Arsenal got all three important points from Selhurst Park from an exciting contest against Crystal Palace ending with a 3-2 scoreline in favor of the Gunners.
This is how the teams shaped up for the match at Selhurst Park.
Arsenal XI (3-4-2-1): Cech; Koscielny, Mustafi, Chambers; Kolasinac, Wilshere, Xhaka, Bellerin; Sanchez, Ozil; Lacazette.
Crystal Palace XI (4-4-1-1): Speroni; Schlupp, Tomkins, Dann, Kelly; Townsend, Milivojevic, Loftus-Cheek; Zaha; Benteke.
First Half :
Arsenal started the game off in style as the referee played advantage to Arsenal as Wilshere had driven forward with the ball and gave it to Ozil, who showed some lovely skill on the right, but was eventually forced backwards by some organised Palace defending.
The Arsenal attacks were on and Xhaka had a pop from just outside the left side of the box, and although he looked a little off-balance as he had made a strike on it, it dipped awkwardly and went just over the crossbar.
Palace tried to get back in the attack as they retaliated and pinned the Arsenal defence back with some good pressing, nicking the ball as they tried to play out from the back, but Cabaye’s effort at goal was wild and nowhere near the target. Again Arsenal came back with something for Lacazette in the box, but it was half-cleared to Wilshere, who smacked one at goal, but it was straight down Speroni’s throat and he caught it comfortably.
Finally Mustafi broke the deadlock for the Gunners at 25th minute of the match. Ozil’s free-kick was twice only half cleared, and Lacazette’s cross-cum-shot forced Speroni to palm the ball away, but Mustafi was lurking at the back post to slot home. Arsenal were 1-0 up in the match with that goal.
Arsenal were continuously in the attacks. Ozil got the ball in the box and tried to clip it into the far corner, but Speroni made a great save from point-blank range. Again Speroni was the savior of Palace within few moments when Sanchez took a free-kick on the edge of the box and fired one at goal. He got his effort on target, but it was straight at the keeper.
Zaha created panic in the Arsenal half and checked inside from the left before curling for the far corner, but it was narrowly wide. But it was all Arsenal in the first half at Selhurst Park as they broke quickly from a Palace free-kick, and Sanchez’s ball into Ozil was excellent. It had allowed the German to break between the two centre-halves to be one-on-one with Speroni in the box. However, he was under challenge from one and Speroni had advanced to meet him, so he tried to play it square to Bellerin to tap into an empty net, but it was just too hard and the chance went in vain. The first half had ended with Arsenal leading by 1 goal margin.
Second Half :
The Second half began with a blast as Palace leveled the scoreline at 49th minute. It was that man Zaha who made it. He got one-on-one with Chambers, and had beated him with ease, and his low cut-back into the box finds an unmarked Townsend, who fired the ball low into the corner.
Sanchez restored Arsenal’s lead at 62nd minute of the match. Lacazette got the ball from Ozil in the box with his back to goal, and laid Sanchez off, whose shot went through the legs of a defender and squeezed it inside the near post, despite Speroni getting his fingertips to it. It was 2-1 to Arsenal with this goal.
Few minutes later Sanchez doubled the lead for Arsenal Wilshere reminded the World of his qualities with a superb over-the-top through ball to Sanchez, who had the simple task of bursting past the defenders, latching onto it and slotting the ball into the bottom corner. The scoreline was 3-1 in favor of Arsenal.
Zaha had been excellent in the match and Palace fans would have wanted any chance to fall to him, but he missed two clear opportunities. A Palace goal there could have made the last few minutes very interesting.
The goal came for Palace when Tomkins had arisen highest at the back post to nod the corner in. Very lax marking from Arsenal, who didn’t look interested. It was 3-2 with four minutes of stoppage time to be played. But Palace were unable to get another goal and the match had ended with Arsenal emerging victorious with the same scoreline.
Cech – 5.7/10
Koscielny – 6/10
Mustafi – 8.4/10
Chambers – 7/10
Kolasinac – 6.6/10
Wilshere – 7.6/10
Xhaka – 6.9/10
Bellerin – 7.5/10
Sanchez – 9.2/10
Ozil – 8.4/10
Lacazette – 7.6/10
Coquelin – 6.4/10
Maitland-Niles – Nil
Speroni – 5.6/10
Kelly – 6/10
Tomkins – 7/10
Dann – 5.5/10
Schlupp – 6.8/10
Townshed – 8.4/10
Cabaye – 6.2/10
Milivojevic – 7/10
Loftus-cheek – 6.6/10
Benteke – 6/10
Zaha – 7/10
McArthur – 6.5/10
Sako – 6.6/10
Fosu-Mensah – 5.6/10