Report: Crystal Palace 2-3 Arsenal (inc. goals)


Starting XI: Cech, Chambers, Koscielny, Mustafi, Bellerin, Xhaka, Wilshere, Kolasinac, Ozil, Alexis, Lacazette

Subs: Ospina, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, Iwobi, Welbeck, Walcott


Alexis Sanchez was the star as Arsenal closed the gap on the top four to one point with a 3-2 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Shkodran Mustafi kept his cool to slot home the opener from a tight angle in a dominant first half. Andros Townsend converted Wilfried Zaha’s cross just after the break as the home side briefly wrestled back the momentum before Sanchez came to the fore. First the Chilean hammered home at the near post after good work by Lacazette, then, put through by Wilshere, he slotted past Speroni again.

There was a late scare when Tomkins headed home with a minute remaining but Arsene Wenger, equalling Sir Alex Ferguson’s record for matches managed, wasn’t to be denied the points. His side move level on points with Sp*rs but remain in sixth.

First half

Undefeated in eight games, their longest Premier League unbeaten stretch, Palace came into the game full of confidence. You got the feeling, judging by the noise coming from the terraces, that their fans obviously fancied a visit from Arsene Wenger’s men. Perhaps the memories of April’s 3-0 win against the Gunners, who were booed from the field that night, were still fresh in the memory.

As it turned out, Arsenal started and played throughout the first half like they had a point to prove.

Initially, the home side were full of attacking. Cabaye fancied his luck from outside the box with a couple of efforts from range on 11 and 15 minutes. The first flew over the bar, the second slipped just past Cech’s right-hand post. Unsurprisingly, Zaha, playing on the left of the Palace front three, was eager to test Calum Chambers on his first Premier League start in an Arsenal shirt since 2016. For the most part, the centre back held up fine.

The storm weathered, the Gunners moved up the gears as they looked to make the most of their lion’s share of possession.

We were neat and tidy in possession with Wilshere, Ozil and Alexis pulling the strings in the final third. Clear-cut chances were hard to come by, although Xhaka, who’d fired from long tange just on 9 minutes, did see a fine opportunity blocked at close range on 19 minutes. As the play continued to unfold, another chance fell Wilshere’s way and he shot straight at Speroni.

It felt like a goal was coming for the visitors. And sure enough, on 25 minutes, it did. After Palace half cleared an Arsenal free-kick, lofted into the box by Wilshere, the ball fell to Lacazette on the right side of the box. The France international curled an effort goalwards that Speroni palmed straight into the path of Mustafi, who calmly tucked home first time. (1-0)

Were it not for a fine save by Speroni, the Gunners would have had a second on 30 minutes. Somehow the Argentine managed to stop a toe-poke from Ozil, fed by a brilliant Sanchez through ball, from squeezing in.

Earlier in the week, Arsene Wenger had lamented his side’s profligacy in front of goal. It was a problem that they continued to wrestle with at Selhurst Park. Lacazette made room for himself with quick feet but having done the hard work he couldn’t get his low drive on target. Not long after a brilliant counter-attack saw Ozil put through, but when one-on-one with Speroni he passed square and the move broke down.

Second half

The Gunners started the second half as they finished the first, by squandering a chance. An Alexis ball, curled with his right foot from the angle of the area, found Hector Bellerin darting in at the far post. The Spaniard couldn’t get any purchase on his shot, it appeared to come off his heel, allowing Speroni to pounce.

It felt like a costly miss when, against the run of play and with their first shot on target of the evening, Palace equalised. Zaha dragged Chambers to the touchline, pulled the ball back to the penalty spot where Andros Townsend met the ball on the run to sweep home. The Arsenal defence was completely static. (1-1)

The momentum immediately swung in the home side’s favour. For five minutes the Eagles were untouchable. Zaha fired at Cech. Schlupp hit the side netting. Loftus-Cheek opened up his body but couldn’t find any whip and shot wide. The men in black were chasing shadows.

