Arsenal draw blank as Palace earn point

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha battle for the ball

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka (left) and Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium - Credit: PA

Arsenal saw their recent Premier League resurgence checked as they were held to a goalless draw by Crystal Palace.

Having won their last three league outings to end a barren spell, the Gunners were unable to find a way past their visitors - who came closest to winning the game through a James Tomkins header which hit the crossbar.

The 0-0 draw means Palace remain unbeaten in their previous five meetings with Arsenal and they stay just a point behind Mikel Arteta's men.

Arsenal made two changes to the side that won 4-0 at West Brom in their last league outing - both enforced as Kieran Tierney and Pablo Mari were left out as precautions.

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend and Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles battle for the ball

Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend (left) and Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium - Credit: PA

The hosts were largely frustrated by a Palace side playing on the counter-attack and on the few occasions they did get in behind, they largely wasted the opportunity.


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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shot straight at Vicente Guaita in one moment of promise, while Hector Bellerin managed to take the ball off the foot of team-mate Alexandre Lacazette when the in-form France forward looked poised to strike.

It would be Palace who came closest to breaking the deadlock before the interval - firstly as Eberechi Eze's deep free-kick was headed against the frame of the goal by Tomkins.

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Then Bernd Leno was called into action, making a fine diving stop to keep out Christian Benteke's effort moments later.

Arsenal were still struggling to unlock a rigid Palace backline after the restart and were restricted to pot-shots on Guiaita's goal on the few occasions their attacks did not break down.

Arteta responded by introducing club-record signing Nicolas Pepe in place of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, with Bukayo Saka reverting to left-back as a result.

Palace were still a threat on the break and Zaha burst forward only to see his cross towards Eze cleared away by a backtracking Granit Xhaka.

Crystal Palace's Joel Ward and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang battle for the ball

Crystal Palace's Joel Ward (left) and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium - Credit: PA

Benteke miscued his header from the resulting corner and James McArthur turned the ball into the grateful grasp of Leno.

Zaha wanted a penalty after going down under pressure from Rob Holding but referee Andre Marriner correctly waved away the protests.

Arsenal suddenly moved up a gear as the game entered the closing stages but never looked like getting the goal to settle the contest and remain 11th in the table as a result.

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, David Luiz, Maitland-Niles (Pepe 65), Xhaka, Ceballos (Partey 69), Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Lacazette (Nketiah 81).

Unused subs: Gabriel, Willian, Runarsson, Cedric Soares, Chambers, Willock.

Referee: Andre Marriner.

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