Arsenal 0-0 Crystal Palace: Stubborn visitors end Gunners' winning run

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Wilfried Zaha is denied by a block from Granit Xhaka

Arsenal’s recent resurgence was checked by a stubborn Crystal Palace, who claimed a hard-fought point from a forgettable encounter at Emirates Stadium.

Tagged as relegation candidates as little as three weeks ago, the Gunners came into the game off the back of four straight wins in all competitions, but were unable to find their way past a well-drilled and disciplined visitors.

For a side in such good form Arsenal were a disappointment going forward, their best effort at goal a shot on the turn from Alexandre Lacazette into the side-netting.

Their only other clear-cut chance was an angled shot from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that Vincente Guaita palmed away.

There was more goalmouth action at the other end, with James Tomkins heading an Eberechi Eze free-kick against the bar and Christian Benteke drawing a fine save from Bernd Leno with a nodded effort of his own.

The point leaves Arsenal 11th on 24 points and Palace two points and a league place worse off, but comfortably clear of any relegation worries.

A game to forget

It was only three weeks ago that West Brom boss Sam Allardyce said Arsenal were in the middle of a battle against the drop.

To be fair to Allardyce, he had a point at the time. But that prediction has been made to look somewhat foolish by the Gunners’ subsequent three straight league wins, which included hammering the flailing Baggies.

In light of their upturn in form this result has to count as a minor blip, but it underlines the fact that Arteta’s side remain a work in progress.

Young players like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have added some much-needed zip and creative flair in recent games, but they were stifled here, flickering into life all too rarely against a dogged opponent.

Lacazette had scored in each of the last three league games but was marshalled well by Palace and spurned his only real chance, while Aubameyang remains frustratingly ineffective in his role on the left.

Credit then to Palace, who had gone five games without a win before beating Sheffield United 2-0 last time out in the top flight, but now have another, deserved clean sheet.

This was not purely a backs-against-the-wall display by Roy Hodgson’s side. They sought to burst forward following transitions, using the guile and pace of Eze and Wilfried Zaha to challenge the home defence.

But for the crossbar, goalkeeper Leno and greater awareness from James McArthur, who was unable to turn in a flick on from Benteke from a corner, they would have claimed a win that would not have been entirely undeserved.

Before Thursday’s game, Hodgson described Palace’s situation – 22 points, 10 clear of the bottom three – as “somewhat comfortable”.

Thursday’s point and their performance will only add to their sense of comfort.

One crumb of comfort for Arsenal is that they now have their first home clean sheet of the league season and a fit-again Thomas Partey, who played 20 minutes after recovering from a thigh injury that had sidelined him for a month.

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Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.

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Arsenal

Starting XI

  1. Squad number1Player nameLeno
    Average rating

    5.50

  2. Squad number2Player nameBellerín
    Average rating

    4.40

  3. Squad number16Player nameHolding
    Average rating

    4.90

  4. Squad number23Player nameDavid Luiz
    Average rating

    4.50

  5. Squad number15Player nameMaitland-Niles
    Average rating

    3.55

  6. Squad number8Player nameDani Ceballos
    Average rating

    4.49

  7. Squad number34Player nameXhaka
    Average rating

    5.22

  8. Squad number7Player nameSaka
    Average rating

    5.23

  9. Squad number32Player nameSmith Rowe
    Average rating

    5.07

  10. Squad number14Player nameAubameyang
    Average rating

    3.97

  11. Squad number9Player nameLacazette
    Average rating

    4.36

Substitutes

  1. Squad number18Player namePartey
    Average rating

    4.62

  2. Squad number19Player namePépé
    Average rating

    3.57

  3. Squad number30Player nameNketiah
    Average rating

    4.14

Crystal Palace

Starting XI

  1. Squad number31Player nameGuaita

    Average rating

    6.75

  2. Squad number2Player nameWard

    Average rating

    6.56

  3. Squad number5Player nameTomkins

    Average rating

    6.94

  4. Squad number8Player nameKouyaté

    Average rating

    6.58

  5. Squad number27Player nameMitchell

    Average rating

    6.68

  6. Squad number10Player nameTownsend

    Average rating

    6.30

  7. Squad number18Player nameMcArthur

    Average rating

    6.63

  8. Squad number4Player nameMilivojevic

    Average rating

    6.36

  9. Squad number25Player nameEze

    Average rating

    7.28

  10. Squad number20Player nameBenteke

    Average rating

    6.62

  11. Squad number11Player nameZaha

    Average rating

    6.40

Substitutes

  1. Squad number9Player nameJ Ayew

    Average rating

    6.18

  2. Squad number22Player nameMcCarthy

    Average rating

    6.27

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Leno
  • 2Bellerín
  • 16Holding
  • 23David LuizBooked at 67mins
  • 15Maitland-NilesSubstituted forPépéat 65′minutes
  • 8CeballosSubstituted forParteyat 69′minutes
  • 34Xhaka
  • 7Saka
  • 32Smith Rowe
  • 14Aubameyang
  • 9LacazetteSubstituted forNketiahat 81′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Gabriel
  • 12Willian
  • 13Rúnarsson
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 18Partey
  • 19Pépé
  • 21Chambers
  • 28Willock
  • 30Nketiah

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-4-2

  • 31Guaita
  • 2Ward
  • 5TomkinsBooked at 42mins
  • 8Kouyaté
  • 27Mitchell
  • 10Townsend
  • 18McArthur
  • 4MilivojevicSubstituted forMcCarthyat 89′minutes
  • 25Eze
  • 20BentekeSubstituted forJ Ayewat 81′minutes
  • 11Zaha

Substitutes

  • 1Butland
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 6Dann
  • 9J Ayew
  • 17Clyne
  • 22McCarthy
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 24Cahill
  • 44Riedewald

Referee:
Andre Marriner

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Arsenal 0, Crystal Palace 0.