Wilfried Zaha ran rings around the Arsenal defence as Crystal Palace registered a shocking 3-0 victory over the Gunners on Monday.
Arsenal’s struggles against Crystal Palace continued as the north London giants slumped to a shocking 3-0 victory at Selhurst Park on Monday. The loss could prove costly for Mikel Arteta’s men as they remain outside of the top four following Tottenham Hotspur’s resounding win over Newcastle United.
It was a shambolic display from the Gunners, who were completely dominated by Crystal Palace. The hosts ran rings around their defence, launching countless attacks and making life difficult for Arsenal defenders right from the get-go. Their early pressure was rewarded, with Conor Gallagher’s set-piece delivery leading to Jean-Philippe Mateta’s opener in the 16th minute.
Eight minutes later, Crystal Palace doubled their lead through Jordan Ayew with a stunning strike from the edge of the penalty area. The goal helped Palace take up a healthy 2-0 lead over Arsenal going into half-time.
In the second half, Arsenal looked more in control, dominating possession and looking threatening in the attack. But they could not produce that killer chance to get back into the game. Their hopes of a comeback dwindled further when Wilfried Zaha was fouled by Martin Odegaard inside the box, leading to a penalty in the 74th minute.
Zaha made no mistake converting the spot-kick, effectively sealing all three points for Crystal Palace. The win should help the Eagles enter the top half of the table, though they cannot hope to finish ahead of eight-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Vicente Guaita: 6.5/10
Vicente Guaita did not have much to do as Arsenal only mustered three shots on target across the ninety minutes. He was alert when the opposition piled forward and looked very confident guarding the goal.
Nathaniel Clyne: 7/10
Nathaniel Clyne had a relatively good game as he was not frustrated defensively by Smith Rowe. The former Liverpool defender did not offer much going forward, but his defensive solidity was crucial to Palace’s win.
Joachim Andersen: 8.5/10
It was yet another dominant display from Joachim Andersen, who continues to make an impression in the Premier League. He is one of the best defenders in the league when it comes to quality on the ball. It was evident against Arsenal as he registered two assists, including a sensational pass to find Ayew for the second goal. A mesmerising performance from the Dane.
Two assists + a clean sheet. 🅰️🅰️
Joachim Andersen. That's the tweet. pic.twitter.com/6RAra57cpZ
— PalaceEagles (@PalaceEaglesc0m) April 4, 2022
Marc Guehi: 8/10
Though it would not have counted due to offside, Marc Guehi made an important goalline clearance to deny Emile Smith Rowe a late goal. The defender captained his side well, making important blocks and interceptions to keep the Arsenal frontline at bay.
Tyrick Mitchell: 7.5/10
Tyrick Mitchell had an excellent game in the left-back position. He kept Bukayo Saka quiet for most of the game while offering width going forward whenever it was required. The youngster is maturing extremely well under Patrick Vieira.
Cheikhou Kouyate: 7.5/10
Cheikhou Kouyate was a vital cog in the Crystal Palace midfield. His ability to win back possession and offer security to the back four served as a key element in Palace’s game-plan, denying Arsenal any control in the process.
Jeffrey Schlupp: 7/10
Jeffrey Schlupp offered excellent support to Kouyate in the middle of the park. He was not the best in possession, but his work ethic made him a useful cog in the second line of press.
Jordan Ayew: 7.5/10
Jordan Ayew was one of the best players in the first half. He plucked the holes in Arsenal’s defence expertly, often making runs in behind the defensive players. His finish for the second goal was particularly eye-catching.
Jordan Ayew is now the Ghanaian with the most goals (28) and most assists (13) in English Premier League history. 🇬🇭
Put some respect on his name!! pic.twitter.com/94dY0AM04C
— NUNGUA BURNA ( FACTOS RONALDO ) (@viewsdey) April 4, 2022
Conor Gallagher: 7.5/10
Conor Gallagher’s setup for the first goal was brilliant, as he produced a mesmerising ball into the box. He was a key outlet in the second line of press, offering additional thrust and energy into the Palace midfield.
