Report: Arsenal 0-0 Crystal Palace

121

Result: Arsenal 0-0 Crystal Palace
Competition: 
Premier League
Date: 
14 January 2020
Venue: 
Emirates Stadium

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Luiz, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Ceballos, Saka, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Subs: Runarsson, Gabriel, Cedric, Chambers, Willock, Partey, Willian, Pepe, Nketiah



Arsenal failed to beat Crystal Palace for the fifth game in a row as Roy Hodgson’s men dug out a 0-0 draw at the Emirates. 

Off the back of four consecutive wins, the Gunners were hoping to continue their recent momentum but struggled to create any chances of note on a night when the game broke down in the final third for both sides.

Pre-game

Kieran Tierney and Pablo Mari were notable absentees from the squad when the teams were announced. It was soon revealed that both were struggling with tight calf muscles following Saturday’s 120-minute marathon with Newcastle United. David Luiz and Ainsley Maitland-Niles came in alongside Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin to make a very right-footed defensive unit. After scoring off the bench on Saturday, Emile Smith Rowe was restored to the starting lineup in the number 10 position. The youngster had Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos backing him up in midfield while Bukayo Saka, Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started in attack. Gabriel and Thomas Partey both came back into the fold with places on the bench.

First Half

Arsenal had lots of the ball in the opening 10 minutes and seemed determined to move the ball quickly. For a short while, it looked promising as we worked openings on the flanks, but our delivery around the edge of the box lacked quality. Maitland-Niles who roamed the left flank was particularly profligate on the ball and the virus quickly spread to his teammates.

For the most part, Ceballos and Xhaka were tidy in possession but as Palace’s willing runners – Townsend, Eze and Zaha – grew in confidence, they found themselves constantly looking over their shoulder when Arsenal moves broke down. With channels to Smith Rowe and Lacazette cut off that started to happen a lot and the complexion of the game changed quickly.

Both sides resorted to shots from distance to try and break the stalemate. Townsend blazed over and Eze hit a free-kick into the terraces while Auba stung Guaita’s palms and Saka forced the Spaniard to get down low.

The game opened up as Palace became more adventurous but our frustrations in the final third continued. At one point Emile Smith Rowe found himself in a great position down the inside right channel only for Bellerin to steal the ball off Lacazette’s toes when the Frenchman was about to pull the trigger.

At the other end, our defence looked increasingly nervous. Xhaka produced a great block to deny Zaha who’d made inroads into the box thanks to a neat interchange with Benteke. The Belgian then fluffed two efforts in quick succession before a third – a header from a Mitchell cross – forced Leno into a fine save at full-stretch. In between, Tomkins had hit the bar with a header from an Eze free-kick.

As the whistle went for the break, Mikel Arteta had a stern look on his face.

Second Half

The Gunners were quick out of the traps again. Auba flashed a dangerous ball towards Lacazette and when Guaita’s punch cleared the ball to Bellerin he was quick to try his luck. His shot whizzed just wide. 

More dangerous crosses peppered the box from Saka and Luiz but Palace stood firm. Another 15 minutes of probing played out, but aside from a Maitland-Niles curler, shots on goal were few and far between. That proved to be the England international’s final meaningful moment, he was replaced by Pepe meaning Saka went to left-back. 

The more we pushed forward, the more we looked susceptible to the counter-attack. A desperate sliding clearance by Xhaka stopped a Zaha ball reaching Benteke. From the resulting corner, McArthur nearly diverted a Benteke header past Leno. It was a let off. 

A tiring Ceballos was replaced by Partey, on for his first appearance in six weeks, with 20 minutes remaining but the clock ticked down without much change in momentum. If anything Palace looked hungrier for the win. We resorted to hopeful long balls in Lacazette’s direction as they boxed us in. The Frenchman couldn’t do much with that type of service so Nketiah was sent on instead. 

Arteta grew so frustrated on the touchline that at one point he tackled Townsend as the ball went out for a throw. The two exchanged angry glares. His mood wasn’t helped by the sight of Pepe lashing over in the closing stages. Deep into stoppage time, Saka played a teasing free-kick into the box but Palace escaped and immediately had us on the back foot. Bellerin conceded a corner which Luiz cleared.

