Crystal Palace – Arsenal, too close at the end but 3 golden points

By Walter Broeckx

For this match we had the following 11 players in the starting line up : Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Welbeck, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud. On the beach we had : Szczesny, Gibbs, Bellerin, Gabriel, Wilshere, Rosicky, Walcott.

So a few changes with Ooooospina coming back in goal for Szczesny. Chambers stays in the place of Bellerin who had a late fitness test and was on the bench.  Per Mertesacker came back as captain and Gabriel went back to the bench. Monreal replaced Gibbs. Coquelin came in the place of Flamini who was doubtful just like Bellerin. And on the bench we welcomed back Jack Wilshere after he had been kicked out of football for a few months by a Manchester United butcher.

Özil putting the ball in the net but he looked offside. My stream wasn’t clear ar enough to make that certain.  Welbeck then with a steal against a Crystal Palace defender and Welbeck went over the defenders leg and the assistant raised his flag and the ref gave the penalty. Santi Cazorla stepped up and put the ball in the net. 0-1 to the Arsenal after 7 minutes.

Then my stream went down and I missed a few minutes but still the score was 0-1 when I returned after some 13 minutes. But Palace looked a bit more in the match in these minutes.  Ospina having to come in with a needed punch. Alexis then on the break and two fouls was enough according to the ref.  Mutch getting a yellow card for the first foul.

A corner for Arsenal, Giroud with a first header but Koscielny completely missing the second header. Clattenburg surely having to blow a lot of fouls in the first half hour. Coquelin on the end of a yellow card what looked a dive from Campbell.The low sun also not helpful combined with the quality of the stream to see what was going on.

But from what I could see I saw that Ospina was doing a good job when needed. And just when the 4th ref showed we got 2 extra minutes Özil, sorry Alexis (such was the quality at times) released Welbeck whose shot was saved by the keeper but Giroud was on hand to put it over the line.  0-2 to the Arsenal after 45 minutes. And that was the half time score.

A first half that showed the difference in style between the two teams completely. Arsenal trying to work with the ball and Crystal Palace trying to throw the ball forward and capitalise from the second ball. So far football won the battle in this first half.

Crystal Palace with some attacking early on in the second half leading to a few corners for Palace.  I notice Palace using the old trick put someone in front of the keeper to block him from coming as a tactic. On the other side Özil with a header against the crossbar.  It looked that way on my stream.

Saha with a shot that was hooked away by a defender and resulting in another corner for Palace.  Giroud making a foul on the touchline resulting in him seeing a yellow card.  Arsenal with a great counter then Özil with a great dribble giving it to Alexis who missed the target.  Giroud then called back for an offside but it sure didn’t look that he was the one offside.

On to another stream I see Giroud getting two chances to shoot but the first stopped by a defender and the second goes at the keeper.   Then Özil slipping when another counter could be on.  Crystal Palace with a cross but the shot goes over well. I think I missed Ospina heading the ball away somewhere who then went down and needed some treatment.

A good cross from Crystal Palace but the header went over luckily. It didn’t seem that Wenger would risk Wilshere in such a high pace and a rather hard played game. A claim for handball by Crystal Palace but the ball hit Chambers and his arm was in front of his body. Ref then not giving a foul on Alexis but giving a foul for a dive from a Palace player just outside the penalty area.  Pucheon took it but it went just wide.

Gibbs and Rosicky came on with some 15 minutes to go. Not risking Özil any further and the other player coming off was Welbeck who had a nice contribution to both goals.  Palace players really playing for the free kicks all match long it seemed.

Ref with a great advantage after Chambers tried to pull a Palace player back but Ospina with a rather comfortable save in the end.  Gibbs away but nobody in the middle so an easy catch for the keeper. Play then stopped for a Palace injury after my stream had stopped.  Chambers having been given a yellow for the pull now.  Correct booking if you ask me.

Giroud with a header after a free kick but the keeper could save it. Palace with a corner but Ospina smothered the ball with his body.  Alexis making himself useful by making sure we win the ball back and then being replaced by Gabriel. With a few minutes to go time to keep the shop closed.

5 minutes of extra time said the ref and to be honest as my stream jammed a lot I cannot comment on that.  The away gooners looking to enjoy themselves. Giroud away on the left but his pass was behind Rosicky who had the goal open to his mercy. Palace with a late attack then but Ospina punched it away. I think.  Someone did. And then right at the end Palace scored after a scramble in the penalty area.  No offside as Monreal was still on the line.

And in the ultimate seconds Murray against the post an in the arms of Ospina. Sometimes you need a lot of luck.

What mattered is that we got the 3 points.  And to make it even better I just saw that Manchester United lost at Swansea and so Arsenal are now in 3rd place. I think we have know worse days.

92 Replies to “Crystal Palace – Arsenal, too close at the end but 3 golden points”

  1. Considering the amount of possession Palace had in our half, the lack of shots on target (or even close) until late on shows that (i) Palace are poor in the final third and (ii) our defence, particularly the centre-backs, must have done well. Having said that, both full backs struggled against fast wingers while our attacking game never really got going on a sodden pitch.

    But 3 points is 3 points! Even better as MU lost and Chelsea drew.

  2. @Walter,

    Good quick summary of the game. The Ozil offside call was actually incorrect based on the replays that were shown right after on the U.S. stream.

