English Premiership

Arsenal survive Palace rally

2015-02-21 20:01
Olivier Giroud (AFP)

London - First-half goals by Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud gave Arsenal a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday that ended up closer than expected.

Glenn Murray, the Palace substitute, replied in injury time and almost grabbed an improbable point for the South London side when his last-gasp header rebounded off the post.

In the end it was not as comfortable a form of preparation for Wednesday's Champions League visit of Monaco as it appeared for most of the game, but it was good enough to lift Arsene Wenger's side to third place.

Alan Pardew's Palace are now 13th and although their unimpressive home record continues to be a concern, they will take heart from the battling second-half display that almost brought them an unlikely draw.

With on-loan Yaya Sanogo ineligible to face his parent club and former Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh injured, it was no surprise the home team struggled to make a first-half impression.

Arsenal manager Wenger had no such problems, and after eight minutes his side extended their run of scoring inside the first 30 minutes to nine successive matches.

Palace left-back Pape Soare took too long to make a clearance and was closed down by Danny Welbeck.

Attempting to rectify his error, Soare tripped Welbeck as the England forward charged into the penalty area, and Cazorla calmly converted the ensuing spot-kick.

It was also the 10th time in their 13 home games this season that Palace have conceded first, giving their willing but limited team a stiff task.

They swarmed forward and tackled enthusiastically - rather too enthusiastically at times - but Arsenal looked more dangerous, and should have done better when Laurent Koscielny headed Giroud's flick-on wide.

In reply, Dwight Gayle fired a free-kick inches over the bar after Calum Chambers had felled Fraizer Campbell on the left.

When Francis Coquelin meted out similar treatment to the same player, Gayle crashed his kick into the defensive wall.

More subtlety was required, but at least Gayle was trying. Just before half-time he pilfered possession from the dozing Koscielny and hit an angled shot that was deflected behind for a corner by Mesut Ozil.

The Palace fans - who unfurled a banner attacking the recent Premier League television rights deal that read: "5 billion in the trough yet supporters still exploited" - were also unhappy about many of the officials' decisions.

And they vainly appealed for offside as Arsenal went 2-0 ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Replays suggested that they had a case, but the flag stayed down as Welbeck ran onto Alexis Sanchez's pass and although his shot was parried by Julian Speroni, Giroud crashed home the loose ball.

Palace looked for an early reply after the interval but Wilfried Zaha, played in by Campbell, took the ball too far wide. And when he later found Jason Puncheon, Cazorla flew in to block the Palace man's shot.

It could have been all over when Arsenal broke away and Ozil fed Sanchez, whose shot with the outside of his right foot beat Speroni but drifted past the far post.

But still Palace attacked and after Murray had scrambled home an injury-time effort after inadvertently blocking Zaha's goal-bound shot, he almost salvaged a point with a header that struck the foot of the upright.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

22 October 2016
Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur, Vitality Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Middlesbrough, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Watford, Liberty Stadium 16:00
West Ham United v Sunderland, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Hull City v Stoke City, The KC Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Everton, Turf Moor 16:00
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 18:30
23 October 2016
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Manchester United, Stamford Bridge 17:00
29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.