Report: Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace (inc goals)

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Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Wilshere, Elneny, Ozil, Iwobi, Lacazette

Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Kolsasinac, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Nelson, Nketiah

Arsenal got back to winning ways in the Premier League today, with a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace at the Emirates today.

The Gunners were without Alexis Sanchez, on his way to Manchester, while Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey were sidelined through injury and illness respectively. However, they did welcome back Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil to the starting XI in what was a return to a back four.

Alex Iwobi had the first attempt on goal, forcing Hennessey into a save which resulted in a corner. Xhaka took the set-piece, curled to the back post, and Monreal timed his run perfectly to nod the ball into the net from close range. 1-0.

It was a bright start, made even more so by a second goal just four minutes later. Arsenal had Palace under all kinds of pressure, but Monreal got a cross in from the left and the Nigerian poked the ball home from close range. 2-0.

Incredibly, there was another goal inside two minutes. Great work from Bellerin forced a corner, Xhaka took it again, Monreal got on the end of it, cut it back, and Koscielny bundled it over the line. 3-0.

It was four in the 22nd minute as the rampage continued. Beautiful build up play from Arsenal saw the ball fed to Ozil just inside the box, he flicked it behind into the path of Lacazette who drilled home a shot which the keeper couldn’t keep out. 4-0.

Palace, as you’d imagine, were shellshocked, but Cech did have to make a save from Sako, before we were forced into a 34th minute change when Monreal was replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Cech made a superb save from a Zaha shot which deflected off Koscielny, Xhaka fizzed a free kick over the bar and the Gunners took a very healthy lead into the break.

There were no changes from either manager at half-time, and Palace appealed for a penalty when Elneny fouled Zaha, but the ref played on and it was outside the box anyway. Iwobi saw a shot saved after a great Ozil pass but the youngster had Lacazette free outside him but didn’t spot the striker making the run.

Cech was again called into action when Benteke found himself one on one with the Arsenal keeper, and the Czech stood up well, making a great save to deny the Palace striker.

Reiss Nelson was handed his Premier League debut in the 72nd minute when he replaced Ozil, and Zaha became the pantomime villain for his frustration at being tackled all the time by Arsenal defenders. The cheek of them.

Palace got a goal back from a corner in the 78th minute. The set-piece came in, Milovojevic was given too much time, and he hooked the ball into the bottom corner from close range. 4-1.

Almost immediately Wilshere created a chance for Lacazette which was saved by Hennessey, and the Welsh keeper was equal to the Frenchman’s follow up too. Sead Kolasinac replaced Iwobi in the 82nd minute, and despite a late penalty for a foul on Lacazette the game played out to its natural conclusion.

In the end, a comfortable win, some flashes of the old Arsenal, and three points that were very much required.

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85 Comments on "Report: Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace (inc goals)"

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cygan\'sbaldspot

Good result now announce Patrick Armstrong.

goonerang

Also Henry Micky would be nice.

Twatsloch

I’m most excited about Malcolm though. The way some have talked about him all week he seems a much better fit than Malcom.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

A few observations –

The transfer for Sanchez, truly has given the team a boost. Who would have thought possible. However the players genuinely looked happy out there. Ozil especially. He seemed pleased and was buzzing around. I suspect he will sign.

As for the rest I suppose one could say welcome to Henrik Mkh-TongueTwister-ian, and P-E A.

It will be a hell of a job coming up with a chant for those two given their names.

Russ

Alexis who?

Pakgooner

Ozil needs to given a contract. World class player and with auba mkhi laca in front may the Lord help our opposition

GunnerRon

We played well when we had Alexis. But as a team, we play much better when Ozil starts. That, for Me, is the key difference. In the end, I’m glad it was Ozil and not Alexis that we still have. Hope he signs da ting and become a legend !

