Arsenal’s home winning run came to an end after Crystal Palace edged the Gunnars in their backyard to win 3-2 as Christian Benteke starred with a goal and assist to pip a hapless Arsenal side, making matters delicate to consolidate their position in the top four.
Making seven changes to the playing XI from the win against Napoli to enter the semifinals of the Europa League, Unai Emery’s tactics went horribly wrong for the Gunners and it was the defence that failed to help Arsenal fight their own case.
Palace took an early lead through Benteke’s goal in the 17th minute of the clash, which was his first goal in 20 appearances made. The Belgian headed Palace home with ease as the Arsenal defence were left confused and dazed.
While Mesut Ozil fired early in the second half after being substituted which gave Arsenal the motivation but a mistake from Shkodran Mustafi saw Zaha gift Palace the lead once again.
Roy Hodgson’s Palace punished the Gunners with a third goal through a set piece as James McArthur flicked a header following another scramble in the Gunners defence.
Arsenal’s star striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang struck in the 77th minute to bring Arsenal close, but no hero emerged for the Gunners as they succumbed to a 2-3 loss at the Emirates.
Unai Emery was disappointed with the performance and feels that Arsenal have to much to do if they are to secure a place in the Champions League next season. “It was very frustrating, because it was a big opportunity,” Arsenal manager Unai Emery said. “But we’ve had plenty of big opportunities before today, plenty of key moments that give us the opportunity to achieve our first target, to play in the Champions League next year.”
The loss sees Arsenal stick at fourth for now as Manchester United were also handed a stunning loss at Goodison Park as Everton ran riot to win 4-0. Liverpool go back to the top of the table after their win over Cardiff City while City edged out Tottenham Hotspurs on Saturday.