Football

Palace holds a fatigued Arsenal

No luck: Even Eddie Nketiah’s, centre, acrobatic effort failed to breach the Crystal Palace defence.  

Arsenal’s recent resurgence in the Premier League was checked by Crystal Palace as it was held to a dull 0-0 draw on Thursday.

Mikel Arteta’s side was bidding for a fourth successive league win but could find no way through an obdurate Palace.

Palace was well worth its point and was the better side in the first half in which defender James Tomkins hit the bar and Christian Benteke went close.

Arsenal controlled the second half but lacked spark and rarely troubled Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

Static

The north Londoners remained in 11th spot in the standings with 24 points from 18 games with Palace two places lower with 23 points.

Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal was suffering from fatigue. “I wanted to see a win and a few goals but we were fatigued. I cannot fault the spirit but it wasn’t enough,” Arteta said.

Just before Christmas, Arsenal was only four points above the relegation zone, so its current position 12 points away from the bottom three affords Arteta some much-needed breathing space.

But this disjointed display underlined the attacking flaws that have stopped Arsenal building on last season’s FA Cup triumph.

Palace has only won one of its past eight matches in all competitions.

Emile Smith-Rowe, Arsenal’s promising young midfielder, started after scoring against Newcastle as a substitute last weekend.

But Kiernan Tierney was absent with muscle tightness and the Gunners missed the Scotland left-back’s busy presence.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has endured a difficult season and, once again, Arsenal’s captain was a diffident figure.

The results: Thursday: Arsenal 0 drew with Crystal Palace 0.

Wednesday: Manchester City 1 (Foden 44) bt Brighton 0; Tottenham 1 (Kane 25) drew with Fulham 1 (Cavaleiro 74).

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 1:43:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/palace-holds-a-fatigued-arsenal/article33583452.ece

Next Story