AmericanGooner

Life without Alexis… sort of looks like an actual team effort. Wenger always speaks of team balance. This game made me realize how unbalanced Alexis made us. Don’t get me wrong, his skill is world class. But his selfishness may have ruined our team balance.

Ozil is the opposite. Everything flows through him.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Maybe we looked more balanced because we had an actual left back at left back & an actual dm at DM.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

I would argue that both are good assessments. We definitely had a more coherent strategy on paper, that worked as advertised on the pitch, and it was just so wonderful to see after a few weeks of the doldrums…

AmericanGooner

Fair play, Kwame.

Jimbo Jones

Playing players in their actual position, it’s revolutionary! Contract extension for that man Wenger!

In seriousness though there is a lot to be said for it and many of our more influential players have suffered since we moved to 3 at the back. Bellerin needs to be in a four, much better. Ozil must play at 10, and DM doesn’t need to be the the most fancy player just solid and reliable. Gilberto and Makakele turned it into a form of art.

For all the debate what we’ve lacked over recent seasons is balanced and functional system. That’s why despite having the most talented players we’ve had for a decade we’ve performed worst. I Hope we can rebuild around a proper spine and we can create proper competition for other positions.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Agreed Jimbo Jones. 3 of our first choice defenders (Bellerin, Kos, Nacho) look more comfortable to me in a 4 & our manager isn’t comfortable with a 3….I haven’t understood why we’ve stuck with it so long.
We have to play either Elneny or AMN at DM for the rest of the season & then pray (yet again) that Arsene buys real quality there this summer.

Jimbo Jones

Spot on dude!

Charvakan

It has to be said that Palace has been hard hit by injuries and they played poorly. Nevertheless, the ball still has to be deposited in the opposition net and the men did that today, in style. Nacho had a goal and two assists in what, ten minutes? Our best player this season, in my opinion, with or without the offensive production. We missed him, and Kos.

Hermitian

The mutt lover.

Per

I fuckin’ love Nacho Monreal!

Arsengogot

Per you right, he most be the best left back in this league

GunnerRon

Oh how much we’ve missed Nacho. With him and Ozil in the side we look a much stronger team. If they both start against chelsea on Wednesday, I am quite confident we will go through to the final. COYG !!

Pedant

Well, that was an enjoyable 22 minutes and result (would have preferred us to win the second half and have a clean sheet). Hope Nacho comes back quickly, he was great.
Getting rid of our best player and we score 4 goals in 22 minutes. Now, who is our second best player?

PGunner

That was the most enjoyable half of football at The Arsenal in quite a while. Thanks for their service and all that but I feel like getting Theo and Alexis out of the squad and adding some quality, happy players will hopefully breathe new life into this club.

Still a way to go, as even when 4 up there were still some moaning minnies in the crowd. And could really do with Xhaka being consistent. But I quite liked today’s team dynamic. Bigger tests to come but that match was mostly fun, I like fun. COYG

H2k

After the first 25 minutes, gutted we didn’t win by more. We are long overdue a game where we win by 6 or 7.
But glad to see the team play well with some fluidity, and hope that the lull we were in is over and we can use this win to go on and beat Chelsea mid-week and be on our way to Wembley!

Hi-brid

Yeah, I was kind of hoping for 16-0 when we were 4 up after 22 minutes.

Axedsoul

Tie Ozil down!! Even if you have to pay him £400k a week. Can’t stress his importance enough to our squad.
Also bring in Auba and Mkhi and we can build a formidable attack.

G-Man

He will be fine with Sanchez parity earning 300-350k. It’s obvious he’s the puppet master in this team.

In January:
Re-sign Ozil
Re-sign Wilshere
Mkhitaryan Swap
Bid £60m for Aubameyang and seal him
Then open negotiations with a DM and CB for the summer.

In summer: Sell Debuchy and Elneny then either keep or drop our players on loan (Perez, Campbell etc.). Then sign the bloody CB and DM.

Nelson replaces Walcott for me as RW back up. Niles replaces Coquelin as DM back up.

