Arsenal vs Crystal Palace match report

A first goalless draw at the Emirates for more than 4 years saw Arsenal fail to take advantage as they laboured to a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace.

It was the visiting side who might have felt they deserved to take the lead in the first half, with James Tomkins’ effort crashing back off the crossbar and Christian Benteke forcing a save from Bernd Leno.

Chances were few and far between in the second half, with Alexandre Lacazette arguably having the best chance of the half when his shot was played into the side netting.

The result sees neither team change from their pre match position, though Arsenal’s mini winning streak came to a rather disappointing end.

The hosts were forced into a couple of changes in the squad, with Maitland-Niles coming in for Kieran Tierney and Luiz for Pablo Mari, with Thomas Partey returning to the bench.

Both teams started the match in a cagey fashion, with the best chances coming from small mistakes and free kicks. The best chance of the opening quarter-hour came from a questionable free kick awarded to Zaha, which Eze blasted over from about 25 yards out.

Aubameyang and Saka both put shots straight at Vicente Guaita before both teams traded chances back and forth – Benteke’s shot went far over the crossbar after good work from the visitors, but the hosts felt they should have had a penalty at the start of that move when the Arsenal captain went down after a light tap on the shoulder.

The best chance of the half came from another Palace free kick – this one less soft, Eze’s free kick met by the head of James Tomkins whose close range header crashed back off the crossbar. Benteke had another chance before the end of the half – a powerful header forcing a good save from the outstretched Leno.

The hosts started the second half in blistering fashion – forcing Palace backwards before Guaita was forced to punch a cross away from Lacazette’s head and Bellerin forced the rebound wide.

In truth, there was very little to talk about before the introduction of Arsenal’s club-record signing, a change which forced Saka back to left-back. And a few minutes later, there was a welcome return for Thomas Partey.

In truth, there was very little else to write about all game. Pepe flashed a shot over the bar, and both teams wasted counter-attacking threats as the game dribbled out to a bore draw.

The result sees both teams remain in the same positions, having played a game more than all the other teams above them. Halfway through this most bizarre of seasons and Arsenal are 12 points off the leaders and 8 off the Champions League spots – Palace only being a point further back – but with all the teams from 10th upwards yet to play their 18th fixture.

Man of the match: No one. Absolutely no one deserved it.

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Luiz, Holding, Maitland-Niles (Pepe 64′), Xhaka, Ceballos (Partey 70′), Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Lacazette (Nketiah 81′)

Subs: Runarsson, Gabriel, Cedric, Chambers, Willock, Willian

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Tomkins, Kouyate, Mitchell, Townsend, Milijovevic (McCarthy 89′), McArthur, Eze, Benteke (Ayew 81′)

Subs: Butland, Dann, Cahill, Clyne, Van Aanholt, Riedewald, Batshuayi

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