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Match Report | Arsenal Lose Out On Third Place As They Suffer Defeat At The Hands Of The Eagles

Palace,Arsenal Vs Crystal Palace, Arsedevils

Arsenal suffered defeat against Crystal Palace at the Emirates and Mustafi was the villain in Arsenal’s woeful loss. What promised so much in the glorious weather at the Emirates, delivered so little, as opportunities passed by like buses and Arsenal lacked any form of penetration.

For periods, Arsenal were stifled and smothered out of this game as Palace pressed high to contain and out think their hosts. The first half was a completely lacklustre affair and it could have been worse than one nil going into the break.

The solitary first half goal for Palace came from Benteke, a poor man’s Lukaku, came after 17 minutes when Arsenal managed to switch off to give the wayward striker so much space that even he couldn’t miss from five yards out.

Shkodran Mustafi should have closed in and used his experience to protect Leno but he did what he always tends to do, sells himself and his team short. He was equally responsible for defensive lapses against Palace with the second and third goals and if he wasn’t heading out the door prior to this game, Unai Emery, needs to physically pick him up and throw him through it.

He’s had his chances, we’ve made our excuses and given him allowances but the fact is he is out of his depth in the premier league.

He has become a highly decorated liability and instead of developing and improving, the World Cup winner is on the express train to mediocrity and it’s not stopping at any other station.

Arsenal created nothing of importance in a slap dash first 45 and Palace cut out the attack with a sea of bodies, legs and feet. The gunners looked stale and jaded and the fact that Mustafi and Elneny were in the same side showed a lack of ambition and was cause enough for the nerves to start jangling.

The line-up against Palace just didn’t work and it was as if Emery thought Lady Luck was a season ticket holder and would tolerate any 11 players regardless of their incompatibility. Well, she spat in his eye and when he did change things it didn’t last the distance.

Wilfred Zaha was always going to pose a threat but it’s almost like no one knew that or made any conscious effort to contain him. Subsequently, he skipped, danced, twisted and weaved his way through the Arsenal defence constantly.

The moaning, egotistical Palace man even started going to ground in an effort to catch the refs eye but Jon Moss, not to be confused with Culture Clubs drummer, wasn’t interested.

He wasn’t interested in a blatant handball by Palace wing-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka that was a certain penalty but by mentioning this I’m not implying that Arsenal actually deserved anymore than they eventually got.

This Palace result shows how much work Emery has to do in the summer because Arsenal were short in the midfield and inept in defence. The squad had holes in it and the fact that the Spaniard replaces Torreira with Elneny says it all.

Elneny would be lucky to play in the championship , let alone the premiership. He doesn’t create or attack, he isn’t a convincing midfielder or an essential part of a defensive shield and his performance against Palace said it all. He can’t play in defense, he doesn’t really support the attack, so that begs the question, what does he do and why was he picked ?

By half time against Palace, with the boos ringing in his ears, Emery came to the same conclusion and Elneny came off with Jenkinson. The replacements were Iwobi and Maitland-Niles and instantly there was extra impetus and energy.

As a result, Mesut Ozil stop his summer slumber and handed out a reminder of why he frustrates fans with his inconsistent talent. 47 minutes in and Ozil located Iwobi and the flowing move found a Lacazette who picked out the German to apply his trademark turf dink finish making it all square against Palace.

Suddenly it all looked good again and an Arsenal revival looked on the cards but it never materialised due to a defensive meltdown of absolutely epic proportions and stunning incompetence.

Zaha did what he had been threatening to do all game without moaning or diving in the 61st minute. He breezed past a stalled Mustafi, who’s engine appeared to fall out of his arse flaps and Palace had the advantage that they deserved.

Worse was to come when McArthur added a third for Palace and we’ll dust over Mustafi’s role in this because I’m sick of mentioning him and I’m livid that he has been allowed to steal a living from this magnificent club for so long.

Arsenal replied with a solo Aubameyang effort (77) which briefly gave hope but hope had taken the day off just like a certain German defender and Arsenal crashed to an unexpected home defeat against Palace when they could have moved to third.

If Emery persist with filling his team with cast offs and left overs for important games they will not qualify for the Champions League. He needs to be brave and use his best players and he needs to sell Mustafi and Elneny off at the first available opportunity.

The Highbury Flyer
Anti Kroenke , anti Gazidis but always a gooner. Still wishes he could watch from the stands at the Highbury library.

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