Arsenal’s hope of a high 4 end this season took a knock on Monday night as Mikel Arteta’s aspect have been comprehensively overwhelmed 3-0 away at Crystal Palace. The Gunners began slowly and by no means acquired to hurry with the depth of the Eagles, going a aim all the way down to a Jean-Philippe Mateta header from a set-piece.
It went from dangerous to worse within the opening levels, with a mistimed interception from Gabriel permitting Jordan Ayew via on aim after the winger misplaced his marker Nuno Tavares. He was capable of end comfortably, giving the guests loads of work left to do.
Whereas Arsenal marginally improved within the second half, they have been nonetheless fighting the bouncing Selhurst Park environment, earlier than the house aspect broke away on the counter. Wilfried Zaha drifted into the field, the place Martin Odegaard took him out for a penalty.
The Ivory Coast worldwide dispatched the spot kick and secured all three factors for former Gunners captain Patrick Vieira. It implies that Arteta is left together with his aspect in fifth, stage with fourth-placed Tottenham on factors, however with a tricky run-in to return.
With all that stated, right here’s how the nationwide media noticed the sport.
Was this the night time Arsenal’s wheels got here off? Mikel Arteta will hope it was an remoted off day in a largely glorious season however his gamers didn’t flip up right here and have been totally overwhelmed by energetic, highly-motivated opponents who outdid them in each division.
Arsenal have been trying fairly however now they’re making issues troublesome for themselves. Heading into the Palace conflict they have been stage on factors with Tottenham however had two video games in hand. A north London derby looms and will but show essential in deciding who will get Champions League soccer.
Conte’s aspect have gained 5 of their final six and look like on a roll, while Arteta’s younger staff misplaced for the second time in three outings following the reverse towards Liverpool just lately. The Gunners have, for probably the most half, put collectively a formidable successful run over the previous few months. Manchester United’s draw on the weekend means the race for fourth now seems to be to be solely a north London affair, which additional magnifies Monday’s defeat.
How Arsenal might have accomplished with Patrick Vieira the participant final night time. He wouldn’t have accepted this – no likelihood. For those who didn’t know higher, you wouldn’t have believed Arsenal have been the membership looking Champions League qualification right here at Selhurst Park.
The very fact one in every of their most legendary gamers was masterminding their demise gained’t have come as a crumb of consolation to these with Arsenal connections. However, within the right here and now, Vieira’s focus is fully on south London – remodeling a soccer membership that was in determined want of reinvigoration; this victory the newest in a quickly growing checklist of highs.
The one constructive Mikel Arteta can take from this disappointment is that their Champions League future stays of their arms.
Of their fantastic run of latest kind, Arsenal had been persistently composed and slick in possession. Right here, it was the other. Even Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey, so spectacular in the previous few months, appeared unable to finish even the only of passes in midfield.