It wasn’t the performance or the result we were hoping for, but it does stretch the unbeaten run to five games and we’ve gained another clean sheet. On a night of few positives, that’s at least something.

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TOGooner

Not good enough

Johnny 4 Hats

Agreed. But I think we win that with a fully fit Partey and Tierney. Not a great excuse I know.

I feel like we just don’t really press unless Martinelli is on the field. Very little urgency there. We probably could’ve played another 45mins and still not scored.

Sammy Nelsons Arse

I disagree I reckon another 45 minutes and one of the defenders would have cracked and put the ball past Bernie, AMN had a great chance in the first half.

Biggles

That’s why MA needs to concentrate on the “now” not waste time thinking about the “maybe” of a top four finish as was reported recently. This team has a long way to go, and a lot of ground to catch up before we can consider that possibility.

Johnny 4 Hats

This is the Arsenal way and I stick to it.

Win – Champions!
Lose – Relegation
Draw – Flip a coin. Heads for champions and tails for relegation

Mick Malthouse

Agreed. So glad we didn’t buy Saha though – only positive tonight.

Alex

Decent for Fulham, but not sure he’s the one to carry our goal scoring hopes regretfully

Andy

Yes fortunately we got Pepe.

Martin

Zaha and yes I agree. Diving cheat.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

We have enough injury prone players. Adding another that retired 10 years ago wouldn’t have been wise

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

To be fair, I wasn’t expecting much different after seeing that lineup. I’m just surprised that they kept a clean sheet

Jack

Infuriating how many times we were near the right hand corner flag and instead of crossing it into the box someone would lash it all the way back to Holding.

goongot

not someone, it was bellerin. Plays so safe, gets all his body shape wrong and throws like a pussy. I remember an throw to an holding was so flighted it almost never came to holding.

AFL

Bellerin fans are same like Ozil fans, they will not neither appreciate nor accept any negative comment on Bellerin even when he was obviously the worst player on the pitch tonight. There are many aspects of his game in general that are like a pussy. He’s a real poster boy but not for the football posters.

Homer

Do you and goongot feel like big strong men now, calling Bellerin that?

I mean, you sure do look like big strong macho men.

[thats sarcasm; you don’t. you look like homophobic twats, which you may in fact not be. but its how you look now. just saying.]

afl

I was not calling bellerin anything but being an iliterate twat blindly guided by devotion it is no wonder you are unable to read what it is writen. You just started with personal insults with not much as even a try of argumenting the oposite of what has been writen. That actualy just confirms my statement that Bellerin fans are just like Ozil fans. Unfortunately the owner of this site being Bellerin fan I don’t expect that there ever will be a serious article on Bellerins actual football qualities and its benefits for an Arsenal Football Club. I love Arsenal… Read more »

Maniac

Xhaka and now unfortunately Bellerin have become masters of the dead-end pass that kills the move. At one point Partey played it through to Bellerin only to receive it back half a second later much to his, and the rest of the team’s, surprise. I know we can’t lose the ball left, right and centre, but some of these passes need to be a bit more incisive.

A Different George

I will be interested to see the various “by the numbers” and “by the visuals” stats to back you up. I am quite sure that Bellerin was the best attacking player we had, certainly in the first half, but we’ll see.

Goo-nerd

They were all bunched up on the right hand side. What was ESR doing out there? Shoulda been central stitching the play together.

baz00r

Was thinking the same thing. ESR should have been sitting in the pocket, instead he just kept drifting out wide which meant there was nobody on the edge of the box to thread a ball through.

Jeri

There was no space for him in the middle of the park

Maniac

I know that Palace were playing complete park the bus football, but that was simply not good enough from us. I don’t know why, but we struggle so badly with the final ball; the players just look scared to play an incisive pass. Instead of playing that through ball from our wingers or midfielders, we have our CBs launching it the length of the pitch. Need to do better.

Tomaury Bischfeld

I think we suffered minus Tierney and AMN didn’t look sharp. Agree about the final pass – Xhaka was great defensively but I find his play further forward is too slow against a low block. Passage to ESR was blocked by their effective DMs so we needed more ingenuity and spark from elsewhere, like CM – I think our current players struggle to offer that.

