Report: Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal


Starting XI: Martinez, Bellerin, Mustafi, Gabriel, Monreal, Xhaka, Elneny, Ozil, Alexis, Walcott, Welbeck

Subs: Macey, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud

Arsenal collapsed to a disastrously poor 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace as goals from Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and a Luka Milivojevic penalty put another dent in Arsene Wenger’s Champions League ambitions.

First Half

Palace had the better of the early exchanges as Cabaye and Milivojevic had attempts at Martinez’s goal. At the other end Elneny forced Wayne Hennessey into a fingertip save with a curled effort and Welbeck nearly squeezed through on goal after a ball over the top.

After end-to-end sparring it was the home side that broke the deadlock. Unsurprisingly, a long ball played a part in the build-up as Cristian Benteke beat Gabriel to win a Hennessey clearance. The second ball was worked out to Wilfried Zaha who slipped as he went to cross but still found Townsend with a low pass in the six-yard box. The England international stole in front of Mustafi to dink the ball over Martinez.

In response, Arsenal repeatedly pressured down the left flank desperate for Sanchez’s dancing feet to work their magic in the final third. Three times in 16 minutes he might have had an equaliser. First a left foot snap volley tested Hennessey. A second effort curled just wide. A third was blocked by Mamadou Sakho at close range.

For all Arsenal’s dominance, Palace still looked dangerous when they countered and Martinez had to make a fine stop at his near post when Benteke was left free to shoot low. On two further occasions, the offside flag came to the rescue as Allardyce’s men challenged for the ball in the box.

Xhaka’s fine ball into the right channel freed Welbeck who flashed just wide and a frantic half closed with Gabriel nearly equalising with a header. By the break the home side had 10 efforts at goal (two on target) to Arsenals nine (three on target).

Second Half

The high tempo continued in the second half as Palace went in search of a second. Only Hector Bellerin’s fine block denied Cristian Benteke a goal on 48 minutes. Moments later the Belgian did put the ball in the back of the net although he was correctly ruled offside after Martinez denied Townsend. A Puncheon header also tested the Argentine.

Wenger’s men steadied themselves with a spell of possession, during which Bellerin squandered an opportunity before Giroud and Ramsey were sent on for Elneny and Welbeck.

Ozil endured a nightmare couple of minutes that culminated with him trying to pass to an Arsenal substitute warming up on the touchline. His teammates tried to gee him up but things were about to get far worse for Arsenal.

Out of nothing, Palace grabbed a second and for the second time in the game Zaha claimed an assist by slipping over as he made a pass. This time Cabaye was the beneficiary and he duly applied an exquisite finish from the edge of the box to curl over Martinez.

To rub salt in the gaping wounds Townsend hung out a leg to win a penalty as Martinez dived for a loose ball. Milivojevic was decisive from the spot-kick.

The Arsenal fans who stuck around for the conclusion of the game were merciless in their baiting of the beleaguered players and manager screaming, “You’re not fit to wear the shirt”. You can hardly blame them, it’s painful enough shipping goals left, right and centre to Bayern Munich but when you’re doing the same against the likes of West Brom and Palace it’s plain embarrassing.

The result leaves Arsenal seven points off fourth place Manchester City. There might be a game or two in hand on other sides but it appears this side doesn’t have the bottle for a fight and Champions League football, whatever that is worth in financial terms, is a pipe dream.

Right now, we’re a really bad team. If we’re a team at all. We’re not so sure.

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Every goal that flies in is an extra blow to my already numb, wretched corpse


You are not alone. . .


You know what’s crazy? A numb, wretched corpse typing this message. Are you back from the grave?

Once, twice, three times Afobe
Once, twice, three times Afobe

That’s the most metal description of Gooner suffering i’ve heard yet. Kudos


there is only one arsene wenger but then again there’s one arsenal too.. you decide ?>


When PALACE fans chant “We want you to stay”, you know time is up.

Sadly, we’re probably getting 2 more years of this.


