Premier League Report: Crystal Palace 1-1 Arsenal - Palace fightback to draw with 10 man Gunners

Crystal Palace celebrate their equaliser against Arsenal
Crystal Palace celebrate their equaliser against Arsenal

Arsenal held on for the final 24 minutes with 10 men to earn a point with a lacklustre Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the third Arsenal player in Premier League history to score and be sent off in the same match, the first since his new boss Mikel Arteta back in 2013.

The captain rounded off a superb Arsenal opener in the first 15 minutes, firing in from close range after being played in from a 19 pass move.

Palace were poor in the first period, sitting off and failing to pressure Arsenal, but once they did in the second half the Gunners' old defensive problems returned, with Joran Ayew taking advantage of static and unconvincing defending, with his deflected shot flicking over Leno.

Aubameyang was booked for a challenge on Meyer, but VAR turned the decision to a red, with replays showing the striker took the ankle of Meyer, who was forced off injured from the challenge.

Palace failed to make their man advantage count, not really pushing for a winner, although Sokratis did have to clear Tomkin's header off the line.

At the other end Pepe thought he'd won it for the visitors late on, as his fierce shot across goal 15 yards out looked in all the way before the excellent Guaita tipped it onto the post.

The result means Crystal Palace have gone four consecutive league games without defeat against Arsenal for the first time in their history, while Arsenal have failed to win any of their last 15 Premier League away games against sides starting the day above them in the table.

Arsenal's difficulties this season were highlighted by the fact this was the first time Palace were facing the Gunners after Christmas in a top-flight match with the Eagles higher up in the table.

Hodgson was boosted by the return of Wilfried Zaha after he missed the defeat to Derby with a knock, but new loan signing Cenk Tosun was only named on the bench.

Aubameyang was recalled by Arteta after sitting out the FA Cup win over Leeds and needed just 12 minutes to open the scoring at Selhurst Park.

Mesut Ozil's licence to roam had already caused the hosts problems and he moved inside to combine with Alexandre Lacazette, who played in his fellow forward to curl into the bottom corner for his 16th goal of the season.

It was a breathtaking Arsenal move, which started with a brave through ball between the lines by David Luiz, and Palace could barely gain possession during the opening 30 minutes let alone lay a glove on the Gunners.

Zaha had cut a frustrated figure and this was highlighted when he shoved Nicolas Pepe into Lucas Torreira, with the visiting duo needing treatment. This at least allowed the winger the chance to change his boots.

The Eagles slowly settled into the London derby and Cheikhou Kouyate had their first effort of note in the 41st minute, which Bernd Leno unconvincingly parried.

Arteta introduced Matteo Guendouzi at half-time, with Torreira not returning, but Palace continued to win free kicks in dangerous positions after the break.

Eventually they made one count, when Jairo Riedewald found Max Meyer in space down the right. His cross was poor, but Kouyate was first to it and set up Ayew, who saw his strike take a big deflection off Luiz and loop over Leno.

The Ghanaian did not care with this 54th-minute effort his sixth goal of the season, although Arteta would have been frustrated with his players for switching off.

Arsenal's problems heightened 10 minutes later when Aubameyang caught Meyer high on the ankle with a poor challenge by the touchline.

Referee Tierney showed a yellow card, but VAR had a look and after a two-and-a-half minute delay, the caution was upgraded to a sending off.

Aubameyang was distraught as he left the pitch and Meyer had to follow him down the tunnel after failing to recover from the tackle.

This allowed Hodgson to introduce Tosun for his debut, while Arteta withdrew Ozil for Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli.

James Tomkins almost produced a winner 12 minutes from time, but his header was cleared off the line by Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Arsenal then almost stole it.

Vicente Guaita came to the rescue though, when he superbly tipped Pepe's shot on to the post and saved Lacazette's follow-up in the 83rd minute as it finished all square.


OPTA Stats

  • Crystal Palace have gone four consecutive league games without defeat against Arsenal for the first time (W1 D3).
  • Arsenal have failed to win any of their last 15 Premier League away games against sides starting the day above them in the table (D4 L11), since a 5-2 victory at Leicester back in September 2015.
  • Arsenal have failed to win five Premier League matches when leading at half-time this season, their joint highest tally in the competition in a single campaign (also five in 2010-11).
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the third Arsenal player to score and be sent off in the same Premier League match, and the first since Mikel Arteta vs Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in October 2013.
  • Jordan Ayew is the first Crystal Palace player to score home and away against Arsenal in a single league campaign since John Craven in 1971-72.
  • 95% of Crystal Palace forward Jordan Ayew’s Premier League goals have been scored in the second half (21/22) – the highest percentage of any player in the competition to have scored at least 10 goals.
  • Arsenal pair Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have combined for 10 Premier League goals since the Gabonese striker's debut in the competition - only Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson (13) have combined for more in that time (since Feb 2018).
  • Arsenal named the same starting XI (vs Man Utd and Crystal Palace) in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since January 2019 (vs Fulham and West Ham). 

