Crystal Palace v Arsenal Review – Alexis comes good but Palace put up a fight

Wenger set up his team to be attacking, and despite playing away (where we have been awful this season) we looked extremely confident against a team that was unbeaten for the last 8 games. Chambers seemed to slot in well in place of Monreal and we looked a little too comfortable for my liking.

But the pressure paid off and when the ball fell to Mustafi he played it beautifully to slot it into the net after it had bounced around the box a few times. Arsenal still looked very comfortable after that but they defended in nunbers and allowed Palace to come at us but they didn’t really trouble Petr Cech at all in the first half. When we broke away we were very dangerous and we had a couple of chances to go further ahead with Ozil feeding lovely balls into the box.  Lacazette tried to walk around five defenders and got a shot off but went wide. All in all we should have had at least a two goal lead at the break.

The second half started with the Gunners on the front foot again and Bellerin nearly increased our lead early on, but we were just a little too laid back, and when Zaha flew down the left wing and hit a hopeful cross into the box the Arsenal defenders were nowhere near it, and Townsend had a very easy shot to equalize. Suddenly Arsenal’s confidence disappeared and Zaha and Loftus-Cheek looked scary down the wing with the defenders backing off. All the momentum was with Palace after the goal despite Arsenal’s first half domination.

Chambers was struggling with Zaha’s pace and Woy must have told his team to attack that side and they kept looking very dangerous indeed against the less experienced youngster. But Arsenal gradually resumed control and Arsenal starting asserting and looking for another goal, while it was Palace’s turn to sit back and soak up the pressure, but to be honest neither keeper had been seriously tested since the goal.

But with half an hour to goal Arsenal finally got the second when Lacazette was surrounded by Palace defenders but slipped it back to Alexis who knocked it past the keeper. Palace refused to give up and kept pressing forward again but the Gunners were equal to everything they threw at us and broke suddenly. Wilshere lobbed a lovely ball over the top to Alexis who controlled it with class and slotted it past the keeper. Alexis (and Arsenal!) are suddenly looking classy and I can’t help but be impressed with their confidence.

Wilshere has been looking like his old self today and Ramsey will face serious competition when he comes back, but I want to know who gave Alexis a kick up the arse-nal.!  Arsenal were totally in control. With just three days until we play West Brom we seemed to be relaxing and conserving energy, which is not a bad thing and I will be happy if it stays like this unless Alexis gets his hat.trick. For all his bad reviews he now has as many goals as Lacazette this season now, but  obviously he is given a lot more time on the pitch

With 7 minutes to go Zaha got on the end of an excellent cross and could have brought Palace back into the game but he wasn’t given enough space to get a clear header and Arsenal were saved from a nervous end to the match. Palace had scored 2 goals in each of their last 6 home games so its not surprising they were pushing forward but Arsenal just had to get the three points and did it with style and calmness.

Sakho nearly scored and earned a corner from the deflection and somehow Palace got one back to give us the usual nervous last few minutes. I actually predicted a a 3-2 win in my preview so I am very happy at the moment!

Sanchez should get Man Of The Match just for his control on the third goal which was a work of art, but Arsenal still had to keep out Palace for the last 4 minutes and they were trying desperately to get the equalizer again.

Arsenal get the fully deserved three points and Arsenal atre still in the race. Onto West Brom on Sunday. Onwards and Upwards!

Admin

57 Comments

  1. muffdiver says:

    A AWAY WIN?!

    *muffdiver faints

  2. gotanidea says:

    Smart choice by Wenger. 3-4-2-1 is good for away matches, more protective and creates many counter-attacks for Arsenal. My opinion about the players:

    – Lacazette: Still trying to click with his teammates, but managed to create two good assists for Mustafi and Sanchez.

    – Sanchez: Looked as if he was fighting for a contract extension. Scored his first goal with a thunderous shot and created a great first touch that lead to an excellent second goal.

    – Ozil: Lost the ball several times in the first half, but overall he performed better when playing as a deeper central midfielder.

    – Wilshere: Another player that is striving hard for his contract extension. Produced many creative movements and passes tonight, especially that great vision and pass for Sanchez’s goal, which reminds me of Fabregas’ assist to Diego Costa in the last season.

    – Xhaka: Nothing special, but made no mistakes. Hopefully he is okay.

    – Bellerin: He needs a good competitor as soon as possible, to improve his game.

    – Kolasinac: Spirited and full of energy.

    – The central defenders and the goalkeeper: This department needs an upgrade. But Chambers seemed to be pushing his way to the first team.

    I can see why Zaha became very sought-after nowadays.

    1. kev says:

      Our positioning in defence is very poor.One player I’d like to single out today is Laurent Koscielny who I think was fantastic.

      1. GunnerJack says:

        It’s because Wenger likes the zonal marking system instead of the man marking system as used by such as Man Utd. With zonal marking nobody has any responsibility, which suits Wenger as he doesn’t like to blame anyone for anything. Feeble, gutless management.

