Arsenal again failed to produce the goods in their latest matchup versus Crystal Palace. A 1-1 draw leaves the fans unhappy and ever so largely disappointed. Although the effort of some individuals out there were second to none, this game, and Arsenal desperately needed a second goal, the goal that never came. And it cost them.
The sun glazed the ice like grass pitch at the Emirates this afternoon, a great day for a spectator, with fans riveting in their seats as the team lines bellowed from the PA system. The stars were on the pitch, and the general attitude was good around the stadium prior to the starting gun. A win, which I’m sure not one Arsenal fan ever doubted, was only a matter of time for the Gunners, as the team hunt down their North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.
The game started quite slowly for both sides, with Arsenal keeping possession but not troubling the Palace back line. The Eagles set up with a very deep defensive line, allowing no space to operate in behind, meaning Arsenal were going to have to break them down if they wanted to score. The opening 20 minutes had plenty half chances, but nothing that really lifted anyone out their seats. Elneny almost had his effort turned goal bound thanks to a deflection off Jedinak, but it looped over the bar. Arsenal looked very relaxed in possession, and maybe too relaxed, meaning Palace were coming into the game a bit more.
The first real chance went begging on the 43rd minute, Özil found Sanchez one on one with Wayne Hennessey, but the Welshman managed to make himself big to deny the Chilean. Should be 1-0. Palace hit back with Connor Wickham coming close, but his header was diverted wide, from all of 6 yards. As Wenger was preparing his half time pep talk, Arsenal sprung into life, much to the help of Scott Dann. Dann puts Miles Jedinak in a right pickle as he plays a horrible pass to the Aussie, which Welbeck latched onto, chipping the ball behind enemy lines to Sanchez who heads the ball over Hennessey and into the back of the net.
The game restarted almost to an imaginable groan from the supporters as they had to endure another 45 minutes of painstakingly boring action. Hopefully a more entertaining half was on the cards. Arsenal almost made it two just after the 50th minute but Iwobi headed wide, not getting enough contact on the Coquelin dink. Sanchez was hacked down nearing the hour mark leaving a neatly placed set piece for Mesut Özil to dwell upon, but his shot fell narrowly wide of the post. On the 63rd minute of play Arsenal fans saw their arch nemesis Emmanuel Adebayor enter the field of play, in place of Connor Wickham. At least that surfaced a reaction from the crowd.
Özil and Sanchez were clearly on the same wavelengths this half, as they combined time and time again, but Sanchez was unluckily steering his headers wide of the target each time. Arsenal needed this seconds goal to entirely kill the game, as it was still only 1-0. One freak moment and it’s back to square 1. And that is earthly what happened. Crystal Palace break through Adebayor, who just strolled down the flank with no tackle at all, feeding Arsenal supporter Yannick Bolasie who blasted the ball past Cech from all of 25 yards. Cech really should of done better, but why are Arsenal paying so much respect to Adebayor after what he done to our club. 8 minutes to get a winner Arsenal, which turned into 8 minutes of nothing. Arsenal didn’t manage to amount a charge for the win and the game finished 1-1.
Utterly disappointing for the fans, who yet again have been let down by this club. Sanchez’ performance is the only real positive, but with Spurs yet to play this game week, it was more points lost in the ‘Race for 2nd’ which has in hysterical and typical Arsenal fashion, turned into the ‘Race for 4th’. Again.
“I’m very disappointed. It is one of those days where you don’t like to do a press conference after because it is not pleasant. I felt that we had possession 70 per cent of the time and we lacked a bit of accuracy with our final ball, a change of pace or have enough men forward. In the end, we got caught by a unique shot on goal by Crystal Palace. They played deep and defended well. They got us on the break and that is the story of the game. It is very frustrating.”
“It was very difficult because [the equaliser] happened late in the game,” he said. “We had so much possession and never really looked in danger. It was a game we absolutely had to win.
“In the end, it was not one of those days where we were free flowing but had to do our job and hoped to get through it. We did the job, but unfortunately we did not get the three points.”