  3. Well done Gunners, three max point taken on a day Chel$ky drew at home and manure lost.
    Forward match to gun Monaco down in the CL next Wednesday.

  4. A bit off topic, but I’ve just seen Mourinho’s post-match interview, and it appears that he’s looking into an alternative career of being a bingo caller.

  5. Good 3 points I must say…

    @will says, we must call spade a spade. Why don’t you do that Walter?

    What pathetic playing surface. Will there be a stat for most number of tumblings in a game? If there is one,this game takes it. Will remain a record for a long long time.

  6. 3 points is 3 points, but a pretty poor display overall and very poor substitutions. The ref was scandalous. Every time he had the opportunity to book an Arsenal player he took it, yet Palace players were allowed to shirt pull, foul cynically and push our attacks from behind to win the ball with nothing at all given it stop them doing it through the whole game.
    The offside goal was a joke – how the linesman can see Ozil offside when he was at least a yard on is baffling. As for the Welbeck offside decision – I would like to see it again because it has not been shown on any replay. Leads me to believe it was onside. The penalty – probably just outside but it looked a stonewall penalty that not even the ref could refuse. Given that the defender also stopped a goal scoring opportunity it should have been a red card – but nothing.
    As for the commentators today – they should be sacked for their complete bias.

  7. According to the radio our 1st goal was outside the box (looked inside to me…) and the second was offside… no mention of the Ozil goal (which I missed due to stream problems).

    Perhaps things are starting to “even up”?!

    Also staggered that Atkinson of all people should have apparently given Burnley a helping hand?

  8. As pathetic as that challenge on Matic was…..

    Where were all those guys when we received similar challenges. Oh wait. When its ARSENAL on the receiving end, not that kind of a player. Not that kind of a player.

  9. Doing well in cups and leagues involves playing badly (which all teams do sometimes) and yet winning.

    No one is happy when the team plays well and then loses to a quick break.

  10. Thank God fro the 3 points today.Well done to the lads for their defensive performance and I hope Sczesny is watching and learning from Ospina performance ,his calm nature and ball distribution when we are leading. Lads lets keep going on and on we can still finish 3rd or 2nd or even catch chelsea if we can be winning from now till the end of season. Im very happy today.

  11. The Telegraph said Ozil was onside for that early goal. For some reason, Atkinson didn’t give stuff to Chelsea. It kind of sounds like the red card incident (Chelsea) should have either been 1 red and two yellows, or two reds and 1 yellow. Joey Barton showed the world how wonderful he was, and got a straight red. I don’t know what game Roger East (referee) was doing, but it sounded like he tore a calf muscle.

    If Newcastle could win today, that would be wonderful!

    I looked in at the Untold commentary during the game a couple of times, too much negativity from Will for me. But, I did get a fair amount of work done during the game.

  12. Clattenberg used to be a reasonable ref, but it looks as if he has deteriorated into a Riley induced meritocracy.

    We played well at times today but not consistently – probably due to the many fouls and poor refereeing.

    Anyway, a good three points, well done the team!

  13. A nervy end, especially as the ref appeared to be doing all he could to assist them in the second half. But still, a valuable three points that’s all that really matters, shame we did not get a CS but a lottery pitch and a dogged opponent.
    Good day all round, rivals will be dropping points tomorrow as well. Onwards and upwards. Still think Utd will get all the help they can, but they are a poor team at the moment, with a difficult run in. Chelsea look to be faltering as well, tho have not seen the tackle on the aaa’ s favourite player, or the reaction that got him the red.
    For us, A potential banana skin successfully avoided

  14. Thanks for this , Walter , was not able to see the game in full as my Chelski loving son was in control of the remote – he he he ! Got to see the sending off and Burnley’s goal. Not to mention Manure’s loss – laughed my head off as our commentators gave all manner of excuses for this blip ! Third in the table , and just maybe……..could we dare to dream ?

  15. Roger East did the Villa/Stoke game, and did not come off after getting hurt.

    Cazorla is the leading penalty taker in the league (6).

    Oh, and Arsenal is a one man team (Arsene Wenger).

    All Goals, EPL Assists
    Alexis Sánchez . . 3 . . .0 . . .1 . . 12 . . .1 . . 18,7
    Olivier Giroud . . 0 . . .1 . . .2 . . .8 . . .0 . . 11,2
    Santiago Cazorla . 0 . . .1 . . .0 . . .7 . . .0 . . .8,6
    Danny Welbeck . . .3 . . .0 . . .0 . . .4 . . .0 . . .7,2
    Aaron Ramsey . . . 2 . . .1 . . .0 . . .3 . . .0 . . .6,2
    Mesut Özil . . . . 0 . . .0 . . .1 . . .3 . . .0 . . .4,3
    Laurent Koscielny .0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .3 . . .0 . . .3
    Theo Walcott . . . 0 . . .0 . . .1 . . .2 . . .0 . . .3
    Oxlade-Chamberlain 1 . . .0 . . .0 . . .1 . . .0 . . .2,1
    Tomas Rosicky . . .0 . . .0 . . .1 . . .1 . . .0 . . .2
    Mikel Arteta . . . 1 . . .0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .1
    Hector Bellerin . .0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .1 . . .0 . . .1,1
    Calum Chambers . . 0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .1 . . .0 . . .1
    Mathieu Debuchy . .0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .1 . . .0 . . .1
    Kieran Gibbs . . . 1 . . .0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .1,2
    Per Mertesacker . .0 . . .0 . . .1 . . .0 . . .0 . . .1,1
    Jack Wilshere . . .0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .1 . . .0 . . .1,1
    Nacho Monreal . . .0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .0 . . .0,1

  16. People (and sadly far too many Gooners) keep going on about how poor we were today and you got to wonder why they hold this position. We are playing at a Premiership away ground, what exactly are these people expecting? That we’ll just walk over the team that came from 0-3 to 3-3 with Liverpool last season or the one that dumped Southampton out of the FA cup 3-2 at St. Mary’s?

