A poor opening ten minutes would have floored a number of teams but the Eagles are made of sterner stuff as their never say die attitude came to the fore to secure a point to stay sixth.
27th October 2019
Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace
Emirates Stadium, Hornsey Road, London N7 7AJ
REFEREE – Martin Atkinson
ASSISTANTS – Lee Betts, Peter Kirkup, Tim Robinson (fourth official)
VAR – Jarred Gillett, Neil Davies (assistant)
Callum Chambers (50), Matteo Guendouzi (96)
Sokratis (7), Luiz (9), Milivojevic (32), Ayew (52)
Close run thing this week but we hand it to Jordan Ayew who capped another good performance by hitting the back of the net.
Most would have expected a repeat of the Spurs result after those two early goals but the fightback showed a different side to this group of players. In fact, there was one or two chances to take all three points but we have learnt to respect the point on more than one previous occasion. Yes, luck was on the side of the visitors but you make your own luck in this game and Palace were full value for the point over the course of the game. It is the first point in only the second game of this difficult run of fixtures and keeps the points column ticking over very nicely indeed.
VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE
Two big referrals which both went the way of Palace. The first rescinding the keenness of Martin Atkinson to book Wilfried Zaha for a perceived dive in the area and a spot kick was awarded. The second was to cancel out what would have been a third for Arsenal. First call was spot on, the second was soft but what do we care, it worked out for us!
13 WAYNE HENNESSEY (7) – At fault for one of the goals with his always apparent lack of ability to control his area which will always be his downfall. Having said that, he made a couple of very good saves, one of which kept Palace in the game at 2-0 down.
2 JOEL WARD (7) – Who said we would have a problem at right back this season? This man has regained the shirt and plays as though he has no intention of giving it up again.
24 GARY CAHILL (6) – Marshalled the back line admirably throughout and the sight of him celebrating a third goal for Arsenal being chalked off shows that he has bought into this club.
5 JAMES TOMKINS (6) – Working his way back to full match fitness as he looked shattered after the City game. Did enough to keep Kelly out of the side and reminded us that we have a number of options at centre back.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6) – Continuing his long way back from a run of poor form but is starting to become more reliable in the left back slot, but still needs some competition.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (8 – GOAL!) – Vindicated the decision by Roy to bring him straight back into the side last week even though he put in a questionable performance. Not this week – did what he always does from the spot.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (6) – Not quite on par as previous games but still contributed with his usual battling qualities. Replaced by 22 JAMES MCCARTHY (6) in 93 minutes to provide much needed fresh legs to see out the game.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (8 – ASSIST!) – Played a big part in the equaliser with a run down the wing and tricky feet before sending the ball onto the head of Ayew who did the rest. Solid game from the Scot.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (7) – Was always going to be interesting up against the side that showed so much interest in him in the summer. Much better game that at home to City and was key to getting Palace back into the game. Interesting to note how VAR overruled a decision that effective labelled him a diver.
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (6) – Back in the starting line up in a more positive formation as we know what the former Spurs man can bring. Provided much needed support for Ayew and carried the ball which always helps take the pressure on the central midfield.
9 JORDAN AYEW (8 – GOAL!) – Another good all round performance as the lone striker but this time grabbed a goal to more than play his part. Replaced by 17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (6) on 81 minutes who spent much of that time on defensive duties.
19 Stephen Henderson, 6 Scott Dann, 34 Martin Kelly, 7 Max Meyer, 15 Jeffrey Schlupp
1 Leno, 21 Chambers, 5 Papastathopoulos, 23 Luiz, 3 Tierney (replaced by 31 Kolasinac on 75 minutes), 19 Pepe, 29 Guendouzi, 34 Xhaka (replaced by 77 Saka on 61 minutes), 8 Ceballos, 14 Aubameyang, 9 Lacazette
Unused substitutes – 2 Bellerin, 11 Torreira, 16 Holding, 26 Martinez, 35 Martinelli
POST GAME QUOTES
ROY HODGSON – “I thought we showed resilience here and against Manchester City. Today the desire we showed was exceptional. The way Arsenal started is the way football disasters are made, but we settled down and mounted a challenge in the second half. They make decisions on the spur of the moment and that was a situation where VAR showed its true self. Luckily, the decision was overturned.”
UNAI EMERY – “We can speak about our performance and the VAR decision. We started very well and then conceded many chances so we should have controlled possession better to get more chances at 2-0, but usually the opposite team want to push more and then they scored. VAR is positive but at the moment it is not working well. I think VAR is very important for the referees because their mistakes are very important. The next step is a monitor on the touchline to check because VAR is to help referees.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Jordan Ayew (8.0) while Alexandre Lacazette (5) has the most shots. The most tackles were made by a whole host of players (5) – Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic. The most dribbles were made by Nicolas Pepe.
- Team rating: 6.75 – 6.78
- Total shots: 15 – 10
- Shots on target: 6 – 4
- Possession: 56.8% – 43.2%
- Pass success: 82% – 76%
- Dribbles: 7 – 6
- Aerials won: 17 – 23
- Tackles: 21 – 14
- Corners: 12 – 5
- Dispossessed: 9 – 14
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace are 6th in the Premier League with 15 points from 10 games played, a point behind Arsenal in 5th and 2 points ahead of Manchester United in 7th.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
03/11/2019 Leicester City (h)
09/11/2019 Chelsea (a)
23/11/2019 Liverpool (h)