Search

Arsenal climb to third place despite late Crystal Palace comeback

17:03 21 February 2015

Arsenal

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

Friday, August 26, 2016
Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh

With just a month of the season remaining, Middlesex appear better-placed to become county champions than at any time since their last title 23 years ago.

Friday, August 26, 2016
Watford midfielder Etienne Capoue

The match stats team at bettingexpert pored over the recent history of league contests between Arsenal and Watford – who meet at Vicarage Road on Saturday – and discovered that, while the Gunners secured a 3-0 win in the corresponding fixture last term, all of their goals came in the second half.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Times ABC's Jules Philips. Pic: Dieter Perry

Islington super-bantamweight Jules Phillips is getting ready to go to war – four months after leaving the Army behind.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

London Blitz chairman Henry Charlton-Weedy is determined to make amends for last year’s BritBowl defeat to London Warriors when the teams clash again in the end-of-season showpiece.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Arsenal promo

Here’s your chance to see the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg pull on the Arsenal shirt just one more time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Sandun Dias hit 85 for Highgate. Pic: Max Flego

Highgate hauled themselves out of the drop zone again as the weather helped them to secure a narrow victory at Enfield in Division Two of the Middlesex County League.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Jordan Gregory bowls for North London. Pic: Max Flego

North London skipper Sam Bardon is optimistic that victories in the two remaining games will give his side a good chance of promotion from Middlesex County League Division Three.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Liam O'Driscoll was the pick of North Middlesex's bowlers with three wickets, and he then hit 53 off 58 balls with the bat. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex extended their remarkable winning run to eight matches but remain second with just two games left in the title race after leaders Teddington also came out on top.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

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