    The pitch was terrible and I could not keep count of the number of times that our forward passes just wouldn’t roll to their desired destinations. The best thing that Palace did today was from their wingers but their first shot on goal was in the 83rd minute! Our game today was a defensive masterclass. They ultimately got a scrappy and lucky goal in the 94th minute but they were kept firmly in check for most of the game. All they did was huff and puff with no fruitful results. We made them play like that and we were firmly in control.

    Chelsea drew at home to everybody’s whipping boys Burnley while Man United lost away to Swansea. We got our 3 points today, please let’s stop disrespecting our players with this unwarranted caveat about playing badly. We won and on the occasions that we played well and lost, we’ve always been told that winning was all that counts.

  17. Good 3 points, as any 3 points are in a derby. Palace were very good indeed, committed and played with the intensity that the spuds did in our last derby. If they had better players i think they may have also got something from the game. Clattenburgh was like a different person in the second half and did almost everything possible to get Palace back in it- however his important wrong decisions got us the 3 points!!

  18. Golden weekend results so far. Who gives a flying fuck if we played less than perfect on a hay field ran over by a tractor plower.

    I always think that getting the result in those kind of days is in many instances the key to getting it together and winning nicely and the next few matches, so despite the nerves and the apparent lack of football aestheticism, I am very happy that we won like this. Not getting a 1-1 and scoring in the end – but being able to defend a lead in a hard pitch, with a shit ref.

    And Matic is out for 3 matches, and Manure lost … doesn’t really get any better.

  19. Selhurst Park- where potatoes are grown on weekdays and professional football played on weekends. Not an overwhelming performance (meaning I almost shat myself in the last minute) by our boys, but 3 points nonetheless. 3rd place, man city we are coming.

  20. City going for it against Newcastle. Could Chelsea blow the league, and are Jose’s post match tantrums piling pressure on them………think so! Atkinson as well!
    First and foremost, I want us to finish on a high, but that aside, would love to see a Chelsea collapse. If we can beat them, it could be on, though have a feeling Jose will park the bus at the Emirates…..again…

  21. Boo – not great going forward, but clinical when needed to be. But very strong defending the box. At the end of it all it is 3 points which is all that really matters, particularly as we get towards the run in. The Leicester performance was really poor, this wasn’t that bad in that we defended much better and the pitch conditions were a mitigating factor. Players (from both teams) were falling over and passes regularly getting stuck.

    I am very happy tonight!

  22. Clattenburgh was Ok, but let down by his assistants. Osil was not offside early on, Welbeck was just outside the box (at the penalty) and also offside for the second goal, and a wrong offside call against Giroud in the second half.
    I thought he might have booked Coq early on for the throat high foot, but gave him a chance and booked him later. Chambers card was right also.
    Shitty pitch, not up to Premiership standard. I noticed Anfield was also poor for the Euefa cup match on Thursday.

  23. Gord – Re Gabriel. Not completely obvious but I think he slotted in as right centre back of 3 (Mert central, Kos left); with Chambers and Monreal outside them.

    Against Palace’s wingers we would have been better off with Gibbs and Bellerin as they have the pace – but I can see why Monreal was kept faith with while Bellerin wasn’t fit enough to start. As time went on, Monreal got on top of his winger but Chambers really struggled throughout – a lot came down our right flank.

  24. There should be a certain standard introduced for PL pitches for next season, after all the money has now increased that the clubs will get so a reasonable or good standard should be kept.

  25. jambug

    I thought he got most of it right, and think it unfair to blame him for the mistakes of his assistants who were really poor and made probably three game changing wrong calls. MOTD will put us through it tonight, but what the hell, we deserve some breaks don’t we?

  26. Crystal palace: 15 fouls 1 booking. 1 booking per 15 fouls.

    Arsenal: 14 fouls 3 bookings. 1 booking per 4.6 fouls.

    Nothing changes then. Just saying !!

  27. I think people tend to forget that usually the team that’s trailing attacks more. I don’t see any point in pouring forward when winning 2-0, it’s suicidal. So in the end it always looks like we were not playing well. A very good 3 points today, and up to 3rd. COYG!!

  28. I thought Clattenburg had a decent game. As noted, all the contentious major, possibly wrong, decisions were made by the linos.

    I think he is (i) the best ref in England, (ii) also the most even-handed.

    Not sure how that is backed by statistics? Was really hoping we would have him for the MU cup tie – but that is less likely now that we have had him today I guess.

    Still staggered about Atkinson!