Our own fans were chanting ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’


A better chant would be “you’re not fit to wear the sleeping bag coat”

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

A tweet that sums it all up brilliantly.

Don’t know what joy the WengerIn camp gets by watching Wenger destroy his legacy like this.

He needs to leave, for Arsenal’s sake sure, but he needs to go for his own sake above all. He is becoming a joke now. Palace fans were singing Wenger please stay at one point in the game.

Anyway I just thought I will get these two bits in, before all the clamouring for Wenger to sign a new contract anyway, starts in the comments.

And to be fair, I don’t understand point of those who still want Wenger to stay, unless thier point is- Why destroy the club slowly. Just give Wenger 2 more years and destroy it in one swift go.

Wenger being given another contract = nuclear winter for Arsenal.


That is a great tweet indeed. If ever the word ‘untenable’ could be applied to Wenger’s Arsenal career, it would be now. But sadly, it can’t.



Add the Palace fans to Chelsea, Spuds, Liverpool and West Brom fans.

One of my Sp*rs supporting colleagues, has bought a bottle of champagne to keep in the fridge, ready to crack open when we announce Wenger’s contract extension.
Yes, that’s right you Wengerholics, you’re in the same boat as Spuds fans.


ivan gazidis decided right after the penalty that arsene deserve to go and get (sacked/ scratch that)contract signed.


I can’t understand how anyone would still want Wenger to stay watching arsenal gets humiliated time and time again. Getting sick of this


So bad


I used to feel numb we used to lose. ATM there nothing but nothing for this club.. There more the this continues the more worse i’ll only get, from time the C.Palace fans chanting ‘we want you to stay arsene’ you know this club be a comedy fest.


Aaand next week people will forget how shit we are when we beat Middlesbrough and call you a cunt if you remind them that.


I wouldn’t be surprised if we end our season under everton, we’ve still got man united and spurs and other relegation teams to still play.. PL competition is getting tougher and tougher every year. Yet we continue to stumble and play side to side and the whole no identity type of game play.

I want arsene to leave, but on high much like the way A. ferguson had. if the club does decide to renew his contract i honestly see this not getting any better.


Also we got stoke away and when was the last time we won there?


You think we’re going to beat Boro away from home?


Listen this season AW has been exposed to the point of no return.our squad has enough talent to be one of the best in the world.. but it all comes down to the manager to place great motivation, and cause a healthy mix competition. it is clear as daylight, AW has lost the dressing room. whatever happens till the end of the season doesnt matter.. I’m not even trying to say that lighty. Yeah if we do end up getting fourth place and wenger retires the squad will continue to fail. right now everything needs a reset button, from the board all the way to under 18. we need to look at ourself as a club and see what it is that we trying to aim at and be realistic because right now we’ve practically the awkward joke around europe. I”ll be even worse if Leicster fc make it to the semi finals :/

Faisal Narrage

Heh I remember.
I think it was you that posted pretty reasonable comment about change is still required, and you got chewed out by the “stop being so negative, FFS GET BEHIND THE TEAM” folks. I defended you but also got it in the neck.

So yeah, beat Middlesborough and it will all be back to happy days


Beaten Middlesborough in your dreams mate couldnt ever scored against them home. Wake up and sell the coffee.


Watching this was like that time in Space Jam when the little aliens stole all of the B-Ball players’ talent and the players just stood there and twitched on the court.


Only if we had MJ to turn things aroud.


Bill Murray as out interim manager?


We’re already on groundhog day so, why not?


How many times have we seen that same defeat in the past decade? Slow movement, caught on the counter, sloppy defending, and not a single chance created.

El nino

Time for change


Was long time ago


Allardice says he doesn’t teach tackling. Wenger doesn’t even appreciate it.
Other than Pep G, is there any manager in PL who doesn’t even consider how his opponents will play?
Is there any other manager who doesn’t know how to play against Arsenal? If so, Allardice told them exactly that in his post match interview. Can’t Wenger understand such simple plans?
We’ve been surprised by the way Bournemouth, Everton, Burnley, Sutton, Stoke, WBA and now Palace played against us.
No wonder we were delayed getting to the ground, we didn’t anticipate traffic in London either!


