Million-dollar Arsenal fall through the ice twice and endanger CL spot


Monday, April 4, 2022 at 10:54 PM• Jeroen van Poppel • Last update: 23:12

Arsenal had a dramatic evening in the Premier League on Monday. Mikel Arteta’s team did not come in handy against Crystal Palace, that the Gunners earned 3-0. The early two goals against Arsenal will mainly be attributed to Nuno Tavares, who came over for eight million euros in the summer and again failed to convince at all. To make matters worse, the disappointingly playing Thomas Partey had to drop out after the break with a muscle injury. Arsenal remain in fifth place, on exactly as many points as Tottenham Hotspur, which has played one more game. Palace is having an excellent season and climbs to ninth place.

Permanent left back Kieran Tierney had to drop out before the game with a knee injury, which according to Arteta ‘does not look good’. The coach initially saw no other option but to draft Tavares, because there is no other left back in the selection. The full-back, who came over from Benfica, was actually completely out of favor with Arteta after the Portuguese completely fell through the ice in the FA Cup in January. Tavares then played so weakly on a visit to Nottingham Forest (1-0 loss) that Arteta substituted him after 35 minutes. Since then Taveres hardly played anymore, until Monday evening.

Arsenal trailed from the start and quickly fell behind. Conor Gallagher turned a dangerous free kick after fifteen minutes, after which Tavares was easily pushed aside by Joachim Andersen at the far post. The defender headed the ball back to the middle, after which Jean-Philippe Mateta was able to head in: 1-0. Tavares then also played a negative role in the 2-0, which fell eight minutes later. The left-back gave Jordan Ayew plenty of room to control a sharp low pass from behind on the edge of the penalty area, after which the Palace attacker dribbled in and finished with control.

Arteta intervened at halftime by holding Tavares aside and sliding Granit Xhaka from midfield back to back position. Arsenal played significantly stronger in the second half and had two excellent opportunities after more than an hour. Emile Smith Rowe got the ball out of whack and saw Vicente Guaita save on his shot. Then Ödegaard got a free shot from eleven meters after a low cross from Eddie Nketiah, but the Norwegian hit the ball badly and aimed wide.

Palace decided it on the other side with a penalty, which arose when Ödegaard hooked his leg with the felling and spinning Wilfried Zaha. The left striker completed it himself from eleven meters: 3-0. A huge rebound opportunity was then missed for Smith Rowe, who saw Palace defender Marc Guéhi block on the goal line. Nketiah then hit the bar from a distance, so Arsenal were not awarded an honorary goal either.

No. Team m W G V Pnt
1 Manchester City 30 23 4 3 52 73
2 Liverpool 30 22 6 2 57 72
3 Chelsea 29 17 8 4 35 59
4 Tottenham Hotspur 30 17 3 10 15 54
5 Arsenal 29 17 3 9 10 54
6 West Ham United 31 15 6 10 11 51
7 Manchester United 30 14 9 7 8 51
8 Wolverhampton W. 31 15 4 12 6 49
9 Crystal Palace 30 8 13 9 4 37
10 Leicester City 28 10 7 11 -4 37
11 Aston Villa 30 11 3 16 0 36
12 Southampton 30 8 12 10 -9 36
13 Brighton & Hove Albion 30 7 13 10 -10 34
14 Brentford 31 9 6 16 -11 33
15 Newcastle United 30 7 10 13 -21 31
16 Leeds United 31 7 9 15 -33 30
17 Everton 28 7 4 17 -19 25
18 Watford 30 6 4 20 -28 22
19 Burnley 28 3 12 13 -18 21
20 Norwich City 30 4 6 20 -45 18