  29. It is not disrespecting our players to say they played poorly – its just a fact. It was also not a defensive masterclass. Down the flanks we were exposed time and time again. Palace were poor with their final ball. If that was a masterclass I would hate to see a poor defensive performance! Frankly I could not care less about any one of the players. If 11 new faces turned out next week that I had never heard of I would be fine with that. I don’t even like footballers. All that matters is they do the job they are paid to do – after that I have absolutely no interest in them whatsoever. Today they did their jobs though and got 3 points – which is all that matters. Success for Arsenal, regardless of players (or manager for that matter).

    Roll on Weds – what matters is a good win and it would be nice to put in a good performance too – whoever is playing for us.

  30. We played OK. Not fantastic. Not poorly. We seemed to have difficulty with their wingers. The pitch was horrid. We got 3 points. Onwards and upwards.

    On another point. Barnes’ tackle on Matic was a leg breaker. I would have reacted like he did.

  31. Clattenburg is the best English referee. Not that he has a strong competition though.

    Burnley have hardly been everyone’s whipping boys as Bootoomee wrongly suggested – they have managed to stay undefeated at both Etihad and Stamford Bridge.

    We should scrap the “soak-the-pressure”-approach in the forthcoming fixtures though. It backfired at the Anfield, it backfired against Spuds and it almost backfired today.

    Anyway, with 7 victories at home and away victories against QPR, Burnley and Hull, we’d get 30 points. A point against each Newcastle and Manure away would make it 32. With 80 points, we might reach the direct qualification for Champions’ League nezt season.

  32. Just seen the Barnes foul on Matic.

    Was ugly, but I think unfortunate. Barnes caught him in his follow-through after playing the ball. If he had had any guilty thoughts he would not have turned his back on Matic?

    Will look at again I’m sure on MotD!

  33. In the twits at, Mertesacker sent a Hello to Fabianski (at Swansea).

    I read a long time ago, that a 2 goal lead was the most dangerous lead in football.

    If for no other reason than to get Gabriel better acquanted with the team, it was probably good to have him on with Per and Kos.

  34. Josif,

    Burnley are 18th on the PL table. They’ve lost 12 of their 26 games. They shouldn’t be drawing away to the top 2 teams in the league but doing that does not invalidate my comment. Sunderland is the 1st and only team to beat a Mourhino led Chelsea in the PL at Stamford Bridge but that does not make Sunderland a greater team ahead of all the other teams that have been unable to do this. BTW, I notice that you expect us to beat the Almighty Burnley on their ground. Can you see the inconsistency in your own post? If Burnley are too strong to beaten by Chelsea at home why would you expect us to beat them at Turf Moor?

    “We should scrap the “soak-the-pressure”-approach in the forthcoming fixtures though. It backfired at the Anfield, it backfired against Spuds and it almost backfired today.”

    And replace it with what? It is disingenuous to list 2 cases when our rivals made come backs at their home grounds while ignoring the many more times that the team had soaked up the pressure and won.

  35. some thoughts:
    neither the BBC (website or radio) or gruaniad reports have mentioned the Ozil ‘goal’ strange ? or does that not fit in with Arsenal get decisions narrative.
    The penalty, look where the defenders foot is planted, inside the box, therefore contact must almost certainly be inside the box, so a penalty, so why lucky ?
    Palace are in great form at the moment, riding a new manger that isn’t Warnock crest of a wave of happiness, so all in all a good result.
    Matic sending off, how many mor ebad challenges are e going to see this year ??
    I wonder if Phil Neville will applaud the challenge, with Dickhead savage saying that’s the way to stop the Chavs playing, try to break their legs, then get their players sent off.
    Will we see replays of Upsons shocking tackle on Alexis rthe other week ? we will f**k !
    what a rediclulous day of reffing !!

  36. Mickster – so if Ozil’s goal was onside (I missed because of my stream) and the foul on Welbeck was actually inside the box, then we are square?

  37. Mickster & Pete

    The challenge on Welbeck began outside the box, but continued inside, which apparently (according to the Mail) makes it a penalty, so I was wrong also in saying the lino made a mistake in signalling a penalty, but the earlier incident with Ozil being flagged off, was a bad error.

  38. @Bootoomee – simply because I dare to believe that we have the best attacking line-up in the league led by the best No.10 in the world, I think we should beat Burnley (among others). It’s not a contradiction if I say that we should beat Burnley, that Chavs bottled it at home against them and that Burnley are not everyone’s whipping boys. Perhaps I feel a bit for Burnley as they haven’t spent zillions to get promoted and/or to stay up while their style of play is not Stoke-esque.

    In the aforementioned matches we lost five points from the winning positions. In one of those games we decided to soak the pressure against the team reduced to ten men. We disrupted our own balance by doing that and it’s balance that was the key of our victory at the Etihad.

  39. Josif
    agreed on “soak-the-pressure”-approach
    every time an extra defender comes on, i’m terrified
    this time we had _six_ defenders on the pitch, the shear amount of arsenal players in the box was frightening as they didn’t seem to collaborate very well

  40. would be interesting to see the total number of goals we let in per minute with 4/5/6 defenders

  41. I don’t think we got any injuries today, which is a blessing.

    Q: Oh, what goes Thunk, tap, Thunk, tap, Thunk, tap in Swansea, Wales?

    A: A wounded van Persie.