  3. Eat Pie says:

    A win whoop whoop

  4. sanmi.marvellous says:

    Tension-soaked last 5 minutes !!!
    Happy results however.

  5. kev says:

    Good win but I always hate to see Lacazette taken off just like that.That to me was a very poor substitution considering that a certain guy was still on the pitch.Why didn’t Coquelin come on for ” Mr. Liability”?I’m sure some here were hoping that he had an injury.
    One thing also is that our defending was quite poor today but somehow we won.Kudos to the boys!

    1. Roehahn says:

      I feel he should have replaced Ozil with Coquelin..The game was already won..Should have asked Coq and Xhaka to sit deep and Wilshere to play no. 10 and feed Alexis and Lacazette.

      1. kev says:

        I was so annoyed when he came off for Coquelin.That wasn’t a good move at all.I felt we ost some intent after he went off.Ozil and Xhaka should have come off for Maitland Niles and Coquelin.

        1. Fola says:

          We always seem to know better than Wenger

    2. Midkemma says:

      I thought Xhaka done well in the 1st half but the 2nd half they was running past him too much, I would much preferred to have seen Xhaka come off for AMN when Wenger done the Lacazette sub.

      To help shore up the def I would have asked Ozil to play a bit deeper, becoming a 3rd CM to help relieve pressure just ahead of the def and give a bit more control in CM . Do the sub in injury time to waste time then, for Coquelin.

      So frustrated that Lacazette didn’t finish the game yet again 🙁

      1. Ivan says:

        Not a bad idea.

      2. kev says:

        As I said before the match started that this was going to be a fast game and doesn’t suit him since he’ll be more exposed.The guy is offering us nothing really but still gets to play.The “off form” Arteta was miles ahead of Xhaka in terms of quality and yet even he was labelled as a defensive liability.

  6. Ivan says:

    A win – YES.

  7. TheAnalyzer says:

    Hope some idiots here who were harping about a Crystal Palace 2-0 win, will enjoy a night of great disappointment, more so because Alexis whom they wanted sold in August scored the 2 crucial goals.

    1. Muff diver says:

      Good your focusing on that rather than the win .

      U Must really love football 🙂

      1. TheAnalyzer says:

        I love it when negativists get their just dessert

        1. Eat Pie says:

          How can there be disappointment when we win.
          Both we entitled to our own thoughts and predictions.

          Palace did score two and considering our away record us not scoring any goals was plausible.

          You must be one of those pop up Wenger boys when we play decent every now and then.

          1. TheAnalyzer says:

            Disappointment because you were dreaming of a loss all week long. So much about being a fan

          2. Ivan says:

            What a really dumb thig to say.

    2. Eat Pie says:

      I put money on a Palace 2-0, but we won.

      Either way it’s a win win for me, so I guess I’m ahappy idiot since it’s my posts you were referring to.

      Admin, can we call users on this site idiots now or do we get banned still?

  8. Gmv8 says:

    Yes – absolutely – no defence on the right wing at all – Shlupp / Zaha doing the same passing move there over and over and over again and Bellerin still doesn’t learn. We need a better defence … lpool already have VVD apparently unopposed, had it been any of the other top 4 it would have been an easy win.

    1. Roehahn says:

      Bellerin should not start for us again if we play 3 at the back..He doesnt seem to understand his role as RWB..In a back 4 he looks comfortable but back 3 he looks terribly out of place..rather start Debuchy..much better defensively and better at crossing..

  9. Kenny Rolfe says:

    Unbelievable, Wenger almost cost us the points through negative tactics. We were in total control until he replaced Lacazette with Coquelin. Taking off the striker say’s to Palace “we’re not going to attack you anymore” and invited Palace on, another five minutes and we could have lost points.

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      What some people don’t understand is hitting your striker is your out ball. Without a striker to hold the ball up it keeps coming back, puts you under continuous pressure, simple as that

  10. Lugdush says:

    3 points, thanks alexis…so, where are those who wants alexis on the bench because of he lose too much the ball…those who wants a team with 11 elnenys, passing sidelines, 98% of posession but losing 1-0 anyway…god helps us when alexis leave the club…there sre a lot of people who needs to leave the club…alexis is the last, arsene rhe first…and some morons were talking about iwobi or welbeck being better than alexis ??

    1. GunnerJack says:

      Yes – great to have no headless chickens in the team tonight!

  11. Sam-afc says:

    Yes!!! Finally got our third away win of the season.
    So this is what it feels like to be an be an underachieving team. Seeing has we have been over achieving these last few years

  12. Manoj says:

    whenver lacazette , we lacvk stability and solidarity upfront . u r kiling his confidence wenger

  13. Gunners says:

    We invited pressure by our substitution! Bellerin is always a time bomb!

  14. Eat Pie says:

    Laca will be the next player wanting to leave.