Live blog: Crystal Palace 1-1 Arsenal

Palace: Ayew, 54

Arsenal: Aubameyang, 13

Red card: Aubameyang, 66


Onto the 1500 games

Follow our next live blog, with all the key action from the 1500 Premier League and vital Sky Bet EFL matches here

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Follow Saturday's action live with Sporting Life


Full time: Crystal Palace 1-1 Arsenal

Palace will feel they've got anyway with one here, after being so poor in the first half.

Arsenal have paid the price for not building on their lead. They were far superior, but they never pushed to get the second goal and then in the second half their old problem of defending hurt them again.

Palace never really pushed hard for a winner once they had the man advantage and had to relay on a superb Guaita to keep hold of the point.


94: Fight!

Well as much as you can have in football these days.

Luiz is pushing and shoving Palace players, as he tries to grab the ball and push a Palace free kick further back. Ref breaks it up and tells everyone to get on with it

All something of nothing and the resulting free kick comes to nothing


92: Ayew down

He really got going in the second half and has been named man of the match, but Ayew is now down after being sandwiched between two Arsenal players.

He will be ok.


91: Sub

Arsenal happy to waste time now. Lacazette off with Nelson on


90: Injury time

Four minutes added on


90: Penalty appeal

Palace shout for a pen as Zaha goes down, but ref says no and so does VAR - You've seen them given though, as clumsy clash from Maitland Niles


85: Yellow card

Tomkins takes down Martinelli and is a little late.


85: Luiz wasteful

Arsenal free-kick for 40 yards out and Luiz for some foolish reason shoots - it balloons up and out of the ground

Wasteful


83: Hits the post

Wow, Arsenal hit the post.

The visitors break down the right and the cross falls to the back post and Pepe, who makes room for himself and fires across goal along the ground - it looks in, but somehow Guaita gets a fingertip to it to deflect it on to the inside of the post.

It bounces back out, and while still on the floor Guaita somehow gets ahead of Lacazette to make a block.

Wonderful goalkeeping


78: Off the line

Zaha is now in this game and causing problems.

His cross from the left catches the Arsenal defence rooted to the ground, and Tomkins heads across goal, over Leno's head, helped by a deflection off an Luiz's shoulder and Sokratis volleys off the line at the back post.

VAR checks a handball claim but the clearance is good and Arsenal survive. Excellent last ditch defending


Crystal Palace celebrate their equaliser against Arsenal
Crystal Palace celebrate their equaliser against Arsenal


74: Arsenal tactics

Arsenal are leaving Lacazette up top with Pepe and Martinelli wide - there could be space on the counter if Palace go too gung ho, which they aren't as yet. The hosts are remaining conservative so far


That red card

It wasn't deliberate, but it goes worse and worse the more you watch it



In-play odds

  • Palace now 3/1 to win this
  • Arsenal 7/2 to clam victory
  • Draw is 8/13

Full markets here


68: Subs

Palace give a debut to Tosun, who joined on loan from Everton on Friday. He replaces Meyer, who could not continue after that Aubameyang tackle.

Arsenal, now down to 10, take off Ozil, who has been terrible today, and Martinelli is on


66: Red card!

Aubameyang is sent off!

Lots of time taken and replays watched to eventually decide that Aubameyang's yellow card should be turned into a red!

Off goes the Arsenal Captain

Again the ref doesn't go to the screen to check himself, taking the VAR ref's decision instead

'Intensity and point of contact' are the official reasons for the red card


65: Potential red

VAR takes a look at a Aubameyang slide challenge, checking for a red card offence. He takes down Meyer on the touchline and the Palace player is really hurt.

Aubameyang is yellowed at first and now....


Goal Highlight


60: Luiz header

Luiz was almost celebrating scoring against Palace again this season.

