MX23RW : Friday, April 26 08:04:49| >> :600:314204:314204:
Apr 21, 2019 at 4pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 59,929
Crystal Palace
Ozil (47'), Aubameyang (77')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Benteke (17'), Zaha (61'), McArthur (69')

Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-3 Crystal Palace - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Arsenal's 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium as the Gunners slipped to a rare home defeat.
Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-3 Crystal Palace - as it happened
© Reuters

A defensively-poor Arsenal slipped to a second home Premier League loss of the season, going down 3-2 to London rivals Crystal Palace in Sunday's clash at the Emirates.

Mesut Ozil got the Gunners back on level terms early in the second half following Christian Benteke's first-half opener, only for Wilfried Zaha to put Palace back in front before James McArthur added a third.

A strike from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 13 minutes from time set up a tense finale, but the Eagles saw the job through to dent their London rivals' top-four aspirations.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League meeting between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners can move up to third place in the table should they win on home soil for the 11th straight match in the top flight.

Palace are still not quite safe from the drop, meanwhile, possibly needing one more point to make certain of safety, but they have won three of their last four away matches and cannot be written off.


STARTING XI: Leno; Mustafi, Koscielny, Mavropanos; Jenkinson, Guendouzi, Elneny, Kolasinac; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang

SUBS: Cech, Mkhitaryan, Torreira, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Monreal, Nketiah


STARTING XI: Guaita; Ward, Kelly, Dann, Wan-Bissaka; Meyer, McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate, Zaha; Benteke

SUBS: Hennessey, Van Aanholt, Townsend, Ayew, Batshuayi, Sako, Riedewald

KICKOFF:  Crystal Palace get us up and running in this Sunday afternoon London derby. Arsenal's top-four bid has already been boosted this weekend thanks to defeats for Tottenham and Man United. Can the Gunners take a giant step towards securing Champions League football?

Mesut Ozil cops a feel during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester City on August 12, 2018© Reuters

SAVE!  Visiting keeper Guaita has a save to make early on, keeping hold of Ozil's curled shot. That all came about following some good pressure from Kolasinac on Wan-Bissaka, who is playing on the opposite flank today. A positive start for the Gunners!

Palace launch a free kick forward and Dann is left in a bit of space. The centre-back picks out Meyer, whose shot is blocked. Zaha then tries to make something happen but the attack comes to little. Palace look so much better away from home - they are set out to counter.

It has been a mixed start to the match at the Emirates Stadium. Kolasinac and Mavropanos have both given away needless free kicks to break the game up. Ozil's shot a minute into the match is the closest either side has come to scoring.

Arsenal have showed very little attacking edge in the opening 10 minutes. They are struggling to break through Palace's 4-4-2 formation and will need to increase the tempo if they are going to find a way through. Zaha is playing just off Benteke for the visitors, incidentally.

CLOSE!  This is much better from Arsenal. Jenkinson gets forward down the right and gets a cross into the middle. The ball loops into the air and Elneny is on the end of it, hooking a volley over the bar from around 15 yards. Right place, wrong man!

CHANCE!  Jenkinson puts the ball out for a corner, which leads to a decent opportunity for Palace. Dann is left completely unmarked 12 yards from goal and appears to guide the ball towards the far post, where Kelly can only lift it over the bar under pressure from Mavropanos.

Sead Kolasinac and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in action during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Crystal Palace on April 21, 2019© Reuters

Both teams have now had a good opportunity to open the scoring in what has been a decent opening 15 minutes in North London. Arsenal show seven changes from their midweek win in Napoli, by the way, while Palace have made four changes from the 3-1 defeat to Man City a week ago.

YELLOW CARD!  Zaha and Guendouzi tangle legs in midfield and then exchange some words. Zaha is not happy about something and is told to calm down by referee Jonathan Moss. The first yellow card of the contest is shown to Mavropanos for a silly challenge on Benteke.


That needless free kick conceded by Mavropanos is punished as Benteke is left completely unmarked seven yards from goal to head home Milivojevic's delivery. No idea what Arsenal were thinking there, with Mustafi dropping off to give his opponent a free run at the header.

Christian Benteke celebrates opening the scoring during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Crystal Palace on April 21, 2019© Reuters

That is Benteke's first goal in 20 Premier League appearances and it comes on his 200th outing in the competition. The header was a good one but he should not have been left all alone on the edge of the six-yard box. Arsenal need to step things up.

Aubameyang flicks the ball into Lacazette but, despite initially doing well to hold off Palace defender Kelly, he is unable to make clean contact with his shot in front of goal. That is better from the Gunners, who really cannot afford to drop points today.

There are audible groans around the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal try and fail to find a way through. Those groans turn to cheers as some intensity is injected into the Gunners' play and they win a corner. Emery is urging supporters to back their side.

This game is panning out perfectly for Palace. The Eagles are set up to hit Arsenal on the counter now that they have a one-goal lead to protect. The ball bounces around in the Arsenal box, Zaha goes to ground, but the attack comes to little.

