Jeffrey Schlupp should have seen red for his potential leg breaking challenge on Callum Chambers. Christian Benteke should have seen red for slapping Elneny in a retaliation incident and Zaha should have been booked at least once for antics in the penalty area. Saka, who was thankfully offside, also made the most of a challenge by their keeper. Had he not been offside, I’m sure Taylor would have produced a yellow card.
There was also an off the ball incident involving Kieran Tierney which for the tough nut he is, I was surprised he made such a big deal of it. “Boooooooo” went the Crystal Palace fans every time he touched the ball but he got his own back by crossing the ball from which Pepe scored our opening goal.
They equalised through Benteke who beat our defensive line to head past Bernd Leno. Benteke is big and strong, but Arsenal could and should have done better.
Toots by now had lost their match which made it more important for Arsenal to win but after the equaliser and Saka being subbed, we were all over the place. Leno kept us in the game really and thank goodness he did because as Odegaard lofted a pace cross in towards the back post, Gabriel Martinelli was there to meet it. Determination and doggedness earned him his goal. A goal not even VAR could rule out, although not for the want of trying. Then came some magic from Pepe. A run at the defenders, a lovely finish and the win was secured. Great result.
If my maths is right, even if we win on Sunday and those above us in the table lose, our best position would be 7th and 7th would mean we’d go into the Europa Conference League Cup and I’m not sure that’ll be a good thing. Unless Mikel Arteta uses the competition to play fringe players and under 23’s etc.
Roy Hodgson didn’t get the result he wanted last night on what was the last time the Selhurst Park crowd will see him in the dugout but I thought the send off he received by both sets of players, the fans and Mikel Arteta was spot on but no more than he deserved. He comes across as a really nice bloke, even though his players like to stick the boot in. I think he’s the only manager in the game who speaks as many if not more languages than Arsene Wenger. His final match as Palace manager is against Liverpool and wouldn’t it be ironic if his team could win that one and with it, ensure his old club aren’t in the Champions League next season. I’d love it.
The final day’s fixture which will ultimately decide the Champions League and Europa places are:
As well as hoping the Brighton players turn up with their minds already focussed on their two weeks on a beach somewhere, Arsenal need a few favours from other clubs. Man City, West Brom, Southampton and Leicester. Palace too but just because I really dislike Liverpool.
See you in the comments.