  42. Apparently Cazorla has a chance at a record:

    > However, Cazorla has a shot at smashing another record. The greatest penalty specialist of all time in the Premier League was surprisingly Crystal Palace’s Andrew Johnson in the 2004-05 season (11 goals from the spot). The current season is far from over and the Arsenal midfielder has the English record in his sights. Whether he beats it or not, Cazorla has proved he knows what it takes to prevail in the battle of wills with the goalkeeper.

    It’s an outside chance, he is just barely over half way.

  43. @OlegYch Absolutely agree. I was at Selhurst Park and when the defensive substitutions were made we looked all wrong and unbalanced. We sat back and invited trouble and Palace obliged. It’s not the first time that Arsene has made this mistake. I am of the opinion that when the game needs seeing out it should be done in the oppositions half and not mass defence on the six yard line.
    Still a good 3 points. Now for Monaco.

  44. Today was all about fine margins. Decisions could,have gone against us. The goal post a bit thinner, aaa /media meltdown, Phil Neville in frothing excitement, shearer in a state of heightened orgasm, Owen , being Owen.Stewart robson and Alan smith wheeled out, nick lee and his mates try and take over this forum. Will take what we got today, especially on that pitch and a decent motivated opponent.We were in control for much of the game despite a scary finish.
    Bad day for the Mancs, RVP reportedly left ground on crutches and in an ankle brace, falcao not cutting it, Rooney lost so far back MF, Di Maria and Mata looking confused most times I have seen them, and a poor defence.
    Think we will over come Monaco.

  45. As regards putting on another defender when defending a lead, maybe one more but not two more defenders…I would put on a player with pace instead to keep them from throwing everyone forward; to keep them honest. Although he is not known for his great tracking back, someone like Theo would be ideal because if the other team is pushing us back and has possession, Theo would be back already, no tracking back necessary, but his pace would allow a swift counterattack. Knock the ball up to Giroud who lays it to the wing for Theo to run onto.

  46. We conceded a goal in the 94th minute and all of a sudden, everybody knows better than Wenger. We defended about 10/11/12 corners with ease and despite Zaha and Bolasie having a good game, they didn’t have a shot on target for the first 82 minutes. While it may not be as easy to watch as our typical free flowing attacking style, I’ll take the rope-a-dope style with wins like today’s rather losses after great displays.

    If anyone here had been told at 2.59pm today that Man United will lose to Swansea, Chelsea will draw at home to Burnley but Arsenal will win 2-1 with a smash-and-grab display none of us would have objected. The game is over, we won and it is thanks to the tactics of Arsene Wenger. Getting Monday Morning Quarterbacking bullshit like this after dropping points is one thing but it’s absurd when we won. Please show the manager and players some respect.

  47. Hilarious Alan shearer on motd crying about Chelsea being hard done by. Which, ok they were, for once, today on a couple of decisions. In stark contrast to arsenal where they carefully edit the highlights, then lay into the team and manager at the slightest excuse.

  48. Putting in a defender (Morinho most lovable tactics btw) usually disrupts the shape of the defense and opens up for errors. Usually Wenger would go for a CDM (Flamini) but in today game, it was ideal to get in an extra defender (and a righyback too had bellerim been avaialable) as their tacitcs was go to wing and cross (thus the need for an extra CB) specially that the pitch was small and not good for any passing game, surely (and they did) Crystal Palace would go for crosses and long balls. They tried these tavtics fr the start (by diving to get FKs, then trying to score with a header. So Gaby in was the best choice, its the tracking back and helping Chambers what went wrong in those last minutes (last 4minutes).

    As for their goal, on addition to it being lucky, it was a foul on Rosicky too.

    Wenger is a genius tactician, he just does not use black negative tactics, he always try to play to the game rules.

  49. Three points and got outta there with no injuries , happy days !!

    Radio 5 live going nuts over how both our goals should’ve been ruled out

  50. Motd show less than two minutes of our first half highlights(they show just the two goals in fact), but then show probably six minutes of second half action (simply because Palace scored in the second half and hit a post). I would expect more highlights from the first half where more goals were scored than second half, or at least an almost 50-50 split. Ozil’s disallowed goal was edited out btw. Motd, waste of time.

  51. “If anyone here had been told at 2.59pm today that Man United will lose to Swansea, Chelsea will draw at home to Burnley but Arsenal will win 2-1 with a smash-and-grab display none of us would have objected. The game is over, we won and it is thanks to the tactics of Arsene Wenger. Getting Monday Morning Quarterbacking bullshit like this after dropping points is one thing but it’s absurd when we won. Please show the manager and players some respect.”

    As I’ve pointed out before, I’m satisfied with the spirit of the players and how they did their job. We have spilled too many points this term from the winning positions (14) and in most cases it was because we lost our balance in a desire to defend our lead. Sometimes the number of bodies is not enough – five of our players were around the Crystal Palace player who took a shot before Murray’s goal. We were one inch away from dropping two more points (Murray’s header came that close). Turning the head away from that fact is as “positive” as a positive drug test.

    Speaking of the positives and defending, Mertesacker was brilliant today.

  52. to say its a poor game is ridiculous, murray’s goal came off from 2 rebound of our players… so why not say its lucky palace get their 1st goal, and unlucky to fail to put one in later? in other words… it sort of cancel out? had Alexis scored on the counter, it could have easily been 3-0 and that will settle the nerves in the second half~

    imho, its not a great game, but thoroughly deserved 3 points 😀

  53. Bootoomee

    I have to agree with your game assessment totaly. Furthermore, anyone who believes Arsenal should just roll over CP at their place , must not watch any of their games.

