Crystal Palace 0 Arsenal 0

  • By: Bill Pierce, PA Sport
  • Last Updated: May 22 2012, 10:01 BST

Arsenal let slip a golden chance to extend their lead at the top of the

Premiership against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this afternoon.

And Dutch star Dennis Bergkamp collected his fifth booking of the season and

ruling him out of the crunch clash with champions Manchester United at Highbury

on November 9.

Bergkamp, giving a rough ride by the rugged Crystal Palace defenders, finally

snapped just after the hour when he appeared to be shown referee Steve Dunn's

yellow card for dissent.

It will mean an automatic three-match suspension starting in two weeks time

and the £7.5million striker also misses vital games against Derby County and

Sheffield Wednesday.

Battling Palace countered Arsenal's superior technique with fierce commitment

and Bergkamp was a target for their attentions almost straight from the start.

After he crashed down from an aerial challenge with Andy Roberts both players

appeared to lash out but a linesman who had a full view of everything failed to

alert the referees attention.

Ian Wright, returning to play against his old club having scored five goals in

six previous appearances against them, was also wound up by some fierce tackling

and was booked himself in a mystifying episode when Bergkamp berated referee

Dunn and was lucky not to go into the notebook then.

There was six yellow cards for the Gunners in all including Portuguese winger

Luis Boa Morte, who had an ineffective first Premiership start and was

eventually replaced by David Platt in the second half after impetuously bringing

down Palace full-back Marc Edworthy.

Wright also had a penalty appeal turned down after Kevin Miller brilliantly

saved his 23rd-minute shot.

He chased in for the loose ball and drove it against the arm of former Gunner

Andy Linighan but was awarded only a corner for his efforts.

Time and again Palace stretched themselves to the limit to keep Arsenal at bay

and Bergkamp was continually having to look for space to avoid their rugged


He still managed to set up chances for Ray Parlour and Emmanuel Petit but

first Andy Roberts made a superb tackle and then goalkeeper Miller smothered

Frenchman Petit's unconvincing shot after Wright had let Bergkamp's cross run


Palace took 53 minutes to force a corner and more than an hour to have their

first meaningful shot when Paul Warhurst took a rebound off Bould and fired a

firm drive to give goalkeeper David Seaman at least some action on the day he

equalled the record for Arsenal appearances for a goalkeeper - 352 - and was

mainly a spectator in the autumn sunshine.

Just before the end, however, when Bould played a faulty back pass Seaman had

to act hastily to collect the ball before Palace substitute George Ndah charged

the keeper to the ground.

It was an obvious foul but Palace fans roared in vain for a penalty as Seaman

blatantly held down Ndah as both scrambled for the ball on the ground.

Luckily for Arsenal referee Dunn had seen the first foul and gave them a free



Crystal Palace: Miller, Edworthy, Gordon, Roberts, Linighan,

Lombardo (Bonetti 85), Warhurst (Ndah 69), Shipperley, Rodger,

Hreidarsson, Fullarton.

Subs Not Used: Dyer, Ormshaw, Zohar.

Booked: Linighan.

Arsenal: Seaman, Winterburn, Vieira, Bould, Adams, Wright,

Bergkamp, Parlour (Mendez 72), Petit, Grimandi,

Boa Morte (Platt 57).

Subs Not Used: Wreh, Manninger, Marshall.

Booked: Vieira, Wright, Boa Morte, Bergkamp, Grimandi.

Att: 26,180

Ref: S W Dunn (Bristol).