Lacazette carries the ball forward and sprays it out to the left. The cross is destined for Aubameyang to head home, only for Ward to cover half the length of the pitch to get back and make contact with the ball before his opponent.

CHANCE!  Another good opportunity comes and goes for Arsenal. Mavropanos flicks on Ozil's corner at the front post and Mustafi heads over from close range. The Gunners have looked a lot better over the last five minutes - now they need to make their spell on top count.

SHOT!  Arsenal have had 67% of the ball but they trail to a Benteke goal. Mavropanos has a rush of blood to the head as he drifts past two or three players and then drags a shot horribly wide from the edge of the area. The youngster has been heavily involved so far.

Lacazette creates some space for himself in the box but Dann produces a good block, one to rival central-defensive partner Kelly's a little earlier. Kolasinac nearly gets in behind but he barged into Kouyate so a free kick is awarded to the visitors.

PENALTY APPEAL!  Arsenal have a penalty shout for handball against Wan-Bissaka turned down. Kolasinac gets forward down the left and gets a cross into the box, which hits the arm of the Palace full-back. His arms were not by his side so that should have been a pen.

STAT! Arsenal have lost just two of their 22 home meetings with Crystal Palace in all competitions (W16 D4) - 2-0 in an EFL Cup game in November 1970 and 2-1 in the Premier League in October 1994.

Arsenal are dominating possession and they are starting to turn the screw, ending the first half on a high. Palace, dropping deeper and deeper, are managing to deal with everything that comes into the box, though.

SHOT!  Ozil feeds the ball to Lacazette, who spins on the edge of the box but fails to keep his shot down when losing balance. The Gunners are starting to knock on the door but they have just two minutes to go until the half-time whistle.

SAVE!  Zaha's cross from the right is spilt by Leno. The loose ball is worked to Kouyate, who is denied not once but twice by Leno from the angle. The second stop was impressive but Kouyate should have been doing better.

CHANCE!  Palace are thriving on the counter. Zaha is played in with a simple ball down the left and picks out the run of Benteke, who fires a first-time shot over the crossbar from 12 yards. There are boos around the Emirates Stadium!


Crystal Palace take a 1-0 lead into half time at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal have been pretty dominant in terms of possession, but it has been fairly mixed in terms of chances and the Eagles wasted a couple of big opportunities to double their advantage shortly before the interval.

Unai Emery promised to make changes on the back of Thursday's victory at Napoli, which sealed Arsenal's place in the last four of the Europa League, and so it proved as just four players have survived from that match. One of the new faces to come in is Konstantinos Mavropanos, who gave away a needless free kick for the game's opening goal 17 minutes in.

The right-sided delivery from Luka Milivojevic was headed past Bernd Leno by a completely unmarked Christian Benteke, ending his year-long goal drought from open play on his 200th Premier League appearance. Arsenal's best chance up until that point fell to Mesut Ozil inside the opening minute, but the German midfielder could not find a way past Vicente Guaita from a good position.

Mohamed Elneny and Martin Kelly also squandered promising opportunities in the opening quarter of the match, both firing volleys over the crossbar once picked out in the box. The Gunners soon took control of the match and racked up a couple more openings, with Shkodran Mustafi failing to convert a flick-on at the back post and Alexandre Lacazette dragging wide after losing his balance.

Arsenal also had a penalty shout rejected when Kolasinac's cross hit Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the arm, though they were perhaps fortunate not to be further behind at half time as Cheikhou Kouyate was twice denied from the angle by a double Bernd Leno save. Benteke then squandered a massive chance to double his and his side's tally when firing a first-time shot over the bar at the end of a quick counter led by Wilfried Zaha.


ARSENAL SUBS: Cech, Mkhitaryan, Torreira, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Monreal, Nketiah

CRYSTAL PALACE SUBS: Hennessey, Van Aanholt, Townsend, Ayew, Batshuayi, Sako, Riedewald

mHenrikh Mkhitaryan in action for Arsenal on August 12, 2018© Reuters

KICKOFF:  Arsenal, who make two changes for the second half, get us back underway in North London. Mavropanos and Jenkinson are replaced by Iwobi and Maitland-Niles. The Gunners certainly have a lot of attacking options on the pitch!


Emery's double change pays off as his side level up within two minutes of the second-half restart. Iwobi, one of those brought on, powers down the left and picks out Lacazette. The Frenchman plays a reverse pass into the path of Ozil, who hammers it into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Mesut Ozil celebrates his equaliser during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Crystal Palace on April 21, 2019© Reuters

Arsenal supporters booed their players off at half time but they are certainly backing their side now. The Gunners have a lot more cutting edge to their game and they nearly have a second as Dann deflects a shot behind for a corner.

Arsenal, now lining up with four at the back, are pressing for a second goal. Palace had a few good chances at 1-0 but you have to wonder if it is now a case of holding on for the Eagles. Hodgson may be tempted to turn to his bench.

The hosts are moving the ball a lot quicker and they are also turning over possession far quicker. It remains to be seen how long they can play at this tempo, though - they could really do with scoring a second in the next 15 minutes.

