Arsenal 2 Crystal Palace 3
Ozil 47, Aubameyang 77, Benteke 17, Zaha 61, McArthur 69

Crystal Palace dented Arsenal’s a top four finish with a resounding 3-2 win at the Emirates. The pre-kick off scenario was simple for Arsenal. Win an 11th Premier League game at home and you go into third spot. Maybe that was too big of an ask on the back of the Europa League win at Napoli and a team selection which included Carl Jenkinson and Mohamed Elneny in the starting eleven. Both are good squad players, but in a game of this magnitude, maybe Unai Emery will feel he should have omitted them in preference to the substitutes bench. Christian Bentke, Wilfried Zaha and James McCarthur gave the Gunners a master class in how to finish when the defence is obliging. Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang responded twice, but try as they might, Arsenal could not find a final leveller and the visitors claimed the three points.

The pre-match scenario was a simple one for Arsenal. Win with a 11th Premier League win and the side goes into third spot in the table. Perhaps that was too much of a side facing their third game in seven days as Emery gets to grips with the nuances of the Premier League where London derbies always provide an inhibitor to the big prize.

With 17 minutes on the clock, Arsenal’s four man defence failed to deal with a routine free kick which the unmarked Christian Benteke headed in past Bernd Leno. The Gunners were denied space and time and just couldn’t get any rhythm going. Palace were fortunate to escape what appeared to be a nailed on penalty when Aaron Wan-Bissaka handled from a cross. Referee Jon Moss denied the penalty claim, VAR would have had him change his mind.

Ozil went close with a shot which Vincente Guaita held, while Alexandre Lacazette, carved an opening which he struck over the bar.

Changes at the break as Emery brought on Alex Iwobi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles with instant impact. Iwobi played in Lacazette deep on the left. The France striker’s reverse pass set up Ozil to strike high over Guaita at his near post for these leveller.

The complexion of the game changed as the Gunners went looking for the lead. However a long ball over the top caught out Shkodran Mustafi who failed to block Wilfried Zaha. Leno was exposed and the Palace flier finished to make it 2-1 to the visitors.

Another set piece as Arsenal failed to deal with a corner lead to Palace’s third. James McArthur was given too much time to nod in from close range. The Gunners were being out thought and out manoeuvred. Aubameyang’s run from the right and deflection off one of his markers enabled the Gabon striker to slot home for 3-2.

There would be one more chance for another Arsenal leveller, but Iwobi was unable to place either side of Guaita with a low drive which the Palace stopper held on to.

Arsenal will have to get this loss out of their system quickly, as they travel to Wolves on Wednesday where another away day good showing and a clean sheet will be vital to the Gunners hoped for Champions League placing.