Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Elneny, Ozil, Alexis, Iwobi, Welbeck
Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Chambers, Ramsey, Campbell, Walcott, Giroud
Arsenal let more points drop as late Yannick Bolasie goal earned Crystal Palace a 1-1 draw at the Emirates this afternoon. Arsene Wenger made one change to the team that drew 3-3 with West Ham, with Petr Cech returning in place of David Ospina.
The Gunners had the first pop at goal in the 5th minute with a Mohamed Elneny effort that was blocked at the edge of the box, and a beautiful Mesut Ozil pass almost created a chance for Danny Welbeck but the striker couldn’t get the ball under control on the turn.
There was plenty of possession for the home side but not much in the way of incision. A Palace corner led to a Scott Dann header which drifted wide, and not much else happened. Then the referee fell over and I was all ‘hahaha’ because it’s funny when people fall over.
Bolassie had a shot which was easily saved by Cech, Laurent Koscielny headed an Ozil corner wide, and Alexis saw a 25 yard free kick deflect not too far wide. The Chilean then combined well with Ozil, but the German international’s shot was saved at close range by the Palace keeper.
It was dull stuff but in first half stoppage time the Gunners went ahead. We won it back at the edge of their box, Welbeck chipped a lovely pass over the top, Alexis bravely ran on to head over the onrushing keeper. 1-0.
A nice time to score as the half-time whistle went 60 seconds later. Alan Pardew made a change at the break bringing on Sako for Jedinak, but the game continued in much the same vein with lots of Arsenal possession.
Coquelin created a good chance for Iwobi which the youngster headed wide, before Ozil curled a free kick just wide of the post. Just after the hour mark former Arsenal player and still massive prick Emmanuel Adebayor was introduced for Connor Wickham, adding a little bit of booing and spice to proceedings.
Welbeck was denied by a point blank save after a scramble in the Palace area, Alexis headed wide and then again after a quick Ozil free kick. Scott Dann went in the book for a hack at Welbeck just before Arsene Wenger made his first subs, bringing on Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey for Welbeck and Iwobi.
Cech had to tip a header over the bar from a corner, and some more nothing happened in much the same way that nothing happened for most of the game before that.
I thought about a book I once read.
Then in typical Arsenal fashion, we let Palace score with just 9 minutes of normal time remaining. Bolasie cut inside Coquelin, shaped to shoot, then cracked in a shot at the near post which Cech really should have done better with. 1-1.
Theo Walcott was sent on for Elneny as Arsenal sought a winner, his first contribution was to get the ball with all the time in the world then run into a couple of opponents, fall over and lose it. Koscielny headed an Ozil free kick on target but it was easy for the keeper, and the centre-half almost gifted Palace a winner with some shocking defending only for Gabriel to mop up.
The players, who hadn’t really given a shit throughout, couldn’t muster up anything to get the win and the game ended with a chorus of boos emanating from the stands.
More points dropped, more dreadful football.