GraeB

Sort of game we’d have lost earlier this season and indeed, over the last few years. I’m just worried the same will happen Monday and confidence is shot again.

Alex

Ah, the final pass………..

Zenithreptile

That was wank really. Pretty disappointing substitutions. You wait your whole week during the most boring time known to man and that’s what we get.

Sean

Watching us revert straight back to disjointed, uncreative rubbish and making a team consisting of Joel Ward, Andros Townsend, James McCarthur and Chris Tomkins look like a peak Mourinho side hasn’t been the best use of my evening. 

Sean

I don’t even know the fucker’s name. Just threw Chris Tomkins out there. Turns out he’s actually called James.

Safe Hands

We’ll probably sign him for £40 million . Chris Tompkins that is

Bergkamp2Wright

It would seem the few decent performances lately were outliers

atom

We really missed Tiernney – he bring so much offensively as well as defensively. Great to see Partey back -he’ll be key for us moving forward. I understand a lot of people love AMN but he just can’t play as an outright fullback IMO. Best to either give him some midfield opportunities or cash in. Disappointing as well that it sounds like Balgoun has already agreed to join RB.

Johnny 4 Hats

Nah, Ainsley just loves Arsenal so much he’s keeping himself out of the January transfer window.

Krumphax

A shocking performance at LB. It was just not something like rust or something like that. The corner backpass was disastrious. It was again very flat with some good ideas but bad execution. It was not as bad as pre Christmas, but than again a standard flat.

Sammy Nelsons Arse

If it was the FA Cup we would have done them in extra time we could have brought on … bollocks maybe not.

Paul Roberts

A shame we didn’t win, Partey is a class act, I am looking forward to him playing 90 mins. COYG!

Old Bloke.

Palace defended very well and it was one of those games where it just didn’t happen for us. Missed Tierney.

Chuffy

People will rightly point to a lack of Tierney, but we played too slowly. Luiz had about 10 minutes of possession himself because he takes so long to do anything with the ball. It’s like he’s looking for the hollywood ball all the time. Nothing worked up front either, Saka, ESR and Laca were pretty poor, as was Auba. Thought Ceballos and Xhaka were good in the first half, but then meh in the second. Shite result.

GraeB

I agree on Luiz being slow on ball and Hollywood balls. Also when he plays Holding looks less confident and gives Luiz the ball too much.

Sammy Nelsons Arse

Good shout we were way too slow

Leblanche

I have to agree with you regarding Luiz. Our whole philosophy is to build from the back and Luiz just completely takes out any sort of momentum. It’s all very well that he points and shouts telling people where to go, but if you hold on to the ball for so long, your team-mates aren’t going to bother. It’s why we look better with Mari and Holding. They don’t piss about with the ball, they do what a centre-back needs to do with ball and offload quickly and simply. Exactly the same against Newcastle.

Torterrier

I’ve never been a fan of his but Xhaka was by far the best player on the pitch tonight. Really poor game, the amount of times Luiz wasted it in a good position I don’t know but I’m looking forward to his contract expiring.

Chippy Brady

I agree 100% man. Xhaka for all his faults at least tries and looks like he cares. I yearn for a day that there is no more Chelsea rejects at our great club.

PGunner

Dross

GraeB

We didn’t want to break the latest guidelines on goal celebrations🥴

ausDrexler

I must admit I was excited about a 7am start to the game… respectable hour to be getting out of bed. Should of slept in a bit more.

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 Mate I’m sorry the lads ruined your morning

Public Elneny

Cowardly, sideways, walking paced rubbish

Luiz, Bellerin, Xhaka and Pepe the worst offenders. Luiz especially took an absolute aaaaaage just to do nothing. Fuck off

AMN must have woke up 2 mins before kick off, couldn’t even complete his sideways and backward passes

Justno

You have no clue do you? Pepe was on and at least tried he was no worse than Saka or Auba. Xhaka on the other hand was one of the few players who actually tried to get the ball forward and defensively made some brilliant stops.