Corner to the near post and he gets there first to head just over the bar, he knows he should have done better


VAR protest

Even though VAR has not played a part in this game yet, we still have to mention it, with Palace fans launching a protest against the technology

Crystal Palace fans protest against VAR
Crystal Palace fans protest against VAR

Crystal Palace launch an official protest against VAR
Crystal Palace launch an official protest against VAR


GOAL: Crystal Palace 1-1 Arsenal

Ayew

Palace are back in it out of no where, with Ayew's deflected shot off Luis.

Clever free kick from the centre of the pitch. With Arsenal expecting it to go straight in, Palace instead spread it to the right and the cross comes in low. A bit of pinball in the box and it falls to Ayew, he shoots to the far post and the deflection off Luiz sees it strangely and slow spin over Leno's head.

Yet again, poor Arsenal defending has hurt them.


Where is Zaha?

Zaha is the subject of constant rumours during this transfer window and without doubt his name has been mentioned more in transfer rumours than in this game - he's hardly touched the ball


52: Yellow card

Arsenal's Maitland-Niles brings down Kouyate

Free kick into the Arsenal box comes to nothing


50: Palace trying and failing to be Arsenal

Palace are trying to pass out from the back, playing it between keeper and centre backs in their own area, but they don't look overly comfortable doing it. Cahill almost gets caught short by Lacazette in his own box and ends up hoofing it long, but he could easily have been tackled for a goal scoring chance


45: Arsenal sub

One change for Arsenal with Guendouzi replacing Torreira, who picked up a knock just before half time.

Blow for Arsenal, as he was excellent in the first period and maybe a ray of light for Palace's attacking players.


45: Second-half

We are underway again, can Palace get back into this one?


In-play tip

Looking at the card market, Granit Xhaka to be carded is 7/4 and is an obvious one in most matches, and in this he's committed three fouls.

Interesting Jordan Ayew has committed five fouls and is cutting a frustrated figure stuck out on the left wing. He is 6/4 to go in the book and looks a tempting one


SKY BET PRICE BOOST

Arsenal lead at the break, but what will happen in the second period? Sky Bet have Price Boosted:

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score a brace is 11/4
  • Granit Xhaka to be carded is 7/4
  • Alexandre Lacazette to score the 2nd goal is 8/1

Full market here


Half time stats

Possession: Palace 33.5% v 66.5% Arsenal

Touches: Palace 254 v 423 Arsenal

Total shots: Palace 2 v 1 Arsenal

Pass success: Palace 65% v 82% Arsenal



Half time: Crystal Palace 0-1 Arsenal

There we have it.

Palace paid the price for a slow start, strangely sitting off Arsenal and allowing them to play freely and pick out their passes.

It cost them dearly with the Gunners' flowing move for their opening goal.

When Palace have got going Torreira has been excellent at the back, clearing everything in sight.

Half time price boosts and tips to come


Dangerous duo

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate Arsenal's opening goal
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate Arsenal's opening goal

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have combined for 10 Premier League goals since Feburary 2018 - only Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson (13) have combined for more in that time.


45: Injury time

Two minutes added on


43: Yellow Card

First of the day goes to... Pepe.

Kicking out at a Palace player after being fouled


40: Palace chance

Palace finally have a shot, and it's an excellent chance.

Nice work by Kouyate down the left leaves him in space about 18 yards out. It opens up for him and digs one but Leno is right behind it to palm it away and collect the rebound. 


32: In-play tip

Aubameyang to score again - what do we think? He is 7/4 to score a brace with Sky Bet

The last time he scored twice in a match was against Norwich away on December 1


30: Kick to the face

Torreira puts himself about on the edge of the box to clear a loose ball but catches Pepe with a trailing leg in the face. Both Arsenal men require treatment but are fine to continue


26: Palace finally attack

For the first time this afternoon Palace attack and a home player touches the ball in Arsenal's penalty area. However back to goal, 15 out, McCarthy miss control the ball and brings down Sokratis as he tries to win it back to concede a free-kick


24: In-play stats

Possession: Palace 21.8% v 78.2% Arsenal

Touches: Palace 80 v 207 Arsenal

Total shots: Palace 0 v 1 Arsenal

Pass success: Palace 58% v 89% Arsenal


22: Palace playing higher

Palace are finally playing higher up the pitch and pressing much more.

It sees Ayew trip an Arsenal defender deep in the Gunners half, but that is literally the first time a Palace player has gone into a challenge in the opponent's half


20: Aubameyang tip

We said he was worth looking at to score first at 14/5 and there you go.


17: Goal highlight

This is a beaut - 18 passes in this move


15: What are Palace doing?