Wilfried Zaha: 9/10
Zaha was the undisputed man of the match in this resounding victory for Crystal Palace. It was a bold decision from Vieira to risk him, but the move paid off as he ran rings around the Arsenal defence. His pace and the ability to hold off challenges exposed the Arsenal defenders who lacked aggression and organisation. Zaha was rewarded for his efforts with a late penalty, which he had won himself.
Premier League wingers with more goals than Wilfried Zaha this season:
– Mo Salah
– Son Heung-min
– Sadio Mane
End of list. pic.twitter.com/w0v5sYbaUN
— Matchday365 (@Matchday365) April 4, 2022
Jean-Philippe Mateta: 7.5/10
Jean-Philippe Mateta was a handful for the Arsenal defence thanks to his physical and aerial presence in the final third. It made life difficult for the opposition defenders and kept them occupied. It was yet another brilliant shift from the striker.
James McArthur: 6.5/10
James McArthur added freshness to the Palace midfield after coming on for Mateta in the 69th minute, in what was a quite obvious defensive change from Vieira.
Odsonne Edouard: N/A
A late replacement Ayew. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Luka Milivojevic: N/A
A late replacement Kouyate. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Aaron Ramsdale: 5/10
Returning to full fitness just before the game, it wasn’t the best of games for Aaron Ramsdale, who was beaten twice inside the first half. He did not look as convincing between the sticks and needs to find his rhythm in the coming matches.
Cedric Soares: 4/10
Cedric Soares had to fill in for the injured Takehiro Tomiyasu once again. But he had a game to forget up against Zaha, who exposed the Portuguese international with his trickery and pace down his flank.
Ben White: 4/10
Ben White was one of many Arsenal defenders that struggled to cope with the Crystal Palace onslaught in the first half. His lack of physical prowess remains a key weakness in his game, with the defender failing to keep up with Mateta.
Gabriel Magalhaes: 3/10
Gabriel Magalhaes lacked proper communication with his defensive teammates and allowed acres of space in between him and his partner far too often. One such instance led to the second goal from Ayew.
Nuno Tavares: 2/10
Nuno Tavares was by far the worst performer in the game. The left-back lost the aerial challenge to Andersen during the build-up of the first goal and, minutes later, failed to keep up with his marker Ayew for the second. This performance should greatly harm his prospects at Arsenal.
Tavares is only like 22 right?? He can still go uni
— Mithujan⛷ (@otfMithujan) April 4, 2022
Thomas Partey: 3/10
It was an incompetent display from Thomas Partey, who lacked his usual confidence in passing. He was also culpable for conceding the third goal as he lost the ball to Zaha quite easily.
Granit Xhaka: 5/10
Granit Xhaka had a better game than Partey, but he, too, could not impose his authority in the middle of the park. He was hurried and hassled by the Crystal Palace press and was not involved enough to make a difference.
Bukayo Saka: 5/10
Bukayo Saka made his return to the pitch after recovering from COVID-19. Unfortunately, it was not the best of returns as the Arsenal winger struggled to offer any creativity down the flanks. He got close to scoring in the second half but was denied by Guaita, though the goal would not have counted due to offside, in any case.
Martin Odegaard: 5/10
Martin Odegaard was another player that struggled to make an impact on the proceedings. He was a bystander for most of the game and even ended up conceding the penalty that led to Palace’s third goal of the night.
Emile Smith Rowe: 5/10
Emile Smith Rowe did not have the best of games either, lacking the panache and the guile to make things happen in the final third. The youngster was close to scoring in the second half but was denied by Guehi and the offside flag.
Alexandre Lacazette: 4/10
Alexandre Lacazette had a game to forget, as he failed to offer anything in the final third. He looked clueless for the most part, struggling to get the better of the Palace defence that remained resolute throughout the ninety minutes.
Lacazette asking for ball to feet pic.twitter.com/sehIutmRb2
— J7 (@lfcJ7_) April 4, 2022
Gabriel Martinelli: 7/10
Gabriel Martinelli was brought in at half-time to add more thrust into the Arsenal frontline. The Brazilian made a telling impact on the proceedings as he offered the much-needed energy going forward. Unfortunately, he was not helped out by his teammates.
Eddie Nketiah: 6/10
Eddie Nketiah got close to scoring in the second half, but his sensational effort hit the post.
Albert Sambi Lokonga: N/A
A late replacement Partey. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.