Public Elneny

If that was Pepe trying his hardest… He was far worse than Saka and Auba. Did he make any contribution at all in his 30 minutes? Apart from that one shot that sailed over from distance after he took a shit touch when Guaita punched to him. Just constant woeful first touches followed by a nothing pass just to try to rescue possession Saka, Laca and ESR weren’t great either but didn’t feel right singling them out after recent games. And did at least show for the ball and manage to control it sometimes Auba struggled to get on the… Read more »

HenryKamp

Xhaka was good today. He made some brilliant tackles. Specially the one Zaha inside the box.

Public Elneny

Ok maybe a little harsh to single out Xhaka. He was good defensively, but we got just as little from him with the ball as we usually do. Such a limiting factor

Marco

Absolute top draw post.The thumb downs are from clueless retards.

Public Elneny

Come on, don’t use that word

You inevitably get more thumbs down than not if you’re negative about anyone other than Willian, it doesn’t matter. Still stand by it

Frederick

Cowardly? Get a grip mate

Kostas

Has anyone noticed that Artetas subs are destroying our tempo?

Pepe for AMN and even Thomas for Ceballos. It seems like they have planned it but players look confused.

Justno

In my opinion only 3 players performed well…. Ceballos, Xhaka and Leno(did what he had to) the rest of them….

Bergkamp2Wright

That was about as thrilling as the fart I did earlier that didn’t make a noise or smell.

Snagger

That”s a leak not a fart, like how this game has left my memory already.

Reality check

Why does Arteta plays Bellerin closer to the box. He was just getting in the way of things, what’s he doing playing on the inside while the proper creative players playing on the outside. Auba is also a liability if doesn’t score, 5/10 contribution everytime.

matt keeler

Suppose we look at the positives.

Partey is back.
A clean sheet.
Willian didn’t play.

That’s about it.

Saka looked knackered. Think Arteta got a few things wrong in terms of balance of the side. Hodgson certainly has our number at the moment

Voldermort

Xhaka and Cabellos our best players. Amn had a mare. Seems like he’s a 1 in every 4 or 5 game player.
Missed kt massively.poor game but 1 a few weeks ago we may have lost. So not all bad news

Jack of All

To be fair to AMN, he just looked like he hadn’t been playing for a while and so was a bit behind the pace and therefore on edge. He was starting to find his feet just before the sub. That’s still a problem but I will always have some sympathy for people who haven’t played in ages

Swifty

It’s a blip.

Santori

Dissapointing match. Could not kick on. Like I said, check after four league matches to see if we have really made improvements. Blatantly obvious we have slim margins and without one or two components (Chiefly Tierney and Martinelli), we are a wholly different side. Tierney and Martinelli take the game by the scruff of the neck and are willing to go at players. Today it was down to Saka. Some good flashes first half and first part of second half but we fell back to lazy slow build up passes. I feel somewhat this is partly confidence but also partly… Read more »

Jean Ralphio

Not our best game but you can’t win them all. Not losing was important. Things just didn’t come off at times like that Smith Rowe pass meant for Laca. A bit too slow at times. Balance didn’t feel right. We need a left back. Hopefully we improve against Newcastle. We really do need backup for ESR who had a decent game. Would like to have seen Bellerin get to the byline more.

A P

Right in that we can’t win all games but we have lost enough, and Palace at home is one of the games you would fancy Arsenal to win.

Rich

Not much between the two teams in the table

Not much between the two teams on the pitch

The reality of where we currently are as a club, sad, but still true…..

Tanned arse

Arteta ball at its finest (and speediest). Now some pressure has been relieved it’s back to what he was asking during the awful run. Possesion, safe, slow and risk free. Count the good chances we created. Garbage attitude and understanding of what it is to be a top team.

Tanned arse

And the sooner it’s realised that auba and laca are a major issue to how we attack the sooner we can become dangerous. I don’t care that supporters don’t see it but the manager should. The massive drop off in our ability to create the moment these two arrived isn’t coincidence. Most of what they do stifles quick cleaver football and though most will disagree, when they’re gone and replaced by smart forwards it’ll be understood what real quality is

Frederick

So wait, what you’re suggesting is that Arteta, having been forced to do good tactics in order to save his job, is now relieved to be able to go back to bad tactics? What exactly do you think the purpose of a manager is?

