Report: Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace (inc highlights)

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Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Ozil, Podolski, Giroud

Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Rosicky, Zelalem, Gnabry, Bendtner

Arsenal moved back to the top of the Premier League after a  2-0 win against Crystal Palace at the Emirates this afternoon.

Arsene Wenger made two changes to the team which drew with Southampton in midweek. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced the suspended Mathieu Flamini in midfield, while Lukas Podolski came in for Serge Gnabry.

With Oxlade-Chamberlain in central midfield, the Gunners started brightly, dominating possession in the early stages. Mesut Ozil brilliantly found Nacho Monreal with a pass over the top of the Palace defence, but Speroni came out well to block from close range.

Santi Cazorla curled a 30 yard free kick over the bar before former Arsenal man Marouane Chamakh found space in the box having ghosted pass Koscielny but his touch was heavy, allowing Szczesny to claim. The Moroccan turned Kos again a few moments later but his pass was too heavy.

Arsenal were finding it tough to break down a Palace side set up to get men behind the ball when not in possession, a series of one-touch flicks to try and find space in their box came to nothing. There might have been a penalty for us when Jedinak clearly held Giroud from a corner but the referee waved play on.

Laurent Koscielny almost broke the deadlock in the 34th minute after Giroud had been fouled 35 yards from goal. Ozil clipped in the free kick, the Frenchman flicked a back header, but Speroni saved at the near post. A similar set-piece saw Mertesacker head at goal, but this one went straight into the keeper’s arms.

There was to be no first half breakthrough for Arsene Wenger’s men though, and the teams went in level at the break.

Arsenal needed an early second half goal and that’s exactly what they got. Just 2 minutes after the half kicked off Santi Cazorla picked up the ball on the right hand side, came inside, dinked a beautiful pass over the Palace defence for Oxlade-Chamberlain and his delicate finish over the keeper made it 1-0.

It was the England man’s first goal in over a year, but the visitors could have equalised almost straight away. Palace broke down the right hand side, a cross deflected to Jerome at the back post. He headed it down but Szczesny made a brilliant save, stopping it from close range with his legs.

Lukas Podolski then shot wide after clever Arsenal interplay and more fine work from Cazorla, but there were signs of Palace getting back into it. Not out of their own fine play, but from moments of sloppiness by the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger reacted by bringing on Tomas Rosicky for Lukas Podolski, and moments later the Gunners were further ahead. Oxlade-Chamberlain  back-flicked a pass to Giroud, took the return from the Frenchman, drove into the box and fired it home despite Speroni getting a touch. 2-0.

Arsenal went into keep ball after that, dominating possession and not letting Palace near the ball. The sign of a mature, confident team. Palace brought on Dwight Gayle for Marouane Chamakh while Bendtner and Gibbs replaced Ozil and Giroud.

There was a late worry when Mikel Arteta seemed to pick up a knock and hobbled his way through the rest of the game. With midfield options in short supply it’ll be a worry with our upcoming schedule. And those worries were exacerbated when man of the match Oxlade-Chamberlain appeared to hurt his calf, but it could have been just cramp.

In the end though, three points were the most important, and Arsenal now await tomorrow night’s clash between Man City and Chelsea to see if they remain top of the table ahead of the trip to Anfield.

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UnusualArse

Top of the league!!!

DöubleDöubleDöuble

Our defence is too leaky, they said.

Our squad is too thin, they said.

We’ll struggle to even make the top four, they said.

‘They’ talk bollocks, I say.

Rufusstan

Don’t forget

We are screwed because we didn’t spend 37 million quid on a 20 year old attacking midfielder

Arsenal Till I die

*injured 20 year old attacking midfielder

Podolski Sklep

After seeing the game two things jump out at me straight away: First, the secret of our success (in an attacking capacity) lies in the fact that whenever we’ve needed a man to step up and share the burden, we’ve found one, even where we wouldn’t necessarily expect it. Whether it’s Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere, Rosicky or even Super Nik Bendtner, we’ve managed to wrangle crucial goals where it really matters. It’s very telling that we’ve moved from massive inconsistency, featuring eye-popping score lines, nonstop action and lurid defeats to slower-paced but ultra controlled 1-0’s, 2-0’s etc. In terms of reliance… Read more »

Rich

Whoever thumbed down the above shouldn’t load up this type of page so quickly to read the article; if they even read it.

