Arsenal v Crystal Palace Review: Title Race Over?

With Leicester dropping two points in the earlier kick off we had a chance to gain on them with a game that we had to win if we were to be champions. Man City had also overtaken us to third place having played a game extra so a win was even more important. 

There was only one change to the side that drew to West Ham last weekend as number 1 goalkeeper Cech replaced Ospina and it was great to see him back in an Arsenal shirt. 

The game kicked off and it had an end of season feel to it as both teams lacked urgency. There were few chances as half time loomed but this seemed to give the players a wake up call with both teams creating chances to score. Özil came closest for us after a good move with Alexis Sanchez before the latter finally broke the deadlock in first half added time. Sanchez timed his run brilliantly as he was picked out by a chip from Welbeck to head over the Palace keeper. 

This was only our second attempt on target in a first half that dragged on to say the least. We completely dominated with 75% possession but it counted for little with Palace defending well in numbers as you would expect. 

The second half was certainly livelier as we had more chances and should have really killed off the game. Iwobi and Welbeck came closest before Özil’s free kick narrowly missed. Palace also introduced former player (but now pantomime villain) Adebayor who gave the home crowd a much needed lift and received his usual welcome.

Palace grew into the game though with Adebayor as he ran down the wing with Gabriel (who should have tackled him) only to keep on going and set up Bolasie to get the equaliser with less than 10 minutes to go. 

I thought Cech should have saved it but it was struck well and he just couldn’t quite get his hand on it. More frustratingly it was Palace who then came closest right at the end as Zaha looked to set up Adebayor (of all people) in the box for a tap in only for a much needed tackle from Gabriel (I wish he had done that for their first goal).

Neither team could get the winner in the end though as it finished 1-1 much to the frustration of the home crowd. It was definitely two points dropped for us and we now find ourselves in a familiar 4th place. This means we now face a battle to get into the Champions League as Man United are close behind us but Man City and Spurs aren’t too far ahead either so it’s all to play for. 

As for the title it has to be over for us now as Leicester only need two points from their remaining four games to stop us and I think they should do it. 

Next up for us is West Brom at home on Thursday and we will have to win that before playing against relegation contenders Sunderland and Norwich which will be tough. We then end with Man City away and then relegated Villa as the final game. 

Where will we finish in this crazy season?

 

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