Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace – Opinion

A shocking first 22 minutes of football killed the game

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Crystal Palace played Arsenal at the Emirates and was beaten 4-1. Palace played awfully in the first-half featuring a performance that was totally shambolic belies the good progress we’ve made in recent weeks un Roy Hodgson.

Match Facts

General Information

  • Date: 20th January 2018
  • Competition: English Premier League
  • Venue: Emirates Stadium
  • Attendance: 59,386
  • Referee: C. Kavanagh

Match Result

Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace 
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Monreal 6′, Iwobi 10′, Koscielny 13′, Lacazette 22′ Goal Scorers Milivojevic 78′

The Expat Eagle’s Verdict

You could be forgiven for thinking that Crystal Palace has come a long way under Roy Hodgson since he took over as manager. If you compare our last 13 games to the dark days getting beaten 5-0 and 4-0 respectively by Manchester clubs City and United, we are a different side.

It would be overly dramatic to say all that progress has been undone by shipping 4 goals in the first 22 minutes of the game against Arsenal. I won’t beat around the bush, we were awful, bloody awful!

I don’t have the energy to relive the shambles that was the first half but suffice to say we were crap, bloody crap! McArthur made mistakes at two corners, Zaha was guilty of not marking on another goal and Hennessey should have done better for the forth.

The players might have thought it was a freebie. We beat Burnley last weekend and put some distance between us and the bottom three so to lose against Arsenal wouldn’t be a disgrace. As the old saying goes, it’s not what you do but the way that you do it!

I think we, as Palace fans are not an unreasonable bunch. Speaking for myself, I don’t expect us to beat Arsenal at the Emirates but I do expect a closer game than having it completely thrown away inside 13 minutes when we were 3-0 down, 4-0 just 9 minutes later. The game was done as a spectacle after 22 minutes.

Our defending was awful, goalkeeping terrible and going forward we were about as dangerous as someone threatening you with a ball of cotton wool.

In recent weeks a lot of fans have been singing the praises of our squad. They said it isn’t as thin as we feared 3 or 4 months ago. The rest of us know a few decent results doesn’t paper over the cracks and the reality is that our squad is awful, thin and vulnerable to injuries

The reality is that the team has been performing above their level for the past few games, a counter to us performing below our level in the first 7 games and the reality is somewhere in-between.

That said, this team has been over-achieving ever since we reached the top of the Championship under Freedman. People claim Ian Holloway almost screwed up our promotion push when the truth is we were reverting to our actual level. Holloway did well to get us promoted because we were not a promotion level side.

Since then we have had to over-achieve to stay in the Premier League and it looks like we are doing it again. We are more than the sum of our parts but one day that won’t work any longer and we’ll be up shit creek without a paddle.

As for our goal, yes, Benteke gets another assist. The reality of the situation is that a corner came across to Benteke, he jumped to aim a header at goal but it went off target towards the left of the 6-yard box where Luka was and he controlled the ball well and fired it home.

That’s two assists in two weeks for Benteke, both make a mockery of the assist list as a statistic. Benteke was a blunt instrument again and needs to be sold ASAP!

As the game was petering out, Riedewald was preparing to come on when Cabaye got a nasty looking injury. As he was stretchered off I couldn’t help but wonder why he was still on the field with the game long gone and him just coming back from injury.

Cabaye looks like he’ll be out for a few weeks.

On the plus side, it means someone else will take the dead balls. Cabaye may be many things and useless at dead-ball situations is one of them.

Roy has got a lot of credit recently, deservedly so and he deserves a bit of stick for not subbing Cabaye off sooner. The game was gone, give the subs a run-out!

Verdict: Put it down to experience and let’s prepare for West Ham.

Goals: Click here

Player Ratings

Arsenal (433) 7.55 Crystal Palace (442) 6.51
Cech
Bellerin
Monreal
Koscielny (C)
Mustafi
Elneny
Xhaka
Ozil
Wilshire
Iwobi
Lacazette
7.8
7.4
9.2
8.4
7.7
7.1
7.5
7.8
7.3
8.4
8.8
Hennessey
Fosu-Mensah
van Aanholt
Tomkins
Kelly
McArthur
Cabaye
Milivojevic (C)
Zaha
Sako
Benteke
6.6
6.4
6.0
7.5
6.2
6.2
6.5
7.0
6.1
6.9
6.8
Maitland-Niles (Monreal 34′)
Nelson (Ozil 72′)
Kolasinac (Iwobi 83′)
Chambers
Mertesacker
Nketiah
Ospina
5.9
6.3
6.1
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
Riedewald (Cabaye 89′)
Souare
Ward
Delaney
Lee
Townsend
Speroni
6.1
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a

Match rating courtesy of WhoScored.

Match Statistics

Arsenal
4-1
Crystal Palace
64
15
10
1
4
10
5
3
4
6
717
20
Ball Possession %
Goal Attempts
On Target
Off Target
Blocked Shots
Free Kicks
Corner Kicks
Offsides
Goalkeeper Saves
Fouls
Total Passes
Tackles
36
9
5
1
3
8
10
1
6
8
378
12

Match statistics courtesy of WhoScored.

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