4 Thoughts From Arsenal’s 2-0 Win Over Crystal Palace

By on February 2, 2014

Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon to move back to the top of the table. Here, Gunner333 gives us 4 thoughts from the game.

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain

Ahead of the almighty clash between City and Chelsea on this week’s Monday Night Football, Arsenal were looking to take advantage of  the inevitable points drop with a victory at home to Crystal Palace.

Despite securing five deadline-day deals, no new Palace additions started, whilst Arsenal’s only January acquisition, Kim Kallstrom, was sidelined with a minuet back fracture.

Palace have been in good form of late and Pulis set his side up to frustrate us from the outset. Arsene Wenger began with Oxlade-Chamberlain in the center of midfield with Ramsey and Wilshere out and Flamini suspended.

Arsenal were battling with a physical Jedinak, who made a series of fouls in the middle of the park. The Gunners’ response? A build-up of promising possession, emulating in all but a miss-hit pass or scuffed effort.

At the half-hour mark both sides had each mustered up just the one shot. From here it was Arsenal who pushed further ahead, Özil’s curling free-luck eluded the Palace back-line, but Speroni was equal to it. Half time and we had failed to break the deadlock against an organised Palace side.

However, it didn’t take long to find the break-through after the break, with a divine diagonal pass from Santi Cazorla finding Oxlade-Chamberlain who sent a softly hit volley past Speroni – the Englishman returning with a bang.

Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled his tally, late in the second half. A continued array of delectable passes with Cazorla and Giroud, resulting in the 20-year-old cooly dispatching a well-taken finish.

No more goals came from the home side and Arsenal held on to propel themselves back to the top ahead of City and Chelsea’s fixture on Monday night.

Here are Four Facts which capture the nature of our victory:

1) Slowly-Slowly, Catchy-Monkey!

As mentioned an important three points earned, but we took our time finding the breakthrough. All credit to Palace who defended wonderfully at times and made it seriously hard work for us to not only convert, but even create any promising chances.

Both of our goals were well-taken though. Our link-up play was excellent at times in the latter stages of the game with Cazorla, the Ox, Özil and Arteta ALL putting in great shifts. From crosses to ‘dinks’, it took its time, but the win eventually arose.

2) Szczesny Superb – Most Clean Sheets

With the focal point of Szczesny’s play today being a wonder save to deny Jerome, it was clear why Wenger has stuck by him. The Pole has now accumulated the league’s most clean sheets, quite a feat when you are up against the likes of Cech or Hart.

Palace may have only created two efforts on target, but Szczesny’s save from Jerome has highlighted how great his recent play has been. No matter what the next few months hold in store, we can be certain we have one of Europe’s best between the sticks.

3) A New Ox

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was by far the dictator of our game today and he really took his chance to play in the middle of midfield with both hands. His ‘new-position’ gave him more freedom and he showed he can contribute positively from the center.

The holding midfield role requires strength, stamina and pace, all top attributes acquired by Alex. From his performance today, we can see wonderful potential in the 20-year-old and he’s going to play a key role over the next few weeks.

4) Solid Squad?

Kim Kallstrom’s arrival has bolstered the midfield zone further (when he’s eventually fit), but was he really needed? We already have Özil, Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere, Ox, Rosicky and, when back from suspension, Flamini, to name a few so surely a midfielder was not the main requirement.

Our defence and midfield boast some of the league’s best, with a solid back-up also a key part to our success. Meanwhile our attacking options are thin and may still remain a real concern later down the line. No clear-cut solution seems near, so perhaps we should just hope that Giroud and Podolski can remain fit to lead the line and Bendtner can do a job if required.

Thanks for reading and lets hope for a welcome result on Monday night.

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One Comment

  1. Kwok Kuen Lim

    February 3, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Our defence was not steady. Mer was clumpsy and slow and poor passing vision. He and Monreal were the weak link for the nite. Charmarh of Palace knew he could beat Mer anytime but poor in finishing. Unless we improve stronger teams will capitalize. We need concentration and good vision. The team must be congratulated for the win especially Ox.

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