Crystal Palace have beaten Arsenal resoundingly at Selhurst Park this evening, casting our top-four hopes into major doubt.
We went into the international break comfortable, knowing we were sat inside the top four whilst having played less than those closest to us in the table, but after Tottenham overtook us in the table on goal difference thanks to a 5-1 win over Newcastle, and our team really didn’t rise to the occasion.
It wasn’t long into the opening half when we found ourselves trailing, when Conor Gallagher’s deep cross from near the half-way line wasn’t dealt with, with the forward knocking it into Mateta to head home from close range.
They then doubled their lead around 10 minutes later when Gabriel Magalhaes stretched to block the pass into Jordan Ayew who was then allowed to collect the ball unchallenged and cut back across goal before placing his effort beyond Aaron Ramsdale.
Our players were struggling to play out from the back, with Thomas Partey gifting the ball away on a number of occasions, Nuno Tavares showing a lack of composure and with the home side impressing with their own pressing game.
At the break the boss opted to replace the Portuguese with Gabriel Martinelli, but the change didn’t cause Palace any issues. It seemed as though every time we got anywhere close to getting a decent chance, our players would scuff it, with Martin Odegaard’s effort sticking in my mind as a crucial one that could have got us back into the tie midway through the second-half.
Arteta did try to take a risk in replacing Cedric with Eddie Nketiah, throwing men up top, but it just wasn’t to be as Vieira’s side maintained their composure, and when Wilfried Zaha ran dangerously at our defenders before spinning around and being brought down in the box to gift himself a penalty, all hope was gone.
I’m struggling to say that we wasn’t fully deserving of the 3-0 loss this evening, but have real angst in recalling Thomas Partey having to limp off the field, while Tierney being absent tonight was potentially costly also.
Will the loss hurt us more than potentially losing Tierney and Partey for the upcoming matches as we look to get back into the top four?