Arsenal 2-3 Crystal Palace: Gunners stunned as top four hopes suffer significant blow


Arsenal 2-3 Crystal Palace: Gunners stunned as top four hopes suffer significant blow

Christian Benteke’s first goal in almost a year helped Crystal Palace sink Arsenal 3-2 and put a sizeable dent in the Gunners’ Premier League top four hopes.

Benteke fired his first goal in 20 games then laid on another for the tricky Wilfried Zaha as the Eagles stunned the Emirates to claim their eighth away league win this term.

James McArthur sent Palace into dreamland

James McArthur’s header sealed a fine victory that ended Arsenal’s 10-match winning league run at home – and threw a spanner in the works in the Gunners’ bid for a top-four finish.

Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck for Arsenal, but those goals seemed little other than afterthoughts for Unai Emery’s rudderless hosts.

Arsenal remain fourth in the table but are only ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea on goal difference, with Manchester United two points behind in sixth.

Shokdran Mustafi endured a day to forget, the Germany defender producing a string of mistakes which ultimately help gift Palace their win.

Christian Benteke put Palace ahead

Benteke’s first goal since Palace’s 5-0 win over Leicester on April 28, 2018 kick-started a fine Eagles performance, with Roy Hodgson’s men holding out for a hugely-impressive win.

Palace now boast the league’s sixth-best record on the road, Arsenal joining the likes of Manchester City and Wolves in finding no answers to the Eagles on the road.

Arsenal were booed off the field at half-time and rightly so.

The listless Gunners deserved to trail at the break, with Palace producing a measured away performance.

Mesut Ozil equalised early in the second half

Mesut Ozil side-footed wide in an early opening but the Gunners conjured precious few genuine chances after that.

Martin Kelly flicked over when he should have opened the scoring after Scott Dann’s header into the six-yard box.

Arsenal failed to heed that warning however, and paid the price when Mustafi let Benteke stroll into the box unmarked and head home.

The German defender wrongly thought Benteke offside, and rather than play to the whistle appealed in vain – while the Eagles’ Belgian hitman coasted into position and then nodded home.