To re-iterate – top of the leage

Rufusstan

Spurs fan (or united fan?) red-clicking through the tears

Theoptimist

Ha ha I always think that. Probably crying and wanking too.

Bergkamp fan

Ox was Oxcellent today. 😛

Heroldgoon

Who knew Chamakh would be the one to make Koscienly look ordinarily human. Hehehe props to him for a good first half then again props to him for dissapearing in the second.

Dracula

Great result. Now lets hope Moureen remembers his fifteenth century tactics to get a draw at shitty tomorrow

killthecockerel

Still top of the league.

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

Ox and Santi co MoM for me.

Sometimes I wish that there would be a little bit more rawness about how we play. Not every goal has to be perfect, set up by intricate passing.

Tony Pulis is still an odious, putrid cunt trying to park a fucking horse.

ckmma

I know what you mean, I wish in games like this we played a bit more direct, dare I say route 1… Just take 2-3 passes from the back to a winger get beyond the fullback and pour into the box. Probably lose the ball more, but we would create more chances and much more exciting, but hey, winning is more fun I suppose.

Captain's Armband

Speaking as an Australian, and knowing full well the type of player Jedinak is, Pulis would have been pulling himself silly at training when he saw the way Mile puts it about.

thatleftfootedprince

anybody else noticed our attack+domination when Rozza came on!

Captain's Armband

See my comment on that below. Rosser’s cameo was outstanding.

Rufusstan

But….But….But… Arsenal are in Crisis because all of the Midfield is injured or suspended [/Tabloid off]

Heroldgoon

And if poldi wants to be starting more matches than he should really stake a claim when given the chance. i expected better today from him.

deano

So Heroldgoon you expect him to score every game he plays. Be realistic I thought he did alright it’s not easy to plough though ten men In the final third of the pitch.

It always feels good when we beat that negative physical prick Pulis COYG!!!!

Dick Swiveller

Yeah, plus Poldi would be a much more potent weapon on the counter when teams actually attack us, games against teams like Palace suit the Ox and don’t suit Podolski but the squad depth means we can accommodate them both when we need to, which is nice.

Gooneron

Question: What does the Ox say?

Ox: Top of the league

Heroldgoon

You have taken our ramsey, our Wilshere, our Flamini but you will never take our ox. Our ox in the boxxxxxxx!!!

BenGunner

The highest i’ve seen one of your comments rated in a long while

Bendtner's hair band

The Ox is clinical!

Let the Feb-March tests begin! COYG

Thomas

A victory for sideburns! Gotta love The OX!

Captain's Armband

We’ll have to canvas the opinion of The Arsenal Gent on that one….

“Butler, fetch my calipers! Oxlade – Chamberlain is sporting the results of unfinished business at the barber!”

the ghost of LANS

oxlade for lans of the season

Biishopp

Hope Arteta is ok, he seemed to be limping during the closing stages of the match

Rufusstan

Decent result. Never looked like losing which is what you want to see VS a side like Palace.

Only worry was seeing the OX looking tired at the end; then again he probably is up past his bedtime so its expected 🙂

Yoyo Sanogoals

Ox’s man of match performance just makes me question the Kallstrom purchase even more.

Captain's Armband

A few words on Rosicky.

In twenty minutes, he takes the game by the scruff of the neck, ups the tempo, starts the move for Ox’s second, and still finds time to test his nose repair against the Ox’s bonce as well.

I suspect he has some kind of Wolverine adamantium endo-skeletal system going on.

Whatever it is, it works.

Bombay_Gooner

Perhaps……The curious case of Thomas Rosicky

The ghost of Peter Storey

I think that when the season is over Rosser might get more than a few votes for our player of the year. Every time he comes on he adds pace to our games and pushes us over the line.