That was terrible

Cygan\'s Left Foot

It is been terrible for a while.

Arsene IS the problem.

Toure motors

Fucking purebred useless. Absolute mismanagement. Theo as captain, do me a favour


When I saw Theo was captain again I thought nice for him, but really? Theo… Captain?
I’m not an ozil out guy,but how bad was he today. And elneny looked like a bad version of fellaini (minus elbows)


Townsend is a fucking cunt


We could make a song out of that


Yer ex spurs scum


What does a man have to do to get sacked?


Well, you can’t fault him for trying 🙂


Completely outplayed by a Crystal Palace team managed by Big Sam. Please wake me up from this nightmare.


Indeed. We seem to set ourselves up for failure too.

Can someone please explain why Welbeck started today? He looked so unfit. He was clearly not running freely right from the start.

Theo had a lot of misplaced passes in the first half and didn’t add much to the game overall.

Gabriel looked nervous all game and couldn’t cope aerially. Hector was targeted in the air, that seemed quite a deliberate tactic. Can anyone point to one such opposition tailored tactic that we’ve tried to use recently? Could be against anyone.


The Alexis face makes so much sense


Can’t wait to read By the Numbers.

73% possession, 84% pass success rate, 29/59 successful long balls, 8/18 successful tackles.

0% chance of any European football – thank God for that, I’d hate Europa League, playing nonentities from obscure nations on Thursdays and screwing up Sunday life every week.

Next to 0% chance of me renewing 2 season tickets if Wenger still there next season (or if decision not announced by time we have to renew)


I love you Arsene, but right now I hate you more.


To put it simply: We’re shit


We’re just not very good at football

Tom Gun

I’m going to put as much energy, passion, desire and technical ability into this comment as every single player did tonight:



the end is nigh…



Stringer Bell

Theo is so inconsistent and reality just not good enough. Mustafi looks a liability. Gabriel not good enough. Bellerin very poor for a while now. Welbeck hardly touched ball. Ramsey is a joke. Ozil needs to be in top team to perform. Well played nacho. Giroud decent sub no more. Elneny and xhaka please


You know what? Sanchez also loses when his team does, but strangely he wouldn’t also need good players to be good?


Sanchez was poor…. gave the ball away loads and lost count of how many hopeful shitty chip crosses from standing still he attempted tonight


Even it was Messi he will look shit with this team …

Me So Hornsey

Well at least the geez who owns Arsenal Fan TV is on a winner.


He’s probably on a yacht just off the Caribbean by now!!


Good riddance


Great song


Wenger continues to embarrass the club and fans.

Still waiting for a coherent argument why he should stay from pro-Wenger fans like uncle D, salmok and futsboller. Instead just get vitriol and abuse for having a view that’s different to theirs.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

Agree. The WengerIn camp just resorts to abusing those who want Wenger out.

They use words like Cunts & Spazz and what not. Disgraceful.


That’s quite rich coming from the king of corrosive posts himself. After losses as pathetic as today’s, I share with you the disgust with the manager and the team’s performance, which was utterly pathetic. No argument to keep 3/4 of this team, the manager, the staff, or anyone associated with performances like that would make much sense today. But we’d have quite the mess on our hands if the club responded to losses the way fans on here do (understandably, mind you, and which they must be expected to do), which is viscerally. We all take these losses hard, deep, and to heart. This season has been a frackin’ disaster, and as I’ve said before, I can’t wait till it is over so that we can take it out back behind the barn and bury it in an unmarked grave.

I am in no ‘camp’ when it comes to Arsenal FC — I simply want us to win and hopefully play attractive, attacking football in the process. If Wenger re-signs, fine; hopefully he can get his team to play the way he wants them to, which when done right means we can beat anybody. If Wenger goes, fine; I just hope the new manager tries to keep the goal of merging style with substance.

