Monday, March 1

Arsenal held by Palace

Arsenal’s impressive recent revival in the Premier League was tested by Crystal Palace. Their attack failed to ignite in a dismal 0-0 draw at the Emirates on Thursday.

Mikel Arteta’s side was bidding for a fourth consecutive league victory. But could find no way through an obdurate Palace that would feel like they might have emerged with a win if anything.

In the first half in which defender James Tomkins headed against the crossbar and Christian Benteke went close. Palace was well worth their point and were the better side. The second half was dominated by Arsenal. Early on, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang threatened Arsenal with a dipping effort that was fumbled by Guaita. But with Eberechi Eze impressive, Palace provided more attacking hazards.

Benteke was released on target by Eze, but his shot was tame and it was Eze’s free-kick that Tomkins headed against the crossbar. After connecting with a superb Tyrick Mitchell header, Benteke also forced a flying save from Bernd Leno. With Kieran Tierney wounded by Arsenal’s in-form left-back, the hosts were much too predictable. And Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were left to feed on crumbs.

Lacazette shot one chance into the side-netting, but it was a laborious showing by Arteta’s side all in all. Arsenal remains in the 11th spot in the standings with 24 points from 18 games with Palace two places lower with 23 points.

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