The game against Palace seems an easy game on paper but it was not the case when we faced them at the Emirates and it was no different at Selhurst Park on Saturday as we just managed to scrape through. The performance was nowhere near our best but as we have already witnessed a couple of times this season that we can actually see out games without dominating them.
We started the game on the back foot with Palace dominating early possession, however they were undone by a defensive error as Welbeck was rewarded for his constant pressing as he was brought down in the box. Cazorla buried the resulting penalty to give Arsenal the lead inside 10 minutes.
We had some good chances there after but we were unable find the back of the net. Palace continued to attack and were very impressive only to be let down by the final ball and some mediocre finishing. Arsenal punished them on the counter as Welbeck’s shot deflected of the keeper only to find Giroud to make it 2-0 just before the half-time.
I expected Arsenal to finish the game off early in the second half, but we lacked the cutting edge in the final third and struggled to keep possession in the second half. The Eagles pressed our defence continuously but as the time went on and Wenger made defensive substitutions it looked more or less a done deal.
But it wasn’t to be, as Palace finally managed to find the back of the net in the 4th minute of extra time as our defence failed to clear the ball. It was not the end of the game as the Eagles managed to create one final chance which luckily for Arsenal, hit the bar.
In the end we managed to get all three points which is the only thing that matters and it’s good that we are grinding out results, but coming close to throwing a two goal lead in the last 2 minutes is definitely an issue to contend with. What’s more intriguing about the final moments is that we had 7 defensive minded players on the pitch, so the players should show more commitment in the final moments.
Winning is the most important thing regardless of how we play and although the new playing style is helping, we need to be more careful in the defence. The win has taken us to the 3rd position in the table after United failed to get past Swansea and with Southampton taking on Liverpool, we are likely to stay there. The Spurs have drawn with West Ham meaning that now have some gap to our North London club.
The form is a little worrying but with Walcott and Wilshere ready to make a return, there should be more coming from the Gunners. Next up are Monaco in the Champions League at the Emirates and hopefully we can put up a good show.
What did you think of Arsenal’s performance?
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