    Wonder why he always get substituted even when there is no OG?

  15. Avenger says:

    As I told you before the same old same old of the first half ………….
    starting the second half Mr. Goal {Alexis Sanchez} ended the Crystal Palace hopes
    Arsenal 3 Crystal Palace 2
    We are good for a 6th place

  16. GunnerJack says:

    Wenger thinks that killing people’s confidence is part of his job description.

  17. Lupe says:

    Happy with the win but must lacazette always come off, is it stated so in his contract because i don’t understand anymore. Does anyone have an answer to this?

  18. fovana says:

    wengers tactictics are fading .. he had the chances to keep on attacking .. but prefered to slow the game .. poor wenger.. Lacazette a teamplayer..

    1. Fola says:

      Wenger had the next game in mind in pulling out Lacazette. We couldn’t afford to loose any striker to injury after Giroud. It was OK to play safe. Kudos to Wenger, he knows the physical conditions of these players more than we do.

  19. ThirdManJW says:

    We look way better with Jack in the middle rather than Ramsey, because Jack can pull off Wenger’s tactical possession play much better. He’s the nearest we have to a Santi replacement, and it allows for the fluidity, and quick transitional play. If you closely watch Ramsey, his first touch is always poor, meaning he gets closed down very quickly, which then often leads Ramsey to play a sideways/backwards pass. Jack can give us that quick one/two touch football, and is a lot more precise with his passing.

    I still have huge reservations about giving him a new contract based on his horrific injury record, unless it has some sort of injury clause.

  20. ThirdManJW says:

    Forgot to say, great win, although I was very worried after only 30 seconds when the camera panned to Wenger, who yet again, was desperately struggling with his zipper.

  21. Vlad says:

    I wonder if idiots (and there’s a lot of them here) understand why Lacazette was subbed off. We’re winning 3-1. We have another game on Sunday. We have an injured Giroud. So why risk pretty much the only recognizable striker you have left when we can keep him fit and try to protect the lead? God forbid he got hurt, you people would be up in arms why he wasn’t taken off earlier. So shut it, couch managers.

    1. Ivan says:

      Another dumbass

      1. Soccerboy says:

        No! He’s not dumbass. He’s saying the truth. Protecting the lead was the best idea. How do you do that? Take off striker and bring on DEFENDER dumbass!

        1. Ivan says:

          Oh, you’ve just repeated what he said. What an original thinker.
          BTW it is football not soccer dummy.

          1. Ivan says:

            Oh yes taking off your attacking threat and inviting the opposition on when you have a badly organized defense is a bad idea. The dinosaur has cost us points with that tactic before and nearly did again.

          2. ThirdManJW says:

            Wenger was right to take an attacking player off, and I understand the reasoning with Lacazette being our only available striker, but Ozil should have come off. He had a very quiet second half, and Lacazette had gone 4 games without a goal I think (5 now), and he would have had a chance what with Palace having to push forward. You don’t see any other manager subbing their star striker so many times.

          3. Ivan says:

            I agree with your Ozil off suggestion

          4. Kenny Rolfe says:

            Agree also Ivan, he’s been using the same tactic for twenty years, he used to take Henry off and bring on Grimandi, cost us loads of points over the years, some people on here never kicked a ball in their life and don’t understand the game

          5. Ivan says:

            True Kenny. A lot of them have just hidden indoors playing FIFA and Football Manager which is why you get such a lack of understanding especially about the importance of always having an “out” pass.
            Also may understand why some seem to think Xhaka is a good player.

    2. Lance says:

      @Vlad. Your explanation for Wenger subbing off Lacazette makes a lot of sense to me. But please stop insulting people. Everyone has a right to their opinion. Different opinions enrich the discussion here.

  22. rkw says:

    we had some really nice moments with lacazette jack sanchez and ozil hinting at what could have been … and dominated for 75 minutes … but in the other 15 there was some real horror shows with bellerin a real shocker but whatever steve bold understands by defencing he needs to think again … some of the gaps left were basic defending errors but again the failure to press is what is upsetting given the wages these guys are on … working hard should not be a big ask!!

  23. Sue says:

    Glad we won.. another 2 goals conceded though ☹

  24. AB says:

    I get a feeling that Ozil and Alexis don’t engage Lacazette as much…is it just me?

    1. Ivan says:

      Interesting to see the divide in the team after we went 2-1 up. This needs sorting out fast. Time for the dinosaur to earn some of his £10.5 mil.

      1. AB says:

        What do you mean by divide?

        1. Ivan says:

          I take it you did not see the analysis on sky?
          Anyway after Sanchez scored he kept waiving the team over to celebrate with him. Only Ozil, Xhaka and one other went over. The rest would not come even though Sanchez kept calling the rest of the team. Sky kept on about it.

          1. Ivan says:

            The pundits all felt it was unprecedented and highlighted the team divide.

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