    There are players on CP , who could challange for a spot on any PL team ,including Arsenal.

    Yannick Bollasie and Jason Puncheon gave a torrid time to the best right back in the PL and probably in the world this season – Bronislav Ivanovic of Chelsea.

    I have no idea why Pardew didn’t start Bollasie from the off, but I’m glad he didn’t.

    I thought this was as proffesional a performance by our players as I have seen all season, on a difficult and small pitch.
    People who expect Champaign football from Arsenal under those circumstances should perhaps be a bit more realistic.

  54. Jayramfootball

    “3 points is 3 points, but a pretty poor display overall and very poor substitutions. The ref was scandalous. Every time he had the opportunity to book an Arsenal player he took it,…”

    Coquelin should’ve been booked or sent off for his high, studs up into the midriff challenge, but he wasn’t.

    This is just one example for how inaccurate your assessment of the whole game was.

    Another one could be a brilliant brake away play by Ozil to play Alexis in on goal, from which he should’ve scored.

    Have you ever tried to play a passing style football on a slick and uneven pitch, with the ball constantly going from a shade into sunlight , while under constant pressure from an aggressive oponent( credit to CP players) in a hotly contested derby game?

    It looks easy watching it on TV, or at least it looks like it should be easy.
    IIT’S NOT !!!

    Perhaps you are being overly critical of our players because you don’t like them. Witch begs a question ; why watch football at all , if you dislike the people who make it happen?

    But then again you were rooting for Arsenal to get scored against, so I guess it does make sense 🙂

  55. @Bootoomee
    Just do not like to see mistakes repeated.
    We go 2 up, then relax too much that we lose ball and opposition attacks.
    We can relax a little, (not too much) when we score 3 or more.
    Stop stopping play when the whistle has not blown!!! This we do a lot.

    But seriously, we just do not like to see our win threatened by anything other than seriously good football.

  56. Tom

    The one commentary I read about Coquelin’s “tackle”, was that his studs went into the opponents chest. You say midriff. I didn’t see it, just read about it. What happened?

  57. Tom,

    Is that really you? You are scaring me dude 🙂

    Jokes apart, I am glad that you see my point. Far too many Gooners have this sense of entitlement that is vastly misplaced and borne out of ignorance of our history and their lack of knowledge of our rivals and opponents. Crystal Palace are a very good team and to expect us to handily beat them at on their ground without a serious fight back like we experienced is ludicrous.

  58. Serious Foul Play, add a little

    The BBC is running this story. Supposedly there is a video, I just see a single image.

    The body slam is not just a move from choreographed “wrestling”, it does exist in the martial arts. Slamming the person onto an exposed knee would be common. People doing “choreographed” wrestling at home (usually without the choreography) have died doing these types of things.

    I would suggest this Worcester City player be forever banned from all sports for that move.

    Why bring this up. I think it was Matic that was red-carded for Chelsea. One description is that he threw the Burnley player to the ground with some kind of judo move. Nominally the same as this incident (I haven’t seen what happened at Chelsea, only read about it). How the person hits the ground can vary, and serious concussions (or worse) can result.

    Just like the Worcester player, if what was written about the incident involving Chelsea is accurate, Matic should never play any sport ever again.

    Possibility of killing an opponent is not part of football.

  59. Gord

    It was a type of a tackle players make now and again when they have their eyesight fixed on the ball and try to gain control of it, not realizing the oponent is already there.

    Nothing malicious , but certainly reckless.

    Nani was sent of for a similar tackle for Man U in the CL game against Real Madrid( I believe). Sanchez found himself on the receiving end of a similar one from Tiote.
    The sanctioning of it depends on referee’s view point and how early or late in the game it takes place.

    Howard Webb let it go with just a yellow for De Jong on Xabi Alonso in 2012 UEFA Euro , because it happened in the opening minutes of the game, and this was the case with Coquelin today as well, I believe.

    The hight of the foot is the only variable in all those tackles but the main constant is studs up into oponents upper body.

  60. Thanks Tom. That makes a heck of a lot more sense than what the commentary had. The incidences I’ve seen, the player making the tackle typically has the knee bent quite a lot, which can reduce impact forces a lot.

    Reckless is a good description.

  61. Tom
    Your assessment of the match yesterday is spot on. I don’t know where this sense of entitlement stems from, that it must be vintage Arsenal week in week out. No team is considered a push over anymore, especially at their own patch. City required an injury time goal to rescue a point at home against Hull only two weeks ago. Chelsea against Burnley yesterday was another such result. Palace are playing much better than those two, having accumulated 10 points out of 15 before yesterday. So it was a good win.

    Just two minor corrections to your response to Gord; de Jong on Alonso was in south Africa 2010, but the tackle was the same, and while de Jong, Coq and Nani made that type of tackle I wouldn’t put Tiote’s on sanchez in the same bracket as he lashed out twice in the same kick. Just minor observations….

  62. Good win today – pity I didn’t catch the game but I’ve always had a feeling that if Giroud was present in the first-half of the season, we would have won some games we came to draw. He’s pivotal and a congrats on his 50th goal for Arsenal. I always expected a tough game from CP and they didn’t disappoint. Man U lost – felt F-kin good and chelsea drew…I prefer them drawing than losing outrightly and we winning when they decide to drop points. UP NEXT MONACO. COYG!

