Search

Arsenal climb to third place despite late Crystal Palace comeback

PUBLISHED: 17:03 21 February 2015 | UPDATED: 17:03 21 February 2015

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (centre) celebrates making it 2-0 against Crystal Palace

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (centre) celebrates making it 2-0 against Crystal Palace

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 2

First-half goals from Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud propelled Arsenal up to third place as they held off a late Eagles fightback at Selhurst Park.

Cazorla gave the Gunners an early lead from the penalty spot before the in-form Giroud made it 2-0 in first-half injury time – and it looked as if they would see out a routine victory.

However, Palace substitute Glenn Murray reduced the deficit late on – and almost earned his side an unlikely point deep into added time with a header that struck the post.

Arsenal went ahead in the seventh minute when Danny Welbeck chased down a loose ball on the edge of the Palace penalty area and left-back Pape Souare, under pressure, tripped him right on the line.

Referee Mark Clattenburg had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Cazorla stepped up to send Julian Speroni the wrong way for his third goal in six games.

There were few further scoring opportunities during a scrappy first half, with the home side showing flickers of life through Wilfried Zaha and Dwight Gayle on the flanks, only to find the final ball lacking.

Gayle thumped a free-kick over the bar after he had been felled by Calum Chambers, but it was the Gunners who looked more likely to add to their advantage before half-time.

Laurent Koscielny misdirected his header after Giroud had flicked on a Cazorla corner, while Alexis Sanchez’s effort looped up off Scott Dann into the hands of Speroni.

But Arsenal did double their lead in added time when Sanchez released Welbeck on the left and, although Speroni parried his shot, Giroud stole in ahead of Damien Delaney to prod home the loose ball.

Palace returned to the field with purpose and applied some pressure to the Arsenal defence, with Jason Puncheon’s effort deflected wide after a poor clearance from Per Mertesacker.

But Arsenal successfully put bodies behind the ball and Zaha had a close-range attempt charged down before setting up a chance for Jordon Mutch, who blazed over on the volley.

And the visitors might have put the contest beyond doubt on the counter-attack as Mesut Ozil skipped away from Joel Ward and set up Sanchez, whose flick across Speroni fizzed wide of the post.

The Eagles never gave up and Gayle got close to halving the arrears as he rose between the centre-backs to meet Souare’s cross with a header that flashed just over.

Substitute Yannick Bolasie kept Arsenal on their toes, racing from inside his own half before firing rather tamely at David Ospina, while Puncheon curled a free-kick fractionally wide.

The Gunners goalkeeper was belatedly forced to break sweat to smother Murray’s header on the line and again to beat away a ferocious drive from Bolasie soon afterwards.

Palace finally gained some reward for their endeavours in the 90th minute when Zaha’s shot was blocked and Murray pounced on the rebound – and the striker almost salvaged a draw with the final attack of the game as he beat Ospina to Bolasie’s cross, but his header hit the base of the post.

Crystal Palace: Speroni; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare; Ledley (Ameobi 80); Zaha, Puncheon, Mutch, Gayle (Murray 80); Campbell (Bolasie 57).

Arsenal: Ospina; Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin; Welbeck (Gibbs 76), Cazorla, Ozil (Rosicky 76), Sanchez (Gabriel 89); Giroud.

Latest Islington Sports News

17:30

More title heartache for super-middleweight

Raphael Veras took a squad of four to Las Vegas and they didn’t disappoint

14:54

Smith and Broadhurst edged out in semi-finals

09:36

SKL celebrate four years since being founded by sensei Antonio Telmo

Yesterday, 19:23

Bad light helps visitors avoid defeat at Lord’s

A delighted Arsene Wenger heaped praise on his Arsenal players for showing huge amounts of grit and determination at Wembley as they gave a battling performance to overcome Manchester City to reach the FA Cup Final.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Arsenal won through to the 2017 FA Cup Final in the merry month of May by valiantly triumphing over the might of Manchester City 2-1 after extra time on a dramatic semi-final afternoon at Wembley today.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Defending champions declaration leaves rivals to chase 452 at Lord’s

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now