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Crystal Palace vs Arsenal 21/22

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you are all well.

After a few weeks of being away we was finally back at Selhurst park for more Premier League Monday night football! We were hosts to Arsenal for a London derby who if they were to win would go into 4th place and in contention for Champions League football, so all was to play for in their camp as Vieira faces his former team.

Last time we played Arsenal at the Emirates we were super unlucky to fall short and come away with a 2-2 draw after a 90+5 minute equaliser from Lacazette. We was going into the game on a high after being on a 6-game unbeaten game run with our last Premier League game being the 0-0 draw against City. Arsenal too were currently flying in the league, like I mentioned earlier competing for Champions League football, something no one expected at the start of the season; their last result was a 1-0 win over Aston Villa. This should’ve been a good game!

Vieira was forced into a change as Michael Olise is currently out with a knock, hopefully it’s nothing serious and he’s back fit for our trip to Wembley. This saw a start for Ayew after a real lack of minutes this season. Schlupp also came in to replace Eze, with the rest of the outfield players keeping their positions. Guaita regained his position between the sticks after Jack carried on his cup run with us.

It was an 8pm kick off and Palace started the game very brightly not fazed by opponents in anyway. Arsenal showed no signs of creativity, and this spread over the majority of the half. My cousin came in late and joked ‘why haven’t we scored yet?’ Within a few minutes we was 1-0 up! A free kick won by Zaha out wide of the left, Gallagher went out to take and delivered an inch perfect ball to the back post where Andersen was awaiting, a header back across goal met the head of Mateta who could do the final job of putting the ball into the back of the net! Fantastic start of the game, 1-0 up within 10 minutes! A still dominant performance putting some of the ‘big boys’ to shame, Mitchell had Saka silent down the right. Arsenal only had one memorable chance which was a Lacazette header, but it went straight over the bar and caused no issues for Guaita. It wasn’t long till we were celebrating again, Andersen involved again, a long diagonal ball up from the halfway line found a fantastic run from Ayew as he ran across the centre of the pitch, the defender couldn’t stop him as his touch took the ball around him and Jordan’s left footed shot went straight into the back of the net to make it 2-0! Very happy for him to get on the scoresheet his work rate was incredible, so he deserved to get a goal. Arsenal began to grow into the game in the closing stages of the time, but still no real attempt for them as the defence put in a great shift. Half time came just at the right time.

A bit of a slower start to the second for the boys in red and blue as they struggled to get a rhythm in their passes. Arsenal showed their dominance as they began to control to possession, but we still had spurts of brilliance particularly with Gallagher working like a whippet as always. This was Ben White’s first visit to Selhurst Park since moving from B*ighton so he didn’t have a warm reaction from the home fans whenever he was on the ball for the remainder of the game! We won a foul just outside the box where an unexpected Andersen stepped up to take, with the power and accuracy he has in his passes it’s no surprise he was in contention for set pieces, it was a simple save for Ramsdale but a positive was that it was on target which I can’t say for most of our previous free kicks. We took our foot off the pedal in the second half, but so far it seemed like we had got the job done already. Arsenal had another attempt identical to the one in the first half, a header that went souring over the bar and into the Holmesdale fans. They had a close range opportunity through Ødegaard where you would normally count on to score, but it went just past of Guaita’s post emphasising now they simply weren’t clinical enough with their chances. The first sub saw McArthur come on to replace Mateta, I thought this was a bit of a strange decision because JP was playing well and it forced Wilf to go up top, but in Patrick we trust. After some great work to win the ball back in his own half Zaha was in his element able to run at a backpedalling Arsenal defence making his way into the box where he was completely taken out, after a moment of hesitation the ref finally pointed at the penalty spot giving us a chance to go 3-0 up! Zaha stood up to take and without a doubt buried it in the back of the net. Maybe Zaha is more impactful up top! This was followed by two quick substitutions seeing Edouard and Milivojevic come on to replace Ayew and Kouyate. Arsenal applied more and more pressure, but our defence was incredible the whole evening and didn’t fail to meet the demands! Just to get the crowd going even more at the end there was a shot from Nketiah which was initially saved by Guaita, it was parried into the path of Smith-Rowe whose effort was blocked by Guehi magnificently! ‘We’ve got super Pat Vieira’ rang around the walls of the stadium as the final whistle blew in another night of brilliance for the eagles and especially for Vieira as he beat his former team!

Unbeaten in 7, beaten both North London teams 3-0, and we’re on the way to Wembley in a few weeks, what a time to be a Palace fan! Selhurst park has officially become a fortress that teams should be nervous of visiting. An exceptional performance from all involved, there are no areas I could’ve hoped for improvement, if we played like this from the start we would be flying! Hopefully, this has given us the confidence to go to Wembley in a few weeks and give Chelsea some real issues. My MOTM would have to be Anderson, he got 2 assists providing attacking threat but also did fantastic in defence working hard with Marc.

Match stats:

• Palace had a total of 31.4% possession, Arsenal had 68.6%

• Palace had a total of 6 shots with 5 on target.

• Arsenal had 12 shots with 3 on target.

The next Palace game I will be attending will be the semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley, so look out for that post. if you’re going I hope you have a great day and hopefully we leave the happier of the fans! I have a post ready to go up about my time at the Palace Academy on Saturday so also look out for that sometime tomorrow.

Thank you for reading



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