Hodgson does not look a happy man down in the dugout. His side are struggling to keep Arsenal back. The onus is surely on the visiting boss to make a change to match the substitutions made by Emery?

Zaha drifts into a central position by Maitland-Niles shows a good turn of pace to prevent the winger from getting a shot away. That was the visitors' first sight of goal since the restart, offering another warning to Arsenal.

SAVE!  Kolasinac, one of those to have stepped things up in the second period, gets away from his man but cannot pick out Lacazete from the cross. Maitland-Niles' delivery from the right is then out of Lacazette's reach, but Kolasinac's half-volley is on target and requires saving.


Some terrible defending from Arsenal gifts the visitors a second goal! Again the run of play, a free kick is launched 50 yards up the pitch and flicked on by Benteke. Zaha gets the wrong side of Mustafi and keeps his cool when one-on-one with Leno, who like Mustafi could have done a lot better.

Wilfried Zaha celebrates putting his side back ahead during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Crystal Palace on April 21, 2019© Reuters

YELLOW CARD!  A frustrated Ozil pulls back on Zaha's shirt and is shown a yellow card. Further punishment should follow as Dann drifts into some space and guides Milivojevic's on target. It is a simple save from Leno in the end, but Palace could easily have had a third.

McArthur races clear and he should be squaring the ball to Benteke. He does not do so and Leno has a simple one to deal with. The visitors are looking far more like scoring the game's fourth goal than their opponents.

ARSENAL SUB! Torreira is on for Elneny in Arsenal's third and final change of the afternoon. The Gunners were on fire for the first 10 minutes of the second half but they have lost their way a bit since then and trail to Zaha's goal.


Arsenal struggle to deal with a set-piece once again and they are surely heading for a rare home defeat. Milivojevic's outswinging corner is headed goalwards by Dann and McArthur helps it on its way five yards out. Palace are in dreamland!

James McArthur extends his side's advantage during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Crystal Palace on April 21, 2019© Reuters

Arsenal's players called for offside from that McArthur goal but their defending was so bad that the Palace midfielder was being kept onside. The Gunners are probing away but they have looked far less like scoring than the Eagles today.

The match has gone pretty stale since Palace scored their third goal of the evening, which is great news for Palace. They were holding on at 1-1 but they have not looked back since Zaha scored against the run of play. Will Hodgson make a change before full time?


There is some hope for Arsenal as Aubameyang scores his 19th Premier League goal of the season! The Gabon international cut inside from the right, drifting past a few opposition players in the process, and he fired a snapshot away from Guaita after getting a bit of luck when a loose touch bounced back into his path.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulls one back during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Crystal Palace on April 21, 2019© Reuters

CRYSTAL PALACE SUBS! Hodgson has turned to his bench for the first time today by bringing on ex-Tottenham man Townsend and Ayew for Benteke and Meyer. Palace have 11 minutes, plus added time, to see out. Can they do it?

YELLOW CARD!  Arsenal have not really put together an attacking move since pulling a goal back. Ward goes in pretty late on Aubameyang and is shown a yellow card by referee Jonathan Moss. The Gunners have had 76% of the ball in this second half.

Zaha wins a free kick for his side following some good play out wide. It is now a case of eating up the seconds for Palace, who will consider anything other than three points at this stage a bad result. Arsenal's players look knackered.

SAVE!  Kouyate's first shot is blocked, coming after a cross into the box was kept in play by Zaha, and his second effort is easily dealt with by Leno. Palace are not sitting back on their one-goal lead - they want a fourth goal.

YELLOW CARD!  This caps what has been a terrible performance from Mustafi. The defender goes to ground after Kouyate had pulled out of the challenge and he is shown a yellow card for simulation. Arsenal now have around seven minutes of play to find a goal or two.

SAVE!  Maitland-Niles sends in a teasing cross from the right. The ball makes its way through a crowded box and Guaita does superbly to tip it away from goal. Arsenal are finally starting to find some momentum now as Iwobi shoots right at Guaita once picked out by Guendouzi.

Five minutes have been added on at the Emirates Stadium - there is still time for Arsenal to rescue what could turn out to be a valuable point! That Iwobi chance may well prove to be the best of the lot, though!

Townsend, who was brought on to provide some energy, produces a sloppy challenge on Guendouzi and Arsenal have a chance to cross the ball into the box. Palace deal with the danger, however, and the hosts now have just two minutes to find a goal.

An injury to Milivojevic means that we will go beyond the five-minute mark in terms of added on time. Guendouzi appeared to be dragged down in the box but Palace are awarded the free kick as the midfielder slipped and committed a foul himself.


Arsenal miss out on the chance to climb above Tottenham Hotspur into third place as they fall to just a second home Premier League loss of the season. Emery's decision to make mass changes to his starting lineup backfired as the Eagles come away with three points that ensures they will be playing Premier League football next season. Just how big a result could this be in the context of the top-four battle? We will soon find out, I guess!

That concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from the Emirates Stadium. Thanks for joining us this afternoon!




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