafi (6), Rob Holding (7), Granit Xhaka (7) – Lucas Torreira (7), Matteo Guendouzi (6) – Alex Iwobi (5), Mesut Özil (6), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (6) – Alexandre Lacazette (5)

Subs: Stephan Lichtsteiner (5), Danny Welbeck (5), Aaron Ramsey (5)

MATCH REPORT: Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace

A 22-minute blitz saw Arsenal stun Crystal Palace with four first-half goals at the Emirates Stadium, as the Gunners took all three points with a 4-1 victory.

Two early set-piece goals from Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny sandwiched Alex Iwobi’s tap-in within the first quarter-of-an-hour of the clash, with the Gunners racing to a 3-0 lead early.

Arsenal’s pick of the bunch was reserved for Alexandre Lacazette, putting an end to his goal drought, with Mesut Özil starring in the build-up to assist the former Olympique Lyonnais man.

Crystal Palace’s Luka Milivojevic then grabbed a consolation goal deep in the second period to conclude  a 4-1 score-line.

Mohamed Elneny was handed a rare Premier League start, meanwhile the likes of Mesut Özil and Monreal were also welcomed back into the first-team.

Monreal graced his comeback with the opener in the 6th minute, popping up at the back-post to make it 1-0 with his head.

Arsenal wouldn’t look back, with Monreal again involved in the move to cut a cross back for Alex Iwobi to finish, as the Gunners moved two goals ahead by the 10th minute.

Set-pieces proved to once more be Palace’s undoing in the 13th minute, as Laurent Koscielny got in on the act by bundling in Arsenal’s third from close range.

Wenger’s men remained relentless in attack, crafting the chance for Lacazette to fire low into the bottom-right corner in a move that was crowned by Özil’s intricate back-heel in the 22nd minute.

Activities were eased for the remainder of the first half, as Monreal’s apparent set-back forced Wenger’s hand into an early change before the interval.

Doubts remained over Arsenal’s appetite in the second period, given the comfortable lead, as Palace managed to squeeze the hosts in early before Iwobi could offer refuge down the left channel, pulling a save out of Wayne Hennessey in the 55th minute.

The response in front of goal from Roy Hodgson’s men came on the hour-mark, with Christian Benteke peeling off a stretched Shkodran Mustafi before hitting a shot right at Petr Čech from inside the box.

Luka Milivojevic then pulled a goal back with an acrobatic finish in the 79th minute, as Arsenal sought to close the game out with cautious possession-play.

Palace would offer no more nasty surprises, rounding the game up at 4-1 to the North Londoners come full-time.

By Patrick Ribeiro


Player Ratings:

Petr Čech (7) – Héctor Bellerín (7), Laurent Koscielny (7), Shkodran Mustafi (6), Nacho Monreal (7) – Mohamed Elneny (6), Granit Xhaka (7) – Mesut Özil (8), Jack Wilshere (7), Alex Iwobi (7) – Alexandre Lacazette (6)

Subs: Ainsley Maitland-Niles (5), Reiss Nelson (-), Sead Kolasinac (-)

MATCH REPORT: Crystal Palace 2-3 Arsenal

Arsenal have kept apace in the hunt for a top four spot with a 3-2 win away to Crystal Palace, courtesy of an Alexis Sanchez brace.

The Chilean’s two goals proved to be the perfect reply to Andros Townsend’s second-half equaliser, after the Gunners had taken the lead in the first period through Shkodran Mustafi.

A late goal from James Tomkins promised to fizz up the final minutes of the game, but Arsenal would hold on to claim their first away win of the month.

With Nacho Monreal out, Arsène Wenger called on Calum Chambers to slot into Arsenal’s backline when reverting to a three-man-defence.

Currently experiencing their richest run of form in recent times, Crystal Palace looked to threaten early through Yohan Cabaye’s shot from range, flashing by Petr Čech’s post in the 16th minute.

Arsenal reacted well, fashioning chances for both Jack Wilshere and Granit Xhaka to try their luck from the edge of the box before encountering defensive blocks at the half-way-point of the first period.

Shkodran Mustafi was on hand to make the Gunners’ growing dominance count in the 25th minute, anticipating Alexandre Lacazette’s parried shot first and opening Arsenal’s account with a side-footed tap-in at the back-post.

Through Mesut Özil, Wenger’s men could have added to their 1-0 lead when the German failed to squeeze a shot past the on-rushing Julian Speroni from Alexis Sanchez’s inch-perfect through-ball.

Shortly after, the ex-Real Madrid man sought to overcome Speroni with a cute and selfless pass across to Héctor Bellerín, but the Arsenal full-back would stand little chance of meeting it.

The second half commenced with yet another sighting of goal for the North Londoners, as Alexis’ cross into Bellerín saw the Spaniard cushion the ball out of danger, rather than taking aim on the volley.

As a result, Arsenal were left cursing their luck in front of goal when a hopeful cross from Wilfried Zaha made its way to Andros Townsend before the winger could smash a shot deep into the bottom corner, as Palace made it 1-1 in the 50th minute.

The hosts looked to pile the pressure on Arsenal but would later see the Gunners restore the lead, as Sanchez, aided by Lacazette’s hold-up play, sunk a first-time shot past Speroni in the 63rd minute.

Just three minutes later, the visitors would make it 3-1, again through Sanchez, with Wilshere picking out a pass over the top for the Chilean to bring down and finish into the bottom corner.

Arsenal eyed up more, as Bellerín marauded forward to fire a half-volley from the right and force a save out of Speroni, meanwhile, at the other end, Zaha scuppered the chance induce panic in the final stages when miscueing his diving header wide in the 83rd minute.

Tomkins did, however, pull a goal back for Palace in the 89th minute from a set-piece, but the Gunners would be able to manage the final moments carefully and hold onto their 3-2 win at full-time.

By Patrick Ribeiro


Starting XI: Petr Čech (6) – Calum Chambers (6), Shkodran Mustafi (6), Laurent Koscielny (6) – Héctor Bellerín (6), Jack Wilshere (7), Granit Xhaka (6), Sead Kolasinac (6) – Mesut Özil (6), Alexis Sanchez (8), Alexandre Lacazette (6)

Subs: Francis Coquelin (-), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (-)