It took a while for the Gunners to get back in the groove, but they did in style. On 62 minutes, Alexis thrashed home from eight yards after brilliant play by Lacazette who held off a man and teed up the Chilean after Chambers had dropped the ball in the Palace box. (2-1)

Three minutes later, the Gunners had a third. Again it was Sanchez. This time the Chilean latched on to a beautiful quarterback style pass from Wilshere, took a touch to control and calmly slotted past Speroni. (3-1)

Looking to close the game out, Wenger opted to replace Lacazette with Coquelin. The striker didn’t look too pleased as he once again failed to complete 90 minutes for his new club. On the break, Bellerin, a fantastic outlet all night on the right, forced Speroni into a save as Arsenal hunted a fourth.

Palace rallied. The ball was driven low into the Arsenal box on numerous occasions. It was scrambled clear, time and time again. Zaha should have reduced the deficit with his head, but put his effort wide with his shoulder. Sako, on as a sub, then hit high and wide. The striker, a real physical threat, then had an effort deflected just wide on 88 minutes. The home side’s pressure finally paid dividends as Tomkins headed home the resultant corner. (3-2)

Four minutes of stoppage time were greeted with roars from the home crowd but the Gunners held their nerve.

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Great result at least. Three important away points.


Liverpool needed a leader because they were leaking goals…

Get van djik and make a statement

Arsenal have 3 defender above age 32 and are leaking goals

Place coq in centre..

After wenger i want to see simeone type football..i have had enough of this chutyagiri.


If you’ve had enough I am sure man united are looking for more fans since half of them have deserted away to city


Pretty sure i would have more up votes if we drew 3-3 …Or i guess most of the arsenal fans have accepted this mediocre performances and are just happy that we won away.


You’d have more upvotes if more people agreed with you…

Non flying dutchman

You wanted that result so you could get more upvotes

Off you trot mate


You are boring.


Van Dijk might still be rubbish, give him a chance


I think you’ve spelled chutiyagiri wrong.

Runcorn Gooner

3 points but our defence is becoming a bigger and bigger nightmare. AW for gods sake sort it out.


Far, far, far from perfect but i enjoyed watching this Arsenal game. Refreshing feeling.

Ps. No fucking way that we should sell Alexis in January, he may be the fine margin between Champions league and heroics of Thursday evenings.

Ps2. I am really not sure anymore if Bellerin is good at defending.


Really good on the attack. Yes, Bellerin was terrible all night at defence.


Sanchez is gone, and can be replaced. He has moments of brilliance, but he is equally a liability and disrupts the flow of the attack. The key is finding the right replacement, which is really where my concern is. If we keep Ozil, we must find someone that partners his style well.

Bellerin has never been great at defending. Just fast so he can recover well after a mistake.

Old Boy Gunner

Agreed. Straight swap Sanchez for Aguero.


Bellerin just seems incapable of stopping a cross to save his life

Old Boy Gunner

Or putting in a decent and intelligent cross in attack


Enjoyed those goals + Wilshere’s performance as well. Still very concerned about the defense. But that’s for another day – we have the 3 points!


We’ve been saying it’s for another day for like 10 years. It’s not gonna change if we leave it always for another day


I so hope we get zaha as sanchez replacement..


He is good but no where the level we need. Possibly fakir or mahrez or both or all three!



Man Manny

We can certainly do better than Zaha if we are by any chance aiming to move to the next level. He is not even up to a poor replica of Alexis. A one trick pony he is.


That’s even dumber than your rant above.

Old Boy Gunner

Zaha flatters to deceive.


Wilshere ❤


What a pass by Wilshere ?

Jean Ralphio

I think subbing Laca was not bad management. With him being our best choice upfront and there being no Giroud, I’d do the same.


With him being the only noteworthy striker at the moment.. I say we keep him nice and fresh…


How much of a difference do 10 minutes make?


A fair amount as so many injuries occur when players are tired

Gunner Matt

@mrtanmay That’s true with all the games coming up but from his point of view you can understand why he must be getting pissed off with seeing his number come up all the time. I think our game lost momentum when he came off as we were such a threat going forward. I cannot see Pepe doing the same as at 3-1 he would keep faith in attacking football and would think its time to demolish the opposition not hold on.


Yes.. I would be worried if a player was happy while coming off.
Laca is a brilliant player… Wish we had a bit of depth in his position and would’ve loved to see him rip into tired defenders.
Would love to see a bit of Nketiah more often now.


