Arsenal FC drop two points after a playing out a draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium, just a day after Manchester City took all three points versus Chelsea.
The Gunners threw away a golden opportunity to push up to third place by squandering a 1-0 lead to a late Yannick Bolaise goal. The Crystal Palace winger cut in on the 80 minute mark and unleashed a venomous shot which beat Petr Cech at his near post, cancelling out Alexis Sanchez’s header in the first half.
A rueful Arsene Wenger said, “I’m very disappointed. It is one of those days where you don’t like to do a press conference after because it is not pleasant. I felt that we had possession 70 per cent of the time and we lacked a bit of accuracy with our final ball, a change of pace or have enough men forward.”
When asked about the title race, he remarked “After today I’m not in that kind of mood to dream about the Premier League title. I’m more in a mood to repair the mental damage and prepare for the next game. It is much more about that and looking behind us because we need to play well and win games. For us, we need to fight until the end to get the place in the top four.”
Alan Pardew was visibly joyous having come out of the fixture with a point. Palace are now 16th, just a point shy of securing the 40 points required for confirmed safety.
“My team deserve tremendous credit because it is tough to play here, we had a game plan that meant we would make sure that they didn’t have a fast start and then build as the game went on and that is how it played out and then at the end we nearly won it with that great run from Wilf,” he said.
Five games remaining, Arsenal face a stiff test to hold on to their fourth place position and be in contention of Champions League football. They host West Bromwich Albion in the coming week, whereas Crystal Palace, now unbeaten in four matches, face Manchester United at Old Trafford.