Arsenal Vs Crystal Palace
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: February 02, 2014 4.00 PM BST
With City and Chelsea playing each other tomorrow evening, today’s game is a chance to win our place at the top of the table back; and put a bit of separation between us and one or both of our rivals. But with so many players out injured, it wasn’t going to be easy, no matter the opposition.
The game started off as you would expect, Palace sitting back and allowing Arsenal a whopping 81% of the possession. But as is often the case, Arsenal weren’t making the most of their time on the ball.
Özil played a delightful ball over the Palace defence for Monreal, who had raced past a sleeping Puncheon. The Spaniard shot towards goal, but the angle was tight and Speroni made the save.
It was then a case of Arsenal trying one pass too many. We were witness to some divine passing in and around the Palace box, but that last pass wasn’t quite coming off for our boys; and sometimes you just wanted a shot.
Wenger was getting frustrated with Palace constantly breaking up the play with small niggling fouls. Jedinak in particular committing several poorly timed challenges but somehow not seeing a card.
Our best chances seemed to be coming from set pieces when Palace were penalized a little too close to their own box. Arteta put a great free kick in, and Koscielny flicked it towards goal. Speroni reacted quickly though, and palmed it out for a corner. Mertesacker also saw a headed effort saved, unable to get any pace on a lofted delivery into the box.
Arteta found himself up the pitch at one point, and picked out a nice looking through ball for Sagna. But Speroni was alert to the danger and was out quickly to claim it first. The two collided and Sagna remained down momentarily, Jenkinson warmed up, but the Frenchman seemed to recover.
Palace weren’t offering much of an attacking threat, but there were a couple of moments that illustrated how easy it would be to go behind from a defensive error. Arsenal have a habit of coming to life in the second half at the moment, hopefully that’s the case today and we can push on to get the win.
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
Be sure to check out our Arsenal Video Highlights page to view highlights of recent matches! A link is also at the top of the article.