That was a very flat performance. No one was particularly dreadful but no one stood out either. No Tierney means no threat on the left wing as Auba doesn’t take players on. Still seems like Pepe and Bellerin can’t be on the same pitch together. I am tired of seeing no passes or link-up play between these two. No Gabriel Magalhaes also takes away from our threat on set-pieces (If we have any) I hope this has made Arteta realise not getting a midfielder this window is a bad idea. I’m not convinced yet as so many teams in the… Read more »

Ray Staunton

Was expecting more but Mari and Tierney were missed,I can excuse Saka and ESR for having bad games,we know they have it but consistency of performance comes with experience. AMN listens to Bob Marley, I reckon.

No foot Norbert

We had an all right footed defence and we rely on 2 18 year olds and a lb to create for us. Bellerin was awful today he passes the ball backwards even when he’s in space I’m done with him he plays a blinder once every 10 games and is terrible the rest of the time. Rb, cm and cam need a serious upgrade.

Santori

Bottomline, ball needs to travel from our half to their half far quicker.

Less touches.

Unless we have a technical merchant in that area ESR populates, we need to work before space closes in on us.

Some good passes from Xhaka today (particularly over to Auba) but not enough nuance or drive thereafter to get in.

Serpent

Pepe must have the worst first touch in the entire team. We also became worse when he came on, as Saka got taken out of the game at left back.

Why is Cedric even in the squad if we’re not putting him in?

Cedric picked an injury against Newcastle, like Tierney, I think they are waiting for a scan.

MeSoHornsey

Way, way too cautious from us. Petrified of the Palace break which is understandable but the is Arsenal. We need to see a bit more bravery with the forward passes.

Man Manny

Tierney was sorely missed.
With him on the field we win that game.

Qwaliteee

Not good enough. First of all, if Tierney wasn’t injured, what the actual fuck was he omitted for – not even on the bench…? We were too slow in possession, constantly allowing Palace to get eleven behind the ball, even on the rare occasions when we countered. Nothing into the space in front of the D, just boring horseshoe fucking LEGO ball all night. There’s only so much that Saka and a forced wife ESR can do, when they’ve got nothing coming from the middle. Yet another example of why this side have needed Ozil to unlock a tight defence.… Read more »

arseblog

He wasn’t injured, but they were resting him to make sure he didn’t get injured.

Does show how much we need natural cover for him though.

arseblog

Although, yikes:

Arteta: “Kieran Tierney is a real threat and the way we attack on the left is really important but he is injured and we have to find a solution. He will have an MRI scan tomorrow.”

https://twitter.com/sr_collings/status/1349845088353067013

Qwaliteee

*forced wide

Safe Hands

Back to reality. Poor performance, awful lack of creativity. It is sometimes so frustrating to have such highly paid players that are so bereft of ideas. No Tierney, Saka has a slight off day = predictable piss poor performance.

Fatgooner

Fucking awful game and a very mediocre Arsenal performance. We never looked like scoring and were lucky not to lose it.

Far too many average performances.

At least we got a point.

Heisenbird

That was pants to be quite honest. Ainsley did himself no favours with possibly his worst performance in an Arsenal shirt. A left back he is not. Along with a goalkeeper we desperately need backup to Tierney. We had no outlet on the left and looked bereft of ideas.

Overall, we seemed to play with no confidence whatsoever and it highlighted just how much work there is to do to make us competitive again.

Kudos to Xhaka though. I thought he had an excellent game.

His worst performance will always be in the Europa League final which started with the penalty he gave away. He wasn’t great today but not nearly as bad as 2019.

Arteta just confirmed that Tierney is injured so Ainsley has to step up now or never.

John

Two hours of keeping my eyes open with matchsticks can’t be good for me.

BillyKrystal

Use toothpicks like me, I’m staying awake whether I like it or not.