If we do this then we have essentially replaced Mertsacker (New CB), Elneny (New DM), Coquelin (Niles), Walcott (Nelson) and Sanchez (Aunameyang). We would have also added to midfield (Mkhitaryan). All while keeping two key players.

Chambers should be challenging Bellerin for RB seeing as he played there before he came but I won’t comment too much on that position.

santori

I think there are still glaring holes even with Aubameyang and Mhykitarian. These are somewhat panic buys leveraging on most convenient contacts of new scouting team. Nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t address balance of squad as best as possible.

I think eventually in summer :

1) Aubameyang will rotate with Lacazette up top. Pointless playing either out wide. Their strength is at apex. Welbeck will essentially relegate to plan C with some cameos out left but will be only last chance saloon. He can give some of what Giroud does but it worries me we are (likely) taking out the direct action Giroud provides so early on before the summer.

2) Left side therefore is still a bit vacant. We may have to revisit left wing even with Iwobi whom I think can step up.

3) On the right Nelson is a prospect that will see more time but we need an alternate. I think Ozil can operate there but width will be provided by the younger man.

4) In midfield I wonder if Mhykitarian will cover higher but also be switched to a deeper role ALA Arteta. Current useful assets are Granit, Jack, probably Ramsey so if the Armenian is used deeper, maybe Elneny gone (if we can even find a buyer for him)

5)Definitely have to consider fullback positions. Monreal’s issue like Koscielny is wear and tear with age. BUT he is a good back up/alternate to push Kolasinac. AMN I feel should shuffle to RBack back up for Bellerin/alternate. He has come to grasp fullback well and it will be a switch to his natural side. He can also cover Lback and of course as emergency in midfield.

6) In terms of Cbacks, Per should have been retired last summer on a high. He elected to stay on bc Wenger was too cheap to fix the issues. Koscielny is a question mark. Maybe good to keep on one more season as a senior man but it will depend on Monreal to some extent. How Mavropanos, Holding and Chambers develop will depend which one goes on loan and if we need to add from market to help Mustafi. Wenger’s problem is he let Gabriel go too soon and entrusted defense to two young players who have yet to deliver on promise. But they may develop second half of season particularly I feel Chambers.

I think my worry would be midfield width at the moment.

Also feel with the two new additions it would be a bit more difficult to go to a back 4 because of the lack of natural width. BOTH Aubameyang and Mhykitarian do most of their work closer to the middle. They may suit a narrow role supporting the main striker but if we pull the fullbacks back, it will not be so natural for them.

Jimbo Jones

Monreal as backup to Kolasinac? you crazy blud? lol

Kolasinac offers us something a bit different and strength but lets realise Monreal has been our best defender for at least 2 seasons. Kola’s passing accuracy is a big worry – it seems typically 60-70% when I last checked – a thats too big a liability in our side. Lots of potential if he can address it but Monreal is in my first few names on the team sheet.

Jimbo Jones

To be fair you’d actually have more of a chance if you turned your efforts to world peace.

Didn’t want to get sucked into this sort of thing but f*&k it. Fundamentally we need to address our weaknesses.

1) nobody in the team seems to understand their role – so lets get back to 4-2-3-1 (or something like that) and get the best players in their best position
2) Lacking control of the centre of the park -so lets get Ozil in central no.10 position then the two behind him to include a DM and CM. Jack and Xhaka can duke it out for CM. Someone anyone needs to do the DM job properly alongside them, perhaps AMN?.
3) Lack of creativity – Ozil now running the show will help with this, and if we can get Mkhi on the left and return Rambo to attacking inside right we should have a potent mix of passing, vision and running.
4) Lack of goals – Lacazette up top, hes got quality and lets keep the faith. Giroud is solid back up and if Aubamayang joins us (not convinced he will) then we’ve got a bloody good problem and maybe one of them can play the inside right role but I don’t know enough of them in that position. This could allow Ramsey to compete for CM or cover No.10 role. Lets face it they wont all be fit at the same time.
5) Lets get our best back 4 playing regularly together Bellerin, Mustafi, Kos, Nacho – everyone else is cover and fighting for a place.