However, while Wenger is our manager, I will defend him, just like I will defend our players, and our mascot, and our cannon, and our colours, and our stadium. That doesn’t mean I won’t hold them all up for criticism, but so long as they are ours, they are ours, and I’ll defend them to anyone and everyone, win or lose. Wenger has a brilliant footballing mind, is one of the best managers to oversee the game, is a class act, and represents the values we hold high and dear at Arsenal. There is something brutally wrong with the team right now; if he can fix it, great; if he can’t, then time to move on. Thankfully, that’s not my decision to make.

Fire away, boys. 🙂

Big Dave



Didn’t see much evidence of tactics


Adios Champions League. One step beeeyond…!


After the second half of the West Ham game I said if we can continue to keep playing like that we might just be able to get into top 4 and win the FA Cup. We had the same 11 who started the second half of the West Ham game today starting tonight. We knew Benteke would be a similar threat to Carroll, they would try to play through his knock downs, they would battle hard, and they would try to play us on the counter and from set pieces as we would have most of the possession. So you have to think it would be same gameplan and same mentality required from the Arsenal team today.

I am sure some people will be calling for Wenger’s head again after this result, and I do not blame them. It is the manager’s job to organise and to motivate, and clearly they were neither. After the past few weeks that has become more and more apparent, and because of that I am firmly in the OUT camp.

But these players let themselves down tonight beyond the influence of the manager. Because even if we did not have a manager for tonight’s game, these players, all of whom are internationals at senior or U21 level, must have been able to know and see what was coming as I pointed out earlier, yet a non-league player would have had more passion, desire, motivation and organisation skills than some Arsenal players did today.

While I am in the Out camp, I am now in a position where I do not care quite so much who is in charge next season, I just hope we have a squad of players who are willing to give it their all week in week out, because right now we do not even have that, and that is the saddest thing of all…

Cape Town Gooner

Look at Chelsea 15/16 vs 16/17. Not that much difference in the squad (although Kante is a beast). It’s amazing what some changed tactics and motivation (and getting rid of a cunt of a manager) did for that team.


It does really look like the dressing room has gone. These players just don’t seem interested in doing the most basic things- it’s like an Xi of nick bentdners out there.


Seriously this last couple of months have been shocking. No point singling anyone out. They’ve all been absolutely terrible. Scariest of all though is can we actually defend anymore? Every time the ball was crossed into a reasonable area, we were all over the place.

Let’s be honest with ourselves, the boss has lost the dressing room.


If Wenger doesn’t resign before next match, and we don’t have very advanced negotiations with top managers, then next season is already done. Get used to 6 people.

Kenyan gooner

None of those players loves this club.

Stuck on repeat...

Bet Theo loves his watch though…

Kenyan gooner

Point out one that does.


Just cut a deal with the League – we are ‘deemed’ 10th placed, stop playing, and take a full six months to plan succession, transfers, zipper fittings etc.

Or don’t, I don’t care. Just please stop putting a team on the pitch and calling it “Arsenal” when it’s anything but.

Wade wilson

Dark days, fully kak. Ref the same! west ham Lincoln and effing Sutton the only wins we’ve mustered. I hate refs but this is beyond shocking. When will we learn?

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

A tweet that sums it all up brilliantly.

Don’t know what joy the WengerIn camp gets by watching Wenger destroy his legacy like this.

He needs to leave, for Arsenal’s sake sure, but he needs to go for his own sake above all. He is becoming a joke now. Palace fans were singing Wenger please stay at one point in the game.

Anyway I just thought I will get these two bits in, before all the clamouring for Wenger to sign a new contract anyway, starts in the comments.

And to be fair, I don’t understand point of those who still want Wenger to stay, unless thier point is- Why destroy the club slowly. Just give Wenger 2 more years and destroy it in one swift go.

dr Strange

I Wonder what Fat Sam would do with s budget like Arsenals. Better than Wenger is a same bet.