  63. I always felt that the players were sparing their energy for the next game and put in the minimum amount of effort necessary to get the result. They also wanted to avoid the mistakes that cost so dearly in the Totts game, when they lost too many balls on clearances and transitions, so they went forward only when the play allowed a safe transition. The Monaco game will look different, we need to attack and score enough goals to make the return a formality, and the team is capable of that.

  64. I think the results were fair. Arsenal had the better players and Palace had that emergency tactic in place. There’s nothing more AW could do but to put his best players in best formation to try to score as soon as possible. Pardew is also very smart with his selection because Bolasie is a stamina wreck although he runs like Usain Bolt. Palace knew they have to go for it so they went for it and got a goal. Plenty of crosses meant Gab gotta go in. If only Arsenal players buried their other chances, they would have won convincingly. They just ran out of gas in the last 5 minutes and Palace stepped up. Relegation threatened teams are usually the best teams at this time of season especially if they hired a excellent attacking manager in Pardew. The number of upsets in the same weekend justifies Pardew’s hope of stealing it in the end. Good defensive performance though, the way Kos and Gab protected Per in the middle while the BFG conquers the space above.

  65. The Mail on Sunday:

    “Arsenal were in control. They defended well. The clock was ticking and three minutes of added time had been played…..”

    “If Arsenal have changed ,then maybe they could yet enjoy a sustained run in the Champions League and approach an FA Cup tie at Old Trafford with confidence. The final two minutes suggested otherwise”

    And this is how Arsenal are judged.

    Playing well for 92 minutes and winning a tricky away game with a solid, dogged performance isn’t good enough for us. Nope, we have to play well for the entire match.

    United play poorly for 70 minutes and win and get praised.

    We play poorly for 2 minutes and win and get criticised.

    As usual we seem to be judged on a different scale to everyone else.

  66. Was this yet ANOTHER game when a referee of no known quality, failed to operate a clear bias against Arsenal?
    Are we at last beginning to get a fair crack of the whip?

  67. MOTD

    1st half

    As said earlier, a bit strange just showing the 2 goals and NOTHING else. Obviously I cant comment on the Ozil disallowed goal because they chose not to show it. WHY?

    -Welbeck was definitely half a yard off, but to be fair they never made much of it during the match.

    -Penalty was definitely correct. The rule does not say where the ‘initial contact’ was made. If the foul continues into the box, which it did, (learn the rules Robbie) then it is a Penalty.

    2nd half

    They showed our brilliant breakaway which should of wrapped it up, then focused on the last 5 minutes where Palace really went for it.

    So overall, yes the footage was a bit weighted towards Palaces frantic finish, but honestly I think that was understandable. So apart from the obvious omission of Ozil’s disallowed goal it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, given a few comments I’d seen.

    And as for the post match comments. Again not bad. Yes they debated the pen, was it, wasn’t it. And they called the Welbeck offside, but in fairness they didn’t make that much of it and concluded with:

    “Palace pushed them all the way. Arsenal up to third….pretty solid, steady, consistent, they’re on a good run, I think they’ll finish 3rd (Savage), they’ll finish in the top 4 (Shearer)”

    Sorry, unless I’m missing something, the Ozil goal accepted, I can’t really see anything to complain about.

  68. nicky

    “Are we at last beginning to get a fair crack of the whip?”

    Good question.

    First of all I have to say, making any real judgement on this is of course difficult, given that my entire take on this is from what I see on the TV. Obviously a lot of our matches are shown in there entirety, but others, as yesterday, I am relying on highlights, which means making a definitive conclusion very difficult.

    But all in all I must agree that we do seem to be getting a fairer crack of the whip. By that, what I mean is, I’ve seen a lot more of the 50 50, I’ve seen them given, I’ve seen them not given, Marginal offside type calls, go our way.

    Much more, even than last year.

    This seems to be Born out by the amount of Penalties we’ve been awarded this year and the few we’ve conceded.

    The only statistic that is remaining firmly in the ‘difficult to explain’ arena is the high number of cards we get for a very low overall foul count. But that aside, I agree, we do indeed seem to be getting a fairer crack of the whip, and look at the difference it makes.

    At City we got a penalty I’m convinced we wouldn’t of got last year and we win.

    Yesterday, a marginal penalty and off side that both went our way, one correctly, one incorrectly, and guess what, we won.

    And I believe this is the point a lot of us here on Untold have been making.

    When you get a ‘fair’ crack of the whip (In the crudest terms that means 50% of the 50 50’s going your way) you start to win those tight games. you start to win those games when you perhaps didn’t deserve to.

    And that’s what we’ve been seeing.

    And that’s all we’ve been asking for.

    A fair crack of the whip, as opposed to the obvious, mind numbing, anti Arsenal bias that we’ve been enduring for far too long now.

    Nicky, lets hope what we are seeing, or at least think we are seeing, is a seed change for a brighter refereeing future and not just a blip, an aberration, that once realised will be corrected big style, perhaps starting at Old Trafford on the 9th of March.

    Fingers crossed.