Chippa

Some idiot thinking he has everything figured out..lol

Bould\'s Eyeliner

It aint everything, but as far as assumptions in team-building go, it seems he’s fairly spot on to me. Either way, there really isn’t too much to read into this transfer business. We need goals and some central stability, and that seems to be what’s coming in. Don’t really understand why people aren’t at least happy that we have transfer news at all. We could just not be doing any business–it’s possible with this board…

King 14enry

Agree on everything except Elneny. While he shouldn’t be relied on as a starter every week, he’s a very reliable and consistent squad player that doesn’t seem to make a fuss about being a squad player. We need guys like him if we’re going to be in 4 competitions again next season.

yen

Winning. I remember that!

Gunnerjoe

What is this winning your talking about

Gio

This was the effect of Alexit! Our players are clearly Alexiteers, they looked liberated.

Mrs Maitland-Niles

Make Arsenal great again!

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Please stop associating us with that vile, xenophobic rhetoric.

Mrs Maitland-Niles

I think most people are intelligent enough to see it for the joke it is…

Jimbo Jones

Dont believe everything you read.

Teryima Adi

And that is the Trump card.

dinkal

for the love of god Arsene, get Ozil to sign da ting. he makes SO much difference

Indian+Gooner

That first half was uncharacteristically good! That is how you football lads.. in case you had just forgotten! Nacho Monreal ran the show. Hope he gets well soon.

Riyan

WE HAVE TO KEEP OZIL.

QMantis

Blimey! What a great 23 minutes we Looked like a decent team for a bit. 2nd half looked like they were saving themselves for the midweek game. Gonna just enjoy the goals and the 3 points.

Tas Gunner

Kolasinac being given the Poldi therapy? Maybe wenger could’ve subbed AMN on for jack around 65 given the chelsea match and use kola as monreals replacement .Anyway,its good to be the winning side again!

Kwame Ampadu Down

Shame we didn’t get a clean sheet but great to get decent win. Hopefully the 3 at the back is a thing of the past now.

GreekGunner

Finally! Now Auba+Miki and a win in Swansea next week.

PS. Laca start banging now!

ramgooner

Ozil.

Ars

Xhaka was shit .

Chippa

You are shit, your opinion is shit and u are an idiot

Hermitian

Hello Shkodran!

Ars

Shut up your mouth stupid jackass

Gooneron

Which game did you watch?

Gooner223

The lads missed the boss on the touchline 😛

Odjimogho Happy

Good result but can’t the team just stop conceding goals late on?

Espen

Happy for Laca to end his goal drought!

K9ine

World is a better place when arsenal win.

Merteslacker

This blog is a better place when arsenal win.

Nicholas Wreh-Kamp

Solid today!
Hope this is the start of a good run-in to the seasons end.
The guys looked liberated by the impending depature of Sanchez.
Lets sort out the rest of the business ASAP and hopefully kick on from here!

Easy tiger

Selling Walcott is already showing to be good for the team.

Tas Gunner

Theo didn’t even make the bench on some occasion.Not even funny as a joke.

Charvakan

He got a PL assist today, so it was probably good for him too.

Merlin\'s Panini

That’s more like it. I really want to just enjoy the win but this needs to be the start of something better. The team and the boss can’t go into the next games thinking “we’ve learned our lessons now” because that just breeds complacency.
It’s all about having the right attitude in every game because they have the talent.

Mrs Maitland-Niles

I like Xhaka further forward. Elneny did a decent job I think. Strange how the Xhaka/Wilshere partnership seems so counterintuitive but works well.

