London - Mikel Arteta scored and was then sent off as Arsenal edged Crystal
Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday to establish a five-point lead
at the Premier League summit.
The Spaniard put the visitors ahead
with a 47th-minute penalty, but he was contentiously shown a straight
red card with 25 minutes remaining for a last-man foul on former Arsenal
man Marouane Chamakh.
Second-bottom Palace, who parted company
with manager Ian Holloway on Wednesday, came close to snatching an
equaliser, but Arsenal made sure of victory late on when Olivier Giroud
headed home from Aaron Ramsey's dinked cross.
"We showed a lot of
resilience and patience and good organisation against a team who were
really up for it," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told BT Sport.
honestly believe (Arteta's dismissal) was the wrong decision. Why?
Because it has to be a clear goalscoring opportunity. It was very far
from goal, he was not the last man, and even the foul was, to me,
After an even first period, Arsenal made the
breakthrough early in the second half, with Arteta sweeping the ball
inside the left-hand post from 12 yards after Adlene Guedioura upended
substitute Serge Gnabry.
Gnabry and Giroud both threatened to
extend Arsenal's lead, but Palace were handed a lifeline in the 65th
minute when Arteta was sent off for bringing down Chamakh despite the
offence occurring around 45 yards from goal.
forward, and Arsenal were indebted to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny for
producing two jaw-dropping saves within the space of a minute to thwart
Joel Ward and Mile Jedinak.
With three minutes remaining, Ramsey
crossed for Giroud to head past Julian Speroni and confirm Arsenal's
return to winning ways following their midweek defeat by Borussia
Dortmund in the Champions League.
Third-placed Liverpool can trim
Arsenal's lead back to two points if they win at home to West Bromwich
Albion later on Saturday, which is the 150th anniversary of the Football
Defending champions Manchester United will hope to
make up ground on the leading sides when they welcome former player Mark
Hughes's Stoke City to Old Trafford.
Everton visit Aston Villa
and Norwich City host Cardiff City, while Southampton, who began the
weekend in sixth place, tackle Fulham at St Mary's in the late game.