Premier League

Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal: Player ratings as Gunners lose ground in top-four race

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Palace were worthy winners
Palace were worthy winners / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

From Selhurst Park - Arsenal lost ground in the Premier League top-four race on Monday night with first-half goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew, along with a penalty from Wilfried Zaha, condemning the Gunners to a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Mikel Arteta will have been extremely concerned with what he saw from his side. Avoiding defeat would have lifted them back into the Champions League places at the expense of arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Instead, Spurs remain clinging onto fourth spot by goal difference, though the Gunners do still boast a game in hand.

The hosts started the game strongly, pressing high and forcing Arsenal into some uncharacteristic mistakes.

This pressure paid off in the 16th minute when the Gunners failed to deal with a set piece and Joachim Andersen diverted the ball into Mateta's path with the back of his head. Mateta then produced a trademark powerful header into the back of the net.

Seven minutes later Palace were in dreamland. This time Arsenal failed to deal with a diagonal ball forward by Andersen and Jordan Ayew latched onto it and slotted into the bottom corner.

In stark contrast, Arsenal barely laid a glove on the Eagles and Palace nearly made it 3-0 before half time. After good work from Wilfried Zaha, Mateta's shot had to be flapped away by Aaron Ramsdale.

The one-way traffic continued early in the second period with Andersen nearly adding a goal to his two assists, only to see his well-struck free-kick kept out.

Arsenal did eventually get a clear sight of goal just after the hour mark, but Martin Odegaard made a complete hash of his finish and the ball bounced well wide.

Things got even worse for the visitors when, with 17 minutes left to play, Odegaard brought down Zaha in the box and the Ivorian confidently stroked home from 12 yards to send Selhurst Park into raptures.

Soon after, newly-christened England international Marc Guehi was on the line to prevent Emile Smith Rowe smashing one back for Arsenal. Before the end substitute Eddie Nketiah rattled the woodwork, but it just was not to be for the visitors.

Here are your player ratings...


Crystal Palace player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

FBL-ENG-PR-CYRSTAL PALACE-ARSENAL
Clyne did not put a foot wrong / GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Vicente Guaita (GK) - 6/10 - Did not always look entirely convincing in possession but made a good save near the end.

Nathaniel Clyne (RB) - 7/10 -
Such a composed defender. He never looked like getting out of first gear.

Joachim Andersen (CB) - 9/10 -
Set up the opener in unorthodox fashion but there was nothing accidental about his second assist. Put in a mammoth shift defensively too.

Marc Guehi (CB) - 8/10 -
Just exudes calmness. It is no surprise to see him wearing the armband at Selhurst Park this season. Great goal-line clearance.

Tyrick Mitchell (LB) - 7/10 -
Built on his maiden England bow with a solid display in both directions.

2. Midfielders

Conor Gallagher, Martin Oedegaard
Another great display from Gallagher / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Cheikhou Kouyate (CM) - 8/10 - A wonderful all-round display. His close control is not spoken about enough.

Conor Gallagher (CM) - 8/10 -
What a marvellous footballer. Pressed Arsenal into submission in the first half and then kept his shape so well after the interval.

Jeffrey Schlupp (CM) - 8/10 -
His development into a robust midfielder has been a real surprise. He was excellent here, driving forward tremendously.

3. Forwards

Jean-Philippe Mateta
Mateta got Palace off to a dream start / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Jordan Ayew (RW) - 8/10 - Had big shoes to fill in Michael Olise's absence but fared admirably. Always used the ball effectively and took his goal so, so well.

Jean-Philippe Mateta (ST) - 8/10 -
Had Gabriel as a light snack on more than one occasion. Finishing, hold-up play and movement were all exceptional.

Wilfried Zaha (LW) - 9/10 -
One of the Premier League's best in transition, and he showed his devastating talent once again. Made no mistake from the spot.

4. Substitutes

James McArthur (CM) - 6/10 - Neat and tidy.

Odsonne Edouard (ST) - 6/10

Luka Milivojevic (CM) - N/A


Arsenal player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Nuno Tavares, Jordan Ayew
Another tough night for Tavares / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Aaron Ramsdale (GK) - 3/10 - Made very uncomfortable by Palace's high press. Flapped at everything for some reason.

Cedric Soares (RB) - 4/10 -
Probably Arsenal's best defender. The cream of a very, very, very bad crop.

Gabriel (CB) - 1/10 -
He's been excellent this season but this was a worrying off day. At fault for both first-half goals and never got to grips with Mateta.

Ben White (CB) - 4/10 -
His usual composed distribution was nowhere to be seen in the first half. Defended far better than his centre-back partner.

Nuno Tavares (LB) - 2/10 -
His presence at left-back clearly unsettled the Arsenal backline. He was hopeless in the first half and was dragged off at the break. What next for him at Arsenal?

6. Midfielders

FBL-ENG-PR-CRYSTAL PALACE-ARSENAL
Thomas Partey is capable of so much better than this / ADRIAN DENNIS/GettyImages

Thomas Partey (CM) - 2/10 - One of his worst games for some time. Did not get close enough to the Palace midfield and passing was atrocious. Booked and gave the ball away in the lead-up to the penalty.

Granit Xhaka (CM) - 3/10 -
Offered very little resistance in the first half before being moved to left-back.

Martin Odegaard (AM) - 2/10 -
Was shackled well by Palace. Arsenal seriously struggle to create when he cannot get on the ball. Brainless foul for the penalty and also missed his side's best chance.

7. Forwards

Bukayo Saka
Saka was frustrated / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Bukayo Saka (RW) - 3/10 - Tried to make things happen after the break and sometimes forced it.

Alexandre Lacazette (ST) - 3/10 - Failed to make the most of a few half-chances. Dropped too deep at times.

Emile Smith Rowe (LW) - 3/10 - Some neat touches, but much like with Odegaard, the Eagles dealt with him without too many issues.

8. Substitutes

Gabriel Martinelli (LW) - 5/10 - Was direct but not that effective.

Eddie Nketiah (ST) - 6/10 -
Struck the woodwork with a long-distance strike.

Albert Sambi Lakonga (CM) - N/A


For more from Matt O’Connor-Simpson, follow him on Twitter

facebooktwitterreddit