Once again a slow start meant that Palace were chasing the game after conceding early but many fans walking away from Selhurst had the feeling of frustration that the hosts had not taken all three points by the time the final whistle was blown.
11th January 2020
Crystal Palace 1-1 Arsenal
Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU
REFEREE – Paul Tierney
ASSISTANTS – Ian Hussin, Marc Perry, Keith Stroud (fourth official)
VAR – Craig Pawson, Andy Halliday (assistant)
Nicolas Pepe (44), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (51), James McCarthy (71), James Tomkins (85), Alexandre Lacazette (90)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (12), Jordan Ayew (54)
Very good point after an awfully slow start. It looked ominous after they took the lead but we dug in and slowly got back into the game and deservedly levelled. Arguably worthy of all three points in the end but we move up to a point with 30 before January is out which is no mean feat. Plenty of very good performances in what turned out to be a real battle in the second half and the players did well not to get embroiled in a number of pathetic antics by the visitors as the game wore on.
VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE
Two big decisions – the first, a booking for Pepe after what looked like a clear stamp on McCarthy but the yellow card stood. The second was of course the sending off of Aubameyang for what was an awful challenge on Meyer. No idea how the referee needed VAR to make the call as it was clear how reckless the challenge was right in front of the benches.
BOB’S POINT OF VIEW
Bob White was a coach at Palace under the tenure of Steve Coppell and Alan Smith and will be sharing his point of view each week in our review article.
“Like the assistant referee running the line by the main stand, our team started the first 20 minutes as though they thought it was a 3pm kick off. Sleepy and off the pace, so it was no surprise when Arsenal took the lead with a well crafted goal. During that period, Arsenal looked nothing like the disorganised team of 4 weeks ago, now playing with a collective high tempo pressing and possession game. Gradually we clawed our way back into the match and only a 0-1 deficit at half time gave us the impetus for us to play the 2nd half on the front foot for significant periods. The deflected goal by Ayew early in the 2nd half highlighted the defensive weaknesses that still remain in an improved Arsenal team under Arteta.
The Aubameyang sending off for a nasty challenge on Meyer after 67 minutes unfortunately didn’t affect the remainder of the game in our favour. Although we worked hard to capitalise with the extra man, only a top class save by Guaita prevented our opponents snatching all three points. Our current custodian is quickly joining the ranks of our best ever goalkeepers like Martyn and Jackson who have previously served with distinction between the sticks. As the final whistle sounded both teams were probably happy with the point.
We are now unbeaten in the last 4 games against Arsenal, one of the so called big 6 in the Premier League. There were some good solid performances by Tomkins, McArthur, Kouyate and the never say die running of Ayew. However, my man of the match goes to Riedewald whose confidence has grown immeasurably these past few weeks. He has all the technical skills and tactical understanding to make the left back position his own. With the prospect of injured players returning over the next few weeks and a couple more additions in the current transfer window, there is no reason why we cannot continue to consolidate a top half position until the end of the season.”
31 VICENTE GUAITA (7) – The double save was just brilliant and secured a point for Palace. Not the first time we have said that, and will not be the last.
34 MARTIN KELLY (6) – Struggled for most of the afternoon and had a torrid time out on the right until the red card.
5 JAMES TOMKINS (7 – BOOKED!) – Handed the armband in the absence of Milivojevic and righty so after his form of late. Led by example and unlucky not to have scored the winner with a looping header which was cleared off the line.
24 GARY CAHILL (6) – Did not quite look his usual self in this game, perhaps as a result of his recent injury lay off. Distribution was poor and was easlity flustered when in possession.
44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (8) – Excellent game from our young Dutchman who will give Roy Hodgson a selection headache when players start returning from injury.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (8 – ASSIST!) – Very good game once again, covered a ridicuous amount of ground and provided some much needed height in the midfield. Used possession of the ball well.
22 JAMES MCCARTHY (7 – BOOKED!) – Was on set pieces but struggled with his delivery most of the afternoon. Made the most tackles in the game and we needed his steel in the middle as the game got fiesty in the latter stages. Will no doubt be tending to the stud marks on his chest this week after being trod on by one of the opposition.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (7) – Came into his own in the absence of Milivojevic but it took some time to gel in the midfield after a slow opening twenty minutes. Linked up well with McCarthy and looked to have each others backs throughout.
7 MAX MEYER (6) – Was on the end of a few hefty first half challenges which was a sign of things to come before a potential leg breaker ended his afternoon. Remains to be seen if the German faces a lengthy lay off. Replaced by 20 CENK TOSUN (6) on 68 minutes in an impressive cameo from the Everton loanee making his first appearance in a Palace shirt. Worked hard to chase down and used the ball well. Promising signs.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (6) – Clearly carrying an injury, every time he had the ball he stopped, did not take on the opposition as much as he usually does but he still provided a threat.
9 JORDAN AYEW (8) – It has been a while since Palace have had a striker to rely on but he brings so much to the side. Always looking to create, hassles the opposition and fully deserved his sixth goal of the campaign. The Ghanaian is well on his way to double figures for the season.
13 Wayne Hennessey, 6 Scott Dann, 21 Connor Wickham, 35 Sam Woods, 37 Nya Kirby, Brandon Pierrick
1 Leno, 15 Maitland-Niles, 5 Sokratis, 23 Luiz, 31 Kolasinac, 11 Torreira, 34 Xhaka, 19 Pepe, 10 Ozil, 14 Aubameyang, 9 Lacazette
Substitutes – 16 Holding, 24 Nelson (replaced Lacazette on 90 minutes), 26 Martinez, 28 Willock, 29 Guendouzi (replaced Torreira on 46 minutes), 35 Martinelli (replaced Ozil on 70 minutes), 77 Saka
POST GAME QUOTES
ROY HODGSON – “We found it very hard in the first 20 minutes to exert any serious pressure. They ran the game. But we put that right in the 15 minutes before half-time when we made life much harder for them and that continued in the second half. Over the total of the game, we can be pleased with the point. It was a point we deserved.”
MIKEL ARTETA – “I think the first 35 minutes were exactly what I want our Arsenal team to play like. We were at it, we were very dominant, we controlled the game, we were in the right positions and we were so good in transition. After that we had a spell when we started to give free-kicks away. The first ten minutes of the second half, credit to them because they pushed, put balls in the box and throw men up front, we had more difficulties.”
The Who Scored man of the match was Jordan Ayew (7.8) while the most shots were from James Tomkins, David Luiz and Alexandre Lacazette (2). The most tackles were by James McCarthy (9) while the most dribbles were from Nicolas Pepe (3).
- Team rating: 6.74 – 6.42
- Total shots: 6 – 7
- Shots on target: 3 – 4
- Possession: 42.7% – 57.3%
- Pass success: 71% – 78%
- Dribbles: 8 – 7
- Aerials won: 13 – 11
- Tackles: 25 – 17
- Corners: 1 – 4
- Dispossessed: 8 – 12
POSITION IN THE TABLE
Palace are 9th in Premier League with 29 points from 22 games, a point behind Spurs in 8th and a point ahead of Arsenal in 10th.
NEXT THREE FIXTURES
18/01/2020 Manchester City (a)
21/01/2020 Southampton (h)
01/02/2020 Sheffield United (h)