The ghost of Peter Storey

Not sure about “Rosser”. Maybe Rocky II?

Rufusstan

When they finally found a guy to fix his hamstring, instead of surgery, it was just a skinny bloke in a suit who reversed the polarity of his Neutron flow.

thw14

Oxxxcccxxxxxxxx!!!

Wilshere and him in midfield is a prospect and a half.

what price a miraculous recovery for Kallsteom?

No name

The ‘Ox’ takes Arsenal back ‘Up’… Happy times are here again!

Fahim Hussain

Been battling sleep here in Malaysia. Fuck it, worth every blinking second. WE LOVE YOU ARSENAL, WE DO! COYG!

Jack

Brilliant from the Ox. Clinical display and 3 points was just what the doctor ordered. Can’t wait for the next month now, going to be very exciting!

Oh yes

Untether the Ox!

Rambö

Absolutely LOVED the second goal from the Ox! MotM without doubt!

Mick

Up there with Jack’s wonder goal for goal of the season for us so far, for me. The angle on his initial back pass was fantastic, then the touches once he received it back. Beautiful! The first was v. solid too!

Eiregun

Oxcellent 😉

Sanjeev

2-0 to the Arsenal! Probably can’t win all of these next few, but hopefully with this defense, we won’t lose any. Well done, Ox!

Highbury

Great gesture that we applauded chamakh when he was substituted. Thought he didn’t have a bad game and respect to a former gunner. Things like that is why we have the classiest fans in the world.

Captain's Armband

Most of them were laughing as they clapped, but you’re right, at least they did it!

Right. I’m just gonna pull you up on that one. Cardiff city fans are by far the most classiest

Previgo

The ox is back!

Nick

Fuck off Pulis!!..and thank you for the 3 points..all that is needed is a draw tomorrow, full of red cards and injuries and cunts on both sides to fuck themselves..

Rufusstan

Its the traditional 3-3 draw with 5 red cards, and handbags in the tunnel that causes the FA to fine both teams and dock both 3 points for failing to control their players.

Captain's Armband

I agree with the sentiment, but i don’t think either of them will be punished a great deal.

As they’re both rolling in an unlimited but very questionable source of cash, the Premier League are doing everything they can to keep both of them sweet.

Let’s be honest, if the Premier League could award each of those two points for a draw when they play each other then they’d do it.

Rufusstan

I know, but someone should point to the Wembley debt and suggest a sliding scale of fines based on resources; say £300 million each? 🙂

godonner

You cant beat a bit of oxo on a Sunday

Maniac

Ox’s second goal today was absolutely spectacular. His quick pass and spin, picking out Giroud perfectly even with his back turned, was reminiscent of the world class passing of Iniesta. Then the run that followed, taking on defenders before slotting it into the net was truly Messi-esque. Fantastic performance from him today, and just his first start back from injury!

vystina

Giroud reminds me a bit of bambi, when he gets a run going he looks majestic but far too it seems he isn’t in control over his own legs.

ron1nniro

Great game. Some great performances from some of the lads. Now, if only $hitty could lose tomorrow.

Topgunner89

What an awesome game. Even a parked bus can’t handle being hit by the Ox!

Ethan

Found it beautifully ironic when Poldi made a hard tackle on Ward and Pulis reacted as if his mother had been shot. But Podolski isn’t that type of player….

zizou

Dear Ox

gooner odst

This is a sort of game that man $hitty would win by 4 while conceding 2. Ox played a blinder after a bizzare transfer saga passed by, really thats all we need. Total domination over Palace while making it hard for ourselves until late…

typical Arsenal eh? Manure wish they they were in our position.

Goonertom

Mertesacker was absolutely brilliant today, it wont be noticed as much obviously because of other good performances but he really did very well in every situation.

David

Rosicky almost killed the Ox with that melon of his!

Great game by all, can’t think of any players who weren’t good today. We controlled the match very well and never panicked.

DR

Ox was just class in both the goals. Another clean sheet. Another 2-0. Another day at the top.