  69. Jambug
    Just to clarify a little, I complained twice about the motd on two bases; one was about how they accepted that Chelsea had been hard done by (which was true) and almost offered a minute by minute analysis of the incidents yet they would simply cut those incidents out if it was us concerned. We have received many career threatening tackles which they didn’t even deem worth repeating, and sanchez had a ball blocked by a Leicester player in the box just like in the Chelsea match but they never said should it be a penalty or not like they did Chelsea’s. Where’s the consistency? Is it only because it’s Mourinho affected that it’s now important to analyse bad decisions? And they did come across, at least to me, as trying to push the agenda that Mourinho is championing the cause against bad refereeing by himself.

    My second complaint about the motd was basically the idea of the hugely disproportionate weighting of the
    two halves yesterday and obviously the editing out of Ozil’s goal. I didn’t watch the match yesterday as I was driving home for the entirety of the match, and was so looking forward to seeing the highlights and see if it was a goal as reported or not. And they didn’t even show it! Up to now I still have no idea if it was a goal or not, clearly they’re failing to do their job properly if they do that. And if they could replay a penalty shout from different angles why can’t they show a genuine goal that’s chalked off. As you point out, they did ok with regards to the other calls in the game, and I also accepted that. I know you’re the biggest critic of those in the media and with justification, and you’re just trying to give them a little bit of credit as they may have been due a little here, fair enough as I agree too. But imagine if that last minute attempt by palace had gone in, the significance of Ozil’s goal would have been much more important. So yes, you’re quite right in saying there wasn’t a lot to complain about, but the little that there was is quite significant in my view. I know we’re agreeing in the way we saw the highlights, just that I’m choosing to make more noise about the little ‘oversights’ on their part. Until these guys start performing as well as they can then it’s going to be difficult not to criticise them. I also found their relegating our highlights to almost the end of the program as some kind of bias, given this was a fight for top four spot versus potential relegation candidates, as well as it being a derby. But I know this will be difficult to prove but if one looks at the slot this was given and then the idea to focus mostly on palace attacks when you eventually show the match I may have a point. Hey, I know I’m preaching to the converted with regards to media bias, jambug 🙂

  70. AL

    Yep. I agree entirely about the Chelsea analysis.

    There is no way they would, or have, ever supported us after events such as those at at Stamford Bridge yesterday.

    As for our game, you are right to point out that the omission of Ozils disallowed goal is particularly poor. If that isn’t a point of interest and debate for a ‘highlights’ package then I don’t know what is?

    So perhaps in retrospect I am being a bit too kind.

    Maybe this is the new me, or maybe not 🙂

  71. Arsenal played well, scored a few, 2 were given and the rest lost to PGMO history. It doesn’t matter who the PGMO official is. They are cheats & corrupt the Game.

    When an Arsenal player gets booked I question it, because similar fouls on Arsenal players do not get cards. Remember Cazorla with his stud torn shirt & bleeding scars. The time for a change of supplier of match officials has passed. This supplier is not competent.

    Far too many tackles from behind are ignored. The taps to the heel & ankle are extremely painful & dangerous. The resultant muscle injuries to the calf & thigh are then blamed on training.

  72. We can all analyse ad nauseum. 3 points are 3 points. In the book and the Table. All that matters.

  73. Crystal Palace hit the woodwork: lucky Arsenal
    Arsenal hit the woodwork (header Özil): …. no mention

  74. Al

    “As for our game, you are right to point out that the omission of Ozils disallowed goal is particularly poor. If that isn’t a point of interest and debate for a ‘highlights’ package then I don’t know what is?”

    Just watched the highlights on Arsenal TV and they don’t show the disallowed Ozil goal on there either.

    Makes it difficult, and a tad hypercritical, to criticise MOTD when our own TV channel feels fit not to show it !!

    Been subscribing to Arsenal TV for quite a while now and definitely think there is room for improvement, both in the co commentator and highlights department.

  75. I wonder why the disallowed goal wasnt on Arsenal player? Shame Sanchez didnt slot his best chance home, it would have been a classic, great play from Özil.
    Lets face it, the Smeagles Nest is a weird place to play, small cramped, everygame we play there seems to be a scrap but who cares if we grab ze points.Onward we march!

  76. Kenneth Widmerpool

    It was a bit strange that it wasn’t shown in the highlights package, but it is obviously in the replay of the entire match, that is also available. So I took a look, and having done so realise why perhaps it wasn’t shown.

    Yes, he was well on side, but the whistle had gone and most players had stopped before Ozil put it away.

    It would be a stretch to even class it as a ‘disallowed’ goal to be fair, but it was still a poor decision against us and in the spirit of fair play and balance, at least MOTD should of shown it. But they never really like to show Arsenal ever being sinned against do they.

    On to my other point earlier about the co commentator, the first thing he did was moan about Ozil being off side and for ‘Not looking along the line’. He then of course had to back track as Ozil was at least a yard on.

    But that’s the problem with this guy, Martin Hayes it is, for an Arsenal guy on Arsenals own TV channel he’s always quick to find fault whenever he can.

    I don’t know if it’s me, but much like Robson used to be, (though not as bad) he always looks to moan before he looks to praise.

    Ok I do want objectivity, but I wouldn’t expect him to be so negative at every opportunity. If we can’t get at least a bit excessive positivity or pro Arsenal bias on our own TV channel where the hell can we get it?

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