English Premier League match report Arsenal v Crystal Palace 21 April 2019

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Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha

Arsenal failed to leapfrog Tottenham Hotspur into third spot after going down 3-2 to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Mesut Ozil was the headline inclusion for the Gunners who targeted third spot following Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.

Palace almost fell to a first minute strike from Ozil, but Vicente Guaita pulled off a comfortable save in the end.

From a free-kick, the Gunners succumbed 17 minutes in through a powerful header from Christian Benteke.

The Londoners missed a good chance to go level five minutes later after Alexandre Lacazette’s shot flashed wide.

Palace were under siege 31 minutes in and nearly fell prey to a close-range strike from Konstantinos Mavropanos, but the effort went wide.

Three minutes to halftime, Cheikhou Kouyate produced a double save of Bernd Leno with quick-fire efforts in quick succession.

Arsenal made a double switch at the restart, as Ainsley Maintland-Niles and Alex Iwobi replaced Mavropanos and Carl Jenkinson.

The hosts were back in the contest two minutes later after Ozil expressed composure to lob an advancing Guaita.

Dismal defending nearly led the Gunners to a second on 59 minutes, but Guaita stretched across goal to keep out Sead Kolasinac.

Palace restored their advantage two minutes later after Wilfred Zaha shrugged off Shkodran Mustafi to head home a long free-kick.

The Gunners fell further behind 69 minutes in, as James McArthur steered home Luka Milivojevic’s corner.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang halved the deficit on 77 minutes after dribbling past three defenders to fire into the bottom corner.

Whilst trying to manage the game, Roy Hodgson made their first change a minute later as Jordan Ayew replaced Benteke.