Crystal Palace 0 Arsenal 2: Arteta Goes From Hero to Villain But League Leaders Cruise On

Ten-man Arsenal maintained their Premier League supremacy by claiming a 2-0 victory at managerless Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The victory secured the top of the league standings for the Gunners, now on 22 points from nine matches, leaving the other teams to fight for their faith in the upcoming weekend’s fixtures.

Gunners captain Mikel Arterta went from hero to zero after scoring the opening goal, he conceded a second-half Red for pulling down Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh.

But despite the numerical advantage, the Eagles fell behind by two goals in the final five minutes at Selhaust Park.

Olivier Giroud Celebrates With Welshman Aaron Ramsey at Selhaust Park on Saturday.
Olivier Giroud Celebrates With Welshman Aaron Ramsey at Selhaust Park on Saturday.

Following Ian Holloway’s decision to step down as the manager of the south London club last Wednesday, Keith Millen, made six changes to the side which lost 4-1 against Fulham, bringing in Chamakh, Danny Gabbidon, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Jerome Thomas, Barry Bannan and Adlene Guedioura .

Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky both made way for Mathieu Flamini, who was forced out injured early on for Serge Gnabry, and Santi Cazorla in Arsene Wenger’s starting lineup, following midweek defeat to Borussia Dortmund with the pair demoted to the bench.

Palace showed resilience and went close to getting a goal in the first period which ended goalless.

If Millen had thought of rallying Palace’s troop against table toppers, such prospect was immediately put to the test as Frenchman Giroud came close to scoring a header from the centre of the box within three minutes of play but directed the ball a bit too high.

Ozil Rounding Up Palace Players.
Ozil Rounding Up Palace Players.

Mesut Ozil, Arteta amd Cazorla dictated play from the midfield in the first ten minutes as the hosts struggled to get into play.

Eagles’ first sniff at goal came in the 15th minute with Thomas leading attack the ball found its way to Barry Bannan who headed over.

Former Arsenal man, Chamakh, hit a right-footed shot into the hands of Polish goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny, in the 28th minute before releasing Guaedioura a minute later for the latter to send a low, driving shot in the goalkeeper’s hands again.

The hosts looked to have started posing threat to the visitors’ defence and Bannan’s left-footed effort two minutes after the half-hour mark curled a whisker wide of the far post, following Guedioura’s rebound.

Carzola failed to make the best of a counter attack few minutes later, while Dikgacoi’s header from the left side of goal missed by inches.

Play continued from end to end in the final five minutes before the interval but Palace must earn credit for an encouraging display in the final third.

The hosts conceded a penalty within three minutes of restart after Guedioura fell 18-year-old Gnabry in the box. Arteta took to the spot to fire the ball past Julain Speroni and place the visitors in the ascendancy.

Mikel Arteta Finishes From the Penalty Spot for Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta Finishes From the Penalty Spot for Arsenal.

Giroud should have extended the Gunners’ lead nine minutes into the second-half but failed to connect his head to Bacary Sagna’s cross standing about three yards from goal.

Arteta was handed his matching order by referee Chris Foy five minutes after the hour mark following a foul on a goal-bound Chamakh.

Millen’s men tried to capitalise on the numerical advantage but could only monopolise possession, thus failing to create clear-cut chances as the game approached its final ten minutes.

Wenger made a couple of changes following the red card incident and substitute Nacho Monreal had a sniff at goal but failed to beat Speronni.

While Palace could not open up the visitors’ defence, they as well neglected their defensive duties, allowing Ramsey to skip down the left to find Giroud, who headed home from six yards of goal in the 87th minute.

Giroud Tries a Header Against Palace.
Giroud Tries a Header Against Palace.

Having fell two goals behind Arsenal held on till full time in front of a lively Selhaust Park stadium.