Another Disappointing Performance in this Disappointing Campaign
Arsenal 1-1 Crystal Palace
From title challengers to another scrap for fourth place.
It’s pretty much familiar surroundings but it’s more disheartening with the fact that the clubs above the Gunners aren’t the usual suspects, Manchester United, Chelsea and co. Taking nothing away from Leicester and Tottenham that have been very efficient this season, but Arsenal has been terribly disappointing and it’s really sad to see how the campaign has turned into yet another shitefest after promising so much.
Crystal Palace aren’t in the best of form and the game proved that they would have been content with one point. They have been one of the poorest teams in 2016 winning just one league game against Norwich in the calendar year. Arsenal would have played Palace again at Wembley but the shock loss to Watford in the quarterfinals ensured that it was going to be another campaign without silverware.
The game itself had a dull outlook with the Gunners probing as always but there was no cutting edge in their play. There were a couple of half chances here and there from the likes of Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck but as always, finishing became a problem. Alexis Sanchez was a live wire with the ball and he always seemed like he wanted to make things happen. He was justly rewarded for his hardwork with a nicely improvised finish from a clipped Welbeck pass and he would have gotten a second on the night when he headed Ozil’s clipped pass just wide.
Against the run of play, Yannick Bolasie had a run on the left hand side and should have been blocked by Gabriel Paulista but the Brazilian watched by as the Congolese midfielder exchanged passes with pantomime villain, Emmanuel Adebayor, before blasting a shot that whizzed past Petr Cech in goal. In all honesty, it looked like a ball I expected the goalie to save but he just fluffed at it and the visitors were level.
The introductions of Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and the ineffectual Theo Walcott did nothing to help the Gunners cause as they lost further ground on the leading pack. To make things worse, there were victories for both Manchester sides, making the battle for third / fourth place more intense.
The game in hand against West Brom comes up on Thursday and Arsenal could be under intense pressure in the buildup to that game with Man City taking on Newcastle and Manchester United potentially reducing the gap to one point if they win Crystal Palace in midweek.
It’s been disappointing. Really disappointing.
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