The difference is Pep has rather a lot more fit and healthy attacking options than we do right now. Lacazette is going to have to play all three of our matches this week. Plus, we were two up with ten minutes to go. Taking off a forward and putting on a defensive mid was exactly the right decision.


Laca does not have to play all our matches this week, alexis/welbz/theo all offer goal threat. Weird for a pedant to make such a mistake 😉

Old Boy Gunner

And a lot more better players.

Non flying dutchman

Yeah reaction a bit off. We were 3-1 up with 15 mins left and he hadn’t been finding the net himself. Perfectly reasonable substitution


We lost momentum though, it invited more pressure from them

Bob davis

Yes! Great win. A hard fought 3 points. Really happy for Super Jack and Sanchez as we really needed the third goal. I hope Granit’s injury is short term. Looks like a groin injury.


Very curious to see Wilshere’s player rating from blogs… Must be running out of excuses to mark him down. Thought he was outstanding


Have to agree, Wilshire rating will be a thing of legends… as blogs does seem like poke jack with a shitty stick even when he has given 110% on the pitch…


Arguably his best performance of the season.

Thought Xhaka had a decent game too.


Nothing like giving the chavs something to sing about then take it away… twice


That was not just a great performance from Sanchez, that was a great TEAM performance from Sanchez. Enjoyed his tracking back almost as much as his goals. (That’s a lie, but you know what I mean)


This. Easily MotM. Also before he scored.


Our attacking is scary at times. Unfortunately, so is our defending.


Wiltshire MOM he makes our midfield tick…. Bellerin is a liability at defending, Sanchez looked hungry…….

Come on you gunners


We made Zaha look unnecessarily good. Jack was brilliant playing a bit deeper. Xhaka rarely moved into the space Jack vacates while carrying the ball… left Bellerin and Chambers an awful lot to do every time in the second half.
Also I’m all for good hold up play when we are in the lead… but can we do it in their half please !!! Its like our whole team goes on a power save, rightly so but that does not mean we should stop moving completely.
Good game to win. Ending showed all the flaws in their glory.


Bellerin had a strange game…He played well but seems to have become allergic to defending. Chambers had his best game in an Arsenal shirt and kept Zaha quiet until the last 10 where he got tired…This is when Bellerin got exposed even more so as Chambers could’nt keep going out that far to double up.. Kos and Mustafi far better this game. Something about Wilshere completing these 90mins consistently has a big smile on my face at the moment. Alot wrong with the team but alot right also…Its why we can go from sublime to terrible and back again all… Read more »


Here on American TV we got a brief pre-match interview with Bellerín where he mentioned something about himself having less defensive responsibility when we play in a back 3, which really didn’t sit too well with me. But that would ignore the fact that he wasn’t awesome before we switched to a back 3 anyway.


Bellerin needs to warm the bench, he is turd awful in defense.


So there are actually 6 people here with thumbs down who thinks Bellerin defended well lol.


I think part of the problem is the bloke cunts himself up and down the line so much and it is only human to make poor decisions when you are tired. Most of his suspect defensive actions (and I will agree there are unfortunately a few..) come off the back of an 80 yard sprint to supply the width that is otherwise lacking in this formation. You can argue that’s his job to be up and down the line and it probably is, but all I’m suggesting is that could be a reason. I’d be interested to see how his… Read more »

Gudang Bedil

Not happy with Granit’s injury. But excited to see AMN in midfield. But alas, we might get Coq instead.


I normally defend Ramsey’s performances in the middle because of the way he helps our attack, but Wilshere has forced me to reassess. Such a difference having someone in there who can create consistently but is also actually disciplined. The biggest compliment is that Wilshere didn’t even play out of his skin today and yet was still very very good, it was just natural for him and topped it all off with a great assist. We lost control of the game when we moved him from the middle, just shows the impact he had in the engine room. Must sign… Read more »

Bai Blagoi

I enjoyed seeing AMN in the midfield finally


Mr Lacazette, the sooner you start scoring regularly the better for us


He had 2 assists. He worked his hole off winning the ball high up the pitch, making runs and linked well all match. Would love to see him score, but I will take what he did for the team.


Jack played well, but thought Mustafi was really excellent even without the goal.