VegasGooner

Nowadays everybody wanna talk
Like they got something to say
But nothing comes out when they move their lips
Just a bunch of gibberish
Well muthaf*** that
‘Cause they forgot about Ox

Fatgooner

Oxcellent!

Arsenal4Life

Not everything came off for Chambo today, but he was always positive, looking to drive the team forward and was rewarded. Few words for Mesut: This guy is an enigma. Plays a phenomenal second half in our previous game and then a bleak game today. Made one run and instantly created a chance and then decides to pass the ball into crowd while on the edge of the six yard box while in a shooting position. In my opinion there’s a difference between beeing unselfish and plainly stupid. Shoot man, shoot! Nobody is going to kill you if you have… Read more »

Arsenal Till I die

I am surprised how every match Ozil’s influence over the game goes unnoticed. Today he created 3 goal scoring opportunities and completed 43 (out of 49) passes in the attacking third and most of them were played forwards.

Arsenal4Life

I’m not bashing him, I just think if he played the way Alex played today, positive and brave, he would produce so much more. And lets leave stats aside for a moment, and answer me why did he sprint like really hard only once during the game? Why didn’t he shoot six yards out? Why was he unhappy on the bench ? Because he can do better and he knows it. I’m not looking for miracles from him, just do the simple thing, like Aaron has been this season. Just want to see him happy.

deano

Got to say Mesut is really upsetting me I can’t believe he hasn’t got his staff out chanted a few powerful words and parted the Emirates yet. Very disappointing!!

Arsenal4Life

Mate, if one ball over the top for Monreal and one curled free kick is phenomenal and world class for you then we just have different standards. For me, his second half vs Southampton was top class, today he was OK but thats it.

Desert Fox

Guessing he was being sarcastic…

kobst

arsenal4life: Hey Mesut. Why don’t you run around more? You really should run around more. And do the simple shit man. Shooting and that kind of stuff. Just be like Ramsey bro. You’ll be a better player. And happier too!!

Mesut Ozil: Thanks. You’re a moron.

Arsenal4Life

Calling me names, and imaging you can read his mind tells a lot about your intelligence and age. All just because I think that a £42.5M man could do a lot better if he tried a little harder. Brilliant.

Tom Thumb

LANS

There was a young man from Southhampton,
His sidies were hairier than Buju Banton’s.
He saw the Lich King.
Said, “I’ll cut in from the wing.”
Then he shoved the ball up Pulis’ hole.

Ian

Lovely to see the Ox filling in for the rambo/wilshire goalscoring machine, our strength in depth in the midfield is mind blowing.

Chris Byrne

On a negative note, we need to release the ball quicker and not be complacent at 1-0! More shots on goal as well; too much pretty football for me. But I’m glad we’ve got the ox, because he’s more direct than some of our other players totl! A draw would be good tomorrow!

Olatunde Lagos Gooner

Ox the Real Deal. And of course still Top of the League! Nothing sounds better!

Whose singing Arsenal we are on our way with me#we on our way Coyg#

Ghana Gunner

After every match day, it becomes obvious Arsenal will win the league this season. Avery good defence, a creative attack, and a very good manager, plus excellent fans. Oh To Be Gooner! Happy days #ArsenalTopOfTheLeague

monkiebeznes

Nice win! Next game will ask Arsenal a few questions Crystal Palace could not..

Neil

Injury update? Ox and Arteta?

Greg

Still have the draxler song from the other piece in my head. Arseblog I take my hat off to you, genius!

omo aye

vegasgooner, keep that slim shady rhyme popping

Penis

THE WOLVERINE

Sujan

Why pay 40 million on one injured winger when we have the best 20 year old winger/midfielder

Brazilian Gooner

Did I already say that Wenger is a fucking genius?

DOOL MOGADISHU GOONER

Oh! Thank’s for the Ox i believe we’ll beat Looserpool at Anasfield good for Uuuuuus

Notice:

Wilshere in his suit with a coat on sitting on the bench, not up in a nice warm suite. I fucking love this team