Just before that goal I was typing that Palace have been so passive in this one. Sitting deep and not pressing their opponents at all. It was allowing Arsenal so much time and space around their box and the opportunity to pick out the right passes.

And that's exactly how and why the Gunners scored, Luiz has all the time in the world to pick out a pass from halfway and the flicks and one touch passes after that were easy to do with no pressure applied.


13: GOAL! Crystal Palace 0-1 Arsenal

Aubameyang

The visitors take the lead, with captain fantastic Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finding the back of the net with a great finish. A well-worked goal by Mikel Arteta's men.


07: Arsenal clear pattern

A clear pattern of play from Arsenal under Arteta now.

Luiz is being given the ball as much as possible at the back, carrying it to half way and looking for the mid range pass.

He;s finding a lot of joy spraying it from the middle of the park over to the left to find Kolasinac or Aubameyang, and Arsenal are making good ground down that left channel.


06: Windy

The wind is really strong around Selhurst Park today, with the conditions clearly affecting the flight of the ball early on. Could be difficult for keepers from long shots.


05: Nothing to report

Lots of early possession for Arsenal without much purpose. Palace sitting deep in their 4-5-1 and allowing Arsenal to build from the back easily.


00: Kick-off

We are underway, Palace in the blue and red stripes and Arsenal in the away yellow and black

Teams:

Palace: Guaita, Tomkins, Meyer, Kouyate, Ayew, Zaha, McArthur, McCarthy, Cahill, Kelly, Riedewald

Subs: Hennessey, Dann, Tosun, Wickham, Woods, Kirby, Pierrick

Arsenal: Leno, Sokratis, Lacazette, Ozil, Torreira, Aubameyang, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Luiz, Kolasinac, Xhaka

Subs: Martinez, Holding, Nelson, Willock, Guendouzi, Martinelli, Saka


Aubameyang back

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is back after illness and averaging a goal or assist every 88 minutes in Premier League London derbies (10 goals, 4 assists) and has scored against all five London teams he's faced, with two goals coming against Crystal Palace.

He is 14/5 to score first in this one and 21/20 to strike anytime.


Another age fact

The gap of 34 years and 229 days in age between Roy Hodgson and Mikel Arteta will be the fifth-largest between two managers for a game in Premier League history - Arteta was born in the same season Hodgson was taking charge of his first English Football League games with Bristol City in 1981-82.


Going for goals?

Both Crystal Palace and Arsenal have scored at least twice in each of the last three Premier League meetings between the sides - no fixture in the competition has seen both sides score 2+ goals in four consecutive games.

Over 2.5 goals is 5/6 and over 3.5 is 2/1


Sporting Life Accumulator

The latest Sporting Life football Accumulator
The latest Sporting Life football Accumulator

Head here to back Barnsley, Middlesbrough, Coventry & Plymouth all to win enhanced to 16/1 with Sky Bet

BARNSLEY have experienced a significant upturn in form since a managerial change in November. This week gives them a home tie against Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield.

MIDDLESBROUGH are enjoying life under Jonathan Woodgate and have won four Championship matches; a run that includes away victories over Preston and West Brom. They face a Derby side who have lost six of their last seven league games.

Into Sky Bet League One and COVENTRY continue to show that they have little issue in playing their home matches in Birmingham. They sit second in the home charts and take on a MK Dons side with just one away league win this season.

Finally, we're backing the in-form PLYMOUTH for success as they travel to Carlisle. They've won four of their last five Sky Bet League Two games and have seen three wins from their last four league away fixtures. They take on Carlisle who have won just three of their 12 league home matches.


SKY BET PRICE BOOST

Sky Bet have Price Boosted ahead of the early kick-off:

  • Arsenal to have a shot on target between 00:00 - 14:59 to 1/1
  • Nicolas Pepe to score first to 15/2

Bet here


Please no more VAR today

VAR continues to frustrate football fans
VAR continues to frustrate football fans

We can dream can't we of a day without VAR controversy, but it is likely we do see VAR play a big part in the outcome of at least one match today.

Last night it ruled out West Ham's injury time equaliser at Sheffield United, as Declan Rice handled the ball - accidentally - in the build-up.

Key to remember here that it is the handball rule, not VAR, that was the problem, but VAR didn't win anymore fans from it, unless you support the Blades of course.


Is Tosun the answer?