The Arsenal

How we have fallen. Not even a great footballing side anymore.

jfmgunner

Interesting game to get a feel for where the team is right now. ESR could not influence the game as he likes to. I think he was staying in the pocket behind the forwards but neither Ceballos, Xhaka or the full backs could break the lines and find him. Instead of coming deeper to collect he stayed up and hoped for service. The team let him down there as they have most of the season. Obviously Tierney was massively missed, good to see his importance, but tough to see how little we create without him. Partey immediately was 3,000 leagues… Read more »

Moviegooner

That was very frustrating. We were toothles up front. Saka needs a rest. At least we didn’t lose the game like the Leicester one. And another clean sheet.
Monday Martinelli and Tierney in starting line up
COYG

Twatsloch

Frustrating as that was at least we didn’t let them score any cheap goals against us. Unlike so many other times recently we walk away with a point rather than a loss.

Bring on Newcastle!

A P

Being relieved with a point against weak teams is a result of the weak, insipid football we saw a couple months back called Artetaball.

Twatsloch

A couple of months ago we were being outplayed by shit no hopers like Burnley. Yesterday we came up against a well organised Crystal Palace who parked the bus. We failed to score against them but not for lack of trying and not because they were dominating us.

It was a shit game but the improvements from only a few games back is there to see.

OnlyBeingHonest

Pepe is dreadful

OnlyBeingHonest

This hasn’t gone down well but in the cold hard light of the morning after I cns honestly say that yes, Pepe is dreadful

Marco

So many great posts on here summing up the performance to a tee. I love it when I read comments from fans who know what they are talking about.Bellerin going backwards,Luiz taking an age to give a pass and AMN sleep walking through 60 minutes all spotted.Only bonus was didn’t get beaten. Roll on Monday.

Vonnie

When you look to the bench and you’ve got Willock, Willian, Pepe and Nketiah as your game changers you know there’s a problem with the squad. For a club like Arsenal we’ve wasted a fortune and ended up with a really poor squad. I worry for the rest of this season, Ceballos doesn’t seem to be able to play more than 45 minutes, Kieran can’t play every game and we have no sensible back up, Cedric never plays and isn’t very good, our squad depth is non existent. If it wasn’t for the youngsters stepping up we’d be well and… Read more »

Fireman Sam

You’re depressing me Vonnie!

Headinthecloudz

Ok but what about the negatives?

Laca New Bendtner

What is it with all the back passes? It seems like none of our players is able to drive the ball forward through the middle. It’s so frustrating to watch.

Our midfielders all look afraid and lacking in confidence to find forward defence splitting passes – instead they opt for the safe back passes all the way to their keeper.

Mikel Arteta has a massive job to do in the summer (especially with the midfield) if he wants to get this club back on top.

Moviegooner

One of the best games Xhaka has played. But sadly hes not consistent enough. Gets lots of hate but a perfect back-up for Partey

Alex

Football reasons they say.

Dan P

Arteta needs to grow some balls and drop Aubameyang for Martinelli now.

Qwaliteee

Why drop Auba?

He’s not getting the service from midfield.

Biggles

And that’s why any talk of a top four finish – even considering it as an outside possibility – by MA is wrong. As I said in a post then, we need to manage expectations.

Headinthecloudz

Yes manage expectations. But this Palace side lost 0-9 to Liverpool and then lost 3-0 to 10 man Aston Villa.

Qwaliteee

So, what are we? The new Everton? The new Newcastle? The new Harlow Town?

This is Arsenal Football Club and expectations should remain the same as they always have – we should be top four minimum and challenging for the League title and playing good football.

Is Arteta on a ‘Lower Expectation Salary’….? No he isn’t.

Is he doing his job properly? No he isn’t.

Should this club and it’s supporters expect more from the manager of Arsenal Football Club?

Yes they should.

Homer

Arsenal are crap.

Discuss:

Qwaliteee

We’re Crap because we lack the final ball to the forward line.

We’ve lacked this all season.

There’s a very good reason for this, but you can’t mention the missing player’s name or criticise the manager for omitting him, because it upsets the ignorant masses with a pre-conceived agenda that Mesut Ozil is ‘finished’

The irony being that, until we buy a decent attacking number 10 at the same level as Mesut Ozil (ESR cannot be expected to do it all overnight) then Arsenal are ‘finished’

Cue the Anti Ozil bed wetters…..

Tapps

We already have an AM of Ozil’s standard. Unfortunately, it’s Willian.

DaDude

Greets to my favourite pro Özil bed jizzer.