Arsenal player ratings as they defeated Crystal Palace 3-1 at Selhurst Park on Wednesday courtesy of a Nicolas Pepe double and Gabriel Martinelli strike.
After a tepid start to the game, it was Crystal Palace who had the first big chance with Christian Benteke coming close before Nicolas Pepe opened the scoring for Arsenal at the other end in the 35th minute with a fine finish after some neat work by Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney on the left. However, the Gunners failed to build on that and looked lack of ideas going forward early in the second half.
This allowed Crystal Palace to grow into the game and they were able to level things up a little after the hour mark through Christian Benteke’s low header. It looked like the game would peter out to a draw, but Arsenal had different ideas as a late flurry was Gabriel Martinelli get on the end of Martin Odegaard’s pass and take the ball past Vicente Guaita before slotting into the net in the first minute of stoppage time.
Four minutes later, Pepe doubled his tally with a fine individual strike making it 3-1 for Arsenal, thus spoiling Roy Hodgson’s farewell on his final home game in charge as the Crystal Palace manager. The win, coupled with Tottenham losing against Aston Villa, means Mikel Arteta’s side still have an outside chance of securing European football for next season.
Here are our Arsenal player ratings after a dramatic victory over the Eagles at Selhurst Park.
Bernd Leno: 7/10
Made a couple of important saves in the first half and looked comfortable when he came out to collect crosses and long balls aimed for Benteke. Not a lot he could have done about the equalising goal, though.
Calum Chambers: 7/10
Back into the side at right-back, the Englishman saw plenty of the ball and generally made good use of it, playing accurate passes while also getting forward with purpose and hitting in a few dangerous balls into the box. Made two key passes on the night. There were some issues up against Wilfried Zaha at the back but came out unscathed, as he made two tackles and a game-high four interceptions.
Calum Chambers vs. Crystal Palace:
Ball recoveries: 5
Tackles: 2 pic.twitter.com/UMJbIVmM2p
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) May 19, 2021
Rob Holding: 6.5/10
Had a tough battle at hands against Crystal Palace and while he did well to keep him under wraps for large parts, will be disappointed by the manner in which the goal was conceded. Improved distribution from the back, as he sprayed some nice long passes for his attackers.
Gabriel Magalhaes: 6/10
Retained in the side ahead of Pablo Mari, the Brazilian did well in the first period, making some important clearances and being a strong presence in the air, winning six aerial duels. However, was bullied by Benteke leading to the equaliser.
Kieran Tierney: 7/10
Looked fired up on the night as the Scotsman charged up and down the flank with energy and purpose despite not being completely fit. Fine cross to set Pepe up for the opening goal while staying solid defensively for the most part.
— GoonerChris✨ (@TheBS7Era) May 19, 2021
Thomas Partey: 6/10
A game of two halves for the Ghanaian international as he had a solid first period when he did well to screen the backline and used the ball well. Wasn’t able to reproduce that in the second period, which saw Arsenal lose control. Conceded the foul from which the equaliser materialised.
Mohamed Elneny: 6/10
As usual, provided good energy in the middle of the park, but it is his end product on the ball that leaves a lot to be desired. Played it sideways and safe more often than not when he could have been a bit more progressive with his passes. Sloppy defending for Benteke’s goal.
Nicolas Pepe: 8/10
Got Arsenal up and running with a fine volleyed effort in the first half. Looked a threat each time he ran at the defence and scored his second of the night with another stunning effort late in the game. Completed a game-high four dribbles, while hardly misplacing any passes either. Ending the season strongly.
Oh my word 1-3
Pepe makes it 3🎉🎉🎉🎉
For more highlights 👇🏾
Follow me @YeshwajoeGoal – 1:3 – 90+5' , Arsenal pic.twitter.com/so10R3Nwvj
— Yeshwajoe (@Yeshwajoe) May 19, 2021
Emile Smith Rowe: 6/10
The Player to Watch in our match preview, Smith Rowe wasn’t able to make a telling impact on the proceedings but always found himself in pockets of spaces with his clever movement which caused problems to the Palace backline and allowed him to open up spaces for his teammates. Linked up well with those around him but faded with time.
Bukayo Saka: 6/10
Found himself on the receiving end of some strong challenges by the hosts on the night. Lovely little backheel to set Tierney off in the buildup to the opening goal but wasn’t able to influence the proceedings as much as he would have liked.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 4/10
A near anonymous display from the Arsenal captain who was hardly involved in anything of note. While he was deprived of service, Aubameyang wasn’t effective when he attempted to link up play either and hardly offered any sense of threat in the final third. No shot on target, no chance created.
Martin Odegaard: 6/10
Since making his Premier League debut, Martin Ødegaard has created more chances than any other Arsenal player .
Finally rewarded with his first assist in the competition. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/CfRiefcnbR
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 19, 2021
Replaced Saka in the 65th minute. Had been relatively quiet, until producing the assist for Martinelli’s goal late in the game.
Gabriel Martinelli: 7/10
Replaced Partey with just a little over ten minutes left. Produced the decisive moment in the game when he beat Guaita and scored to make it 2-1 for Arsenal in stoppage time.
Martinelli: "I'm always ready. When Mikel needs me, I'll be there.” pic.twitter.com/2wTWYCcALN
— afcdomain (@afcdomain) May 19, 2021
Granit Xhaka: N/A
On for Tierney in the 78th minute. Kept things tight and calm.