Will Cenk Tosun be the answer to Palace's goal scoring problems
Will Cenk Tosun be the answer to Palace's goal scoring problems

Having joined on loan from Everton on Friday Cenk Tosun is on the bench for Palace.

The home side have scored just 19 goal in the league, only Watford have scored less (17). Can Tosun improve that? He has an average of 11 goals a season over his ten seasons in the pro game. He has one in the league this season, but three for Turkey, and finished with six in total last season - so it doesn't make us that confident to be honest.

He is currently 13/5 to score anytime with Sky Bet in this one


Age is no barrier

A clash of the opposite ends of the scales in the dug-out for this one.

Palace's Roy Hodgson is 72 and has managed over 1,000 games over 44 years.

Arsenal's Mikel Arteta is 37 and has managed 4 games over one month.

Hodgson had been managing for six years before Arteta was born!!!


SOCCER SATURDAY PRICE BOOST

Ahead of the early kick-off Sky bet have PRICE BOOSTED:

  • Chelsea, Leicester and Everton all to win to 9/2
  • Chelsea, Leicester to win and Everton to draw with Brighton is 8/1
  • Chelsea, Leicester and Brighton to win is 9/1

Check out the market and bet here


Did you know?

This is the first time ever that Crystal Palace (9th) are facing Arsenal (10th) after Christmas in a top-flight match with the Eagles ahead of the Gunners in the table.

What a time to be alive!


Would you believe it?

This sums up Arsenal's poor season...

The Gunners are looking to record consecutive Premier League wins for the first time since winning their final game of 2018-19 season and their opening two matches of this campaign.


Key stats

  • Arsenal have lost just one of their last 14 away league games against Crystal Palace (W7 D6), going down 0-3 in April 2017.
  • Crystal Palace are the only side yet to score more than twice in a single Premier League match this season. Indeed, the Eagles’ Premier League games have seen fewer goals than other side’s matches this season (42), while Selhurst Park is the lowest scoring ground in the top-flight this term (18).
  • Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is averaging a goal or assist every 88 minutes in Premier League London derbies (10 goals, 4 assists) and has scored against all five London teams he’s faced, with two goals coming against Crystal Palace.

Pre-match tip

Check out our full Premier League preview, as they analyse every Saturday match, with our best bet for each, here. For this early kick off we are going for.

It’s a big test for Mike Arteta's side after some promising signs of late – first a scintillating performance against Man United and a great second-half response against Leeds when in danger of suffering an upset.

Both of those showed a new character and willingness to work hard for their new boss, but this game at Selhurst Park is exactly the type that Arsenal of old would take lightly and switch off from. You get the sense that will not be acceptable for the Spaniard.

Palace sitting above the Gunners is also a slightly false position given that Palace’s last eight league games have come against teams currently in the bottom nine of the division – they got 13 points from 24 and lost just once but tougher tests are ahead, including here.

Palace usually score at home, and Arsenal will still give them a chance at some point even if they are matching Arteta’s instructions, but the Gunners should come away with three points.


Arsenal team news

Unsurprisingly Mikel Arteta names the same side that beat Manchester United 2-0. That means Aubameyang returns after missing the FA Cup win over Leeds due to illness.

Arsenal: Leno, Sokratis, Lacazette, Ozil, Torreira, Aubameyang, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Luiz, Kolasinac, Xhaka

Subs: Martinez, Holding, Nelson, Willock, Guendouzi, Martinelli, Saka


Palace team news

Crystal Palace make two changes from their last Premier League contest on New Year's Day.

Captain Luka Milivojevic is suspended while Mamadou Sakho is also out. In come Gary Cahill and Cheikhou Kouyate.

New loan signing Cenk Tosun is on the bench.

Palace: Guaita, Tomkins, Meyer, Kouyate, Ayew, Zaha, McArthur, McCarthy, Cahill, Kelly, Riedewald

Subs: Hennessey, Dann, Tosun, Wickham, Woods, Kirby, Pierrick


Welcome

Good afternoon. Hope all is good with you. Thanks for joining us for our first live Premier League blog of this Saturday.

This is Arsenal at Crystal Palace, with the home side one point ahead of the Gunners going into this one.

From 1400 we have our second blog covering all the 1500 Premier League and key Sky Bet EFL matches.

Then at 1730 we have full coverage of Harry Kane-less Tottenham at home to Liverpool.

What a day ahead!


Responsible gambling

We are committed in our support of responsible gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

Sky Bet's responsible gambling tools are detailed here and if you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133, or visit begambleaware.org.


Odds correct at time of posting

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