Non flying dutchman

Needed to have attacked the ball for their first goal. That was disappointing

SB Still

In the post game analysis I thought Sky would cover how Sanchez or Wilshere or Kos or Mustafi played.

However those guys are focusing on a gut feeling of dressing room discontent between Sanchez and some others. Arseholes!


Look up the definition of “Sky TV” and it’ll say they’re a bunch of arseholes. Look up the definition of “arseholes” and it’ll say “see Sky TV”.


Özil – what a player, I am so glad that we signed him. His presence of mind is unbelievable.


1) Bellerin was RUBBISH 2) We were WASTEFUL 3) We do not ever learn to play with our heads on a SWIVEL 4) We are LAZY. Rather than play to end of the match we opt to try and see out the game taking our foot off the pedal. 5) We make counter attacks look so COMPLICATED (with exception of Alexis goal which is the way it should be done) OTOH Positives : 1) ALEXIS.Prob gone. Diss him all you want but he makes the effort and he’s pretty direct. 2) Chambers did decent. 3) Jack’s passing range …great assist.… Read more »


Disagree with Bellerin being a fantastic outlet. He didn’t deliver one decent cross, was caught out of position a number of times and refuses to take on his man any more. It’s a worry which I now thinks to be looked at more seriously.


Cech (Ospina) Mustafi (Chambers) Koscielny (Holding) Bellerin (Debuchy) Monreal (Kolasinac) Maitland-Niles (Coquelin – Elneny) Ramsey (Iwobi) Wilshere (Xhaka) Özil (Nelson) Lacazette (Giroud) Alexis (Welbeck – Walcott) As we are currently switching between different formations like never before anyway, why don’t give the good old 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield a try again. Think we have a pretty ideal squad for that apart from the DM role which isn’t exactly an unimportant role in that system. But I’d try out Maitland- Niles in his actual position for some games and if it turnes out to be too much to ask of… Read more »


Jack the lad

American Gooner

Could we maybe buy a right-wing back in January who occasionally defends?


I don’t mind how dirty or clean the result came. I’m only interested in the 3 points cuz we need catch up with the rest of the teams who ahead of us. 6 points adrift 2nd place. We’re in for a battle for the remaining half of the season. Jacko, I’ll get you a new deal tonight. What a fantastic through ball to Sanchez there. Reminds me of Fabrepass in an Arsenal shirt. Wenger has got no excuse to bench you. Lacazzette’s link up with Alexis is getting stronger. If he wants to go we must sign Lemar or someone… Read more »

Fireman Sam

Lemar would be great but in all honesty I’d rather strengthen our defence and defensive midfield area, and that might be mostly getting more coaching and psychological work done than actually bringing new bodies in.


I dont think Bellerin was so awful defensively the first 75, the last 15 was a nightmare, but there’s two reasons for that. Firstly, when Zaha began his short combination play there was no support behind him,so it was easy for Zaha to make the runs behind him. The second factor is the type of player Bellerin has been. He’s put on a lot of muscles the last years and is now a more powerful player,but the cost is that he’s lost his previous ability to make quick turns and short high speed runs. Still fast, but need longer distance… Read more »

Post January Blip

As bad as we’ve been at times, we’re not only a point off of 4th, but 6 off 2nd. Not saying that’s where we’ll finish at the end of the season but I think it’s fair to say we should be aiming to put a good run together into the new year. Only worry, we play Chelsea 3 times before Feb.


1. Good to get an away win.
2. Jack played well again.
3. Alexis looked much sharper than he has done recently.
4. The two goals we conceded were sloppy, with all the changes in backroom staff we’re making at the moment perhaps we should be looking at a new defensive coach? Bould was a great player but maybe someone younger and able to challenge Wenger could sort out some of our contestantly reoccurring defensive deficiencies….


Cech needs a break


Now we have come to a point where we have started to close the gap on the top 4.. sigh

Arun M

That was Wilshere pass was awesome. Reminded me of carzola pass in one game in which Ozil scored. I felt Wishere was playing with less confidence maybe this assist will help him


We conceded 2 goals to side 1 point from the relegation zone. The only surprise is that we actually managed to prevent them from scoring first as it was starting to look like we were going for some sort of record lately. Who in their right mind would sign for Arsenal now?