Gooneron

Not to take anything as at from Alexis, but this is what happens when the from team plays with players who release the ball early and avoid losing balls all the time. It was a fun game to watch especially the first half an hour.

badaab

It isn’t that we turned the ball over more otlr less because alexis wasn’t in the side. We retained possession better and made smarter passes with ozil in the team.
Alexis is a bit predictable in possession, and he tries to do everything himself, playing within himself instead of passing the ball and keeping the move going. Without him cutting inside so much, our left side is not as exposed. It’s the same issue we have with debuchy in the side on the right- he crowds another player’s position and forces a cb to play two positions. Alexis moving inward so often means the left back has to play the left wing position, leaving the cb exposed if we lose possession and the opposition team breaks.

Gunnerjoe

Game after game we are not being awarded penalties

Charvakan

That ref wasn’t giving anything. Elneny fouled on the 18 yard line and that wasn’t given either. Were there any yellows today? I don’t remember one. Refs must love it when the game’s decided early–the pressure’s off. (Well, Mike Dean doesn’t like it because he wants to decide the game.)

badaab

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, this win is the only thing separating us and palace on form since we beat them at selhurst park earlier this season.
Great result, but we stopped trying in the second half. Against a better side, or a more impressionable ref, we could have been left scrambling.

Tas Gunner

What do you mean impressionable ref? he gave any non-penalty shout,offside goal in our favor?ignored any legitimate foul?Denied us a pen even.so that won’t even count as an “opinion” tbh.oh and before the game,with this side?on our current form? even with ozil? I would’ve taken a scrappy 1-0 no questions asked.so lets keep the negative points in the freezer for another day.

Carozil

There’s something stupid about Zaha’s face, just like his haircut!

Uba

?Think so too.

fuckmikedean

Doff of the cap to this guy
https://imgur.com/a/aeM2C

Monkey knees

Please announce that Irish genius Mick O’Tarian.

I AM ARSENAL

Much better with Xhaxa out of the way..

baz00r

Did you even watch the game?

PrincePoldi

He’s just a bad comedian.

Ars

He can’t pass … he can’t handle a little pressure … he loose the ball so easily … he’s too slow

You feel that he don’t have confidence

Goonerratic

Ramsey out of the team just streamlines our play so much. Great player, doesn’t fit.

santori

HAHA…its the one game I miss and they deliver a beauty. Typical.

Good for confidence and hope we can build on it with additions coming in.

2121

What in love about the goals is that even before he scored, Lacazette celebrated the other goals as if he himself was the scorer and it is only fitting that he had to end the drought

CanuckGooner

I don’t really have any money to chip in for Ozil’s wages, but I do have two good kidneys. I would give him one if he signs a new deal. He could either sell it or put it in the fridge in case he needs it some day. Shipping it over from Canada might be a bit of a problem but I’ll figure something out. Actually, the kidney removal might be a bit dicey too but I am willing to do my part.

cultured determination
cultured determination

well good performance achieved with a back 4. i think it’s safe to say we can go back to playing a back 4 now. it makes sense. we dont have enough defenders to start 3 at the back consistently (kos/ monreal injury, holding/ chambers not 100% assured).
playing that extra DM helps Xhaka, and also helps us move the ball faster from back to front cos he offers us that positioning to transit the ball from defence to attack.
Moving forward we could actually consider a 4-2-1-1-2.
back 4.
2 in front of the defence- 1 sitting (elneny/ AMN) + 1 roaming (Xhaka/ Jack)
1 CM – Ram
1 AM – Ozil
2 Strikers – Laca Aubemayang

caligunner

Why not just a 411112? Xhaka/Jack in front of the sitting DM. Have like 1 straight line feeding the 2 strikers? Lets forget about any width. Just be a battering ram down the middle. Waiting for the Hamstrings for the LB and RB to tear apart.

baz00r

Not sure what the numeric notation of the flying V would be but let’s go for that.

pharquhar

Why does Paul Merson insist on behaving like a consummate bellend?