Don’t go there

Sir Henry Norris\'s Brown Envelope
Sir Henry Norris\'s Brown Envelope

I’ve been saying that since 2012. Allardyce works with low budget rag tag teams, as does Pulis and Mark Hughes, they always get the better of Wenger and his team of international superstars.
Kroenke OUT and take Wenger with you

Tom Gun

“they always get the better of Wenger” – really?!

Wenger v Pulis P18 W11 D2 L5
Wenger v Allardyce P27 W15 D7 L5
Wenger v Hughes P26 W14 D4 L8


We seem to have broken a lot of records this season, sadly they mostly seem to have been bad ones. Really really poor today, when will this end?


It’ll end when we finish the season behind that lot from Middlesex for the first time in over 20 years.


I watch the U.S. national team regularly as well, and these performances look so much like the last games under Klinsmann. You can tell, even watching on TV, that the players have absolutely no faith in anything the manager tells them.

Arsene needs to go, he can’t hack it with modern football’s tactics and environment. And every one of those players knows it.


Shitty McShitteam


I posted the following after the West Ham game. Was roundly criticized and told to stop complaining,not to support the team, wasn’t a real fan, the usual.
Regardless of the result, the sentiment remains the same. The manager needs to go. A major overhaul is needed.
“Yeah its a win, which in any context is good. That being said, it was a game Arsenal were expected to win, and didn’t feel much joy at the final whistle. Can even see it with the players, little to no celebrations. This side hasn’t much to play for but pride with the league this season. Of course fourth is still possible, but even that wouldn’t bring much happiness to a deflated fan base. The team definitely needs a change of management this summer to kick start the club and clean the slate. Three points aside, the situation is very stale, and whilst the manager pisses about with the fans over his contract decision, you can expect plenty more empty seats like there was tonight. Hopefully next season can bring some emotion back into the club. Because right now, its pretty apathetic”


I criticised you for moaning when the team actually did alright for a change. Tonight’s performance and prior to previous games is a different matter. Although I only caught the last 20 minutes tonight what I saw was a shower of shit. One of the goal reruns with a defender, might have been Montreal, with his back to whichever Palace player that scored mere inches apart and in the penalty box. Shocking!


So we’re going to lose every single away game from now to the end of may?


Wouldnt be sorry to see the back of all the players this summer, and the manager and the board. Sanchez, ozil, the lot of them can fuck off. With the exception of maybe koscielny. He can stay.

Original Paul

Good plan! 🙂


Yeah let’s just disband the team and shut the club down.


That might be best

Hank Scorpio

What a dilemma. A football club that no longer exists or one that is a non-entity on the pitch that pays its players significant sums of money to perpetually underperform.


You know when you go out and get really really drunk, then the next morning you wake up with a banging hangover and promise yourself you won’t put yourself through that pain again, but the next weekend comes and you’re out again……that’s how I feel watching Arsenal right now.

See you all next bloody week.


Only way out, end the Wenger and Arsenal mystery, we aRe only heading backward with Wenger, the worst that any manager can do is not make top 4 and I seriously don’t see Wenger making it this season as well, Spu*s will finish ahead of us for the first time that I can remember. Wenger’s time was up after the first FA cup win but he stubbornly stayed on, his downfall is his own doing. I stopped watching Arsenal now, we are so shit to watch this days.

Crash Fistfight

Not sure your screen name is very accurate, based on your last sentence.


Choosing not to watch a game doesn’t make you less of a fan.

If you have a horrible row with your husband/wife/life partner, do you still spend every available second with them? Or do you think “screw it, I’ll do something enjoyable this time instead”.


Surely Wengers position now is untenable. With different set of players, Arsenal have exhibited precisely the same weaknesses and inadequacies. The only constant has been the coach. He could and should have left when we won the FA twice.


In hindsight, we beat two Championship sides in those Finals (and were 2 down in the first).

We’re at Wembley again by beating two National League teams. I’m going, but not looking forward to our game v ManC and, even if we did win that, would hate the thought of losing to either of the finalists we would face.

uncle D

How has Steve Bold improved the defence since becoming assist manager. Awful defending has been a consistent problem. When will this be addressed?

