Crystal Palace stalemate ends Arsenal winning streak


After four wins in a row, Arsenal were found wanting against Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium, scarcely threatening a breakthrough.

Arsenal's winning run came to an end in a dour Premier League goalless draw at home to Crystal Palace on Thursday.

The Gunners had won their past four matches in the league and cup to arrest an alarming slump, but their performances have still not been quite as convincing as results would suggest.

Mikel Arteta's men needed extra time to defeat Newcastle United last time out in the FA Cup and lacked any sort of imagination against Palace as the influential Kieran Tierney sat out with muscle tightness.

Indeed, Arsenal was ultimately fortunate to preserve a first home Premier League clean sheet since July 1 as they stayed 11th.

It quickly became clear the hosts would miss Tierney, their outstanding left-back, whose right-footed deputy Ainsley Maitland-Niles did not provide the same balance on that flank.

Home chances were, therefore, few and far between before the break and Palace instead twice came close to breaking the deadlock.

James Tomkins met Eberechi Eze's free-kick but nodded against the crossbar, then Bernd Leno was required to use the full length of his frame to reach Christian Benteke's header and claw clear.

There was a marginal improvement after the break, yet visiting goalkeeper Vicente Guaita was largely untroubled, watching Rob Holding head wide as Palace extended their unbeaten run against Arsenal to five league matches.

What does it mean? No disguising Arsenal's issues

This was no better or worse than many of Arsenal's wins and losses this season.

They bossed 67.3 per cent of the possession, yet Palace was comfortable and the Gunners were unable to produce a moment of magic.

When Arsenal endured a long winless stretch, Arteta insisted they deserved more. It was not a universally held opinion and this stalemate, in which they had just five shots from inside the box, laid their failings bare again.

Tierney too important

Tierney's excellence is no secret to Arsenal supporters, but he was the one Gunner to emerge from the first half with credit, his absence glaring on the left.

The Scotland defender, who has created more chances than any other Arsenal player in all competitions this season (28), was not efficiently replaced by Maitland-Niles.

Arteta eventually relented and moved the versatile Bukayo Saka to the left, yet he finished with only two key passes, not granted the same space without Tierney as a distraction.

Easy ride on the road

Palace had mustered just their second clean sheet of the season in their prior match against Sheffield United.

Not since June had Roy Hodgson's men kept opponents at bay in consecutive matches, yet they were never truly under threat here, with Guaita making four routine saves.


What's next?

Arsenal have until Monday to prepare for Newcastle's second visit of the month, while Palace play a day earlier at Manchester City.

Source Omnisport