Kolo Tourette\'s

There are no words to describe this. Its beyond ambarrasing. How can a team with so many good footballers play so bad?

Mustafi, i think he’s the worst.
Xhaka, i like him but he plays like he’s fatter than allardyce.
Walcott, it’s like we are playing with ten men whenever he is on.
Welbeck, also like him but he is the one who should be playing with the under-23, not Iwobi.
Ozil, come on man, what the hell is up with you?!

Elneny, the only one who tries to shoot (badly) and gets subbed.
Ox, it is said that is very important that he stays, and i agree, but even Ramsey gets to play ahead of him.

It is getting harder and harder to support this team right now. This is really beyond repair.


You need to question everything here, why are we turning up to a crucial game in our season 30mins before kick off? We are in LONDON, what is it 14miles? Get a grip for goodness sake Arsenal, loyalty is an admiral trait but losing to such an opposition is not. They say Wenger out, every f*cker out who is not on board I say. Set of absolute turds. Look across London at what Chelski and Sp*rs are doing and say we’re anywhere near that…Playing as a team for each other and their manager – we are doing completely the opposite. What happened to the team that played so well towards the end of the last game? ARGH SO ANGRY…i’m off to take it out on a bag of haribo. #topeffort


Can’t bring myself to watch at the moment. Thank you arseblog for describing it so I don’t have to watch

Original Paul

I think it’s safe to say, we have “trouble at mill”!

Original Paul

“What’s that Skip?”


Talking to yourself is not a good sign

Original Paul

It was two different TV shows telling of big imminent problems, keep up! 🙂


Honestly I will first blame our midfield for not getting anything out of this game. Poor defensively and has no cutting edge.
I personally do not know why Wenger persist with Welbeck as he cannot and I mean cannot hold up play and is not a target man.
Walcott besides scoring adds absolutely nothing else. Bellerin does so much more offensively and he suppose to be our defender.
Not sure how Ozil made it to 90 minutes as he was woeful – 1/10. Would have left Elneny on as he would actually take a shot and who knows.
Xhaka played well in my honest opinion. Not sure what else he could have done knowing how fast he is.
The defense personally was undone by the poor midfield (all across the midfield) help.


Xhaka was poor, he’s going through the motions. Seems to worry about his hair to much to get stuck in!


That was woeful. An utter, abject, awful humiliation. Second best all game. Beaten to every ball, in the air or on the ground. Bereft of creativity, and when we tried to go forward we gave away – every fucking single time. I can’t find the words to describe how horrible it was to watch that mess. Hopeless, just hopeless.

fed up

Crumbs that was BAD


Puncheon and Townsend running us ragid! Absolutely pathetic. . How the hell is Theo a captain????…..hid all game! That is not captain pedigree! Ox did more in the first five minutes of coming on than Theo did all game. Everyone will rip into Wenger but he does not tell people to go out and play shit and hide. our player made benteke look like drogba!!! no one wanted to challenge him

Original Paul

I love Wenger and all that, but our team is fucked!


Walcott ….Skipper !!!! words fail me ..he’s no leader just a piss taker .
Steve Bould … Got to go . Simple as that.
Arsene you have done so much for Arsenal i love ya …but its over. Its not you.. its me.

Kroenke.. Go, get out and stay away. Stop Using Arsenal as a cash cow.

The real punishment for Arsenals apathy will be a Europa league place. A tournament of too many games that puts a strain on squads and a trophy nobody really cares about unless you find yourself in the final.


What makes you so sure we’ll be in the Europa League next year? The way the team has played for the last couple of months I can see us drop further than where we are currently.


we are shit! and the away fans are right. sad sad days. this season need to be over soon. it’s better not to be in Europe next year and get a new manager to reboot the team. keep a spine of kos xhaka and alexis and rebuilt around them. we are not champions league level at all and even europa league teams play better than us.

Lord Nicki B

Shitwank doesn’t start to describe this team and its setup.

The away support were spot on, they’re not fit to wear the shirt and for the love of Bergkamp, Arsene please, if you love the club, leave!