Premier League
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace1ArsenalArsenal2

Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport
Arsenal celebrate
Arsenal's victory was their eighth in nine games in all competitions
  • Souare concedes penalty, which Cazorla converts
  • Giroud adds a second goal just before half-time
  • Murray scores in injury time, but Arsenal hold on
  • Gunners win for the eighth time in nine matches

Arsenal survived a late scare as they held on to beat Crystal Palace and take third spot in the Premier League.

Santi Cazorla put the Gunners ahead when he converted a penalty after Pape Souare brought down Danny Welbeck.

The England striker was involved in his side's second goal as his low effort was parried by Julian Speroni before Olivier Giroud netted the rebound.

Palace deserved much more - Pardew

Palace's Glenn Murray scored in injury time after a goalmouth scramble and then hit the post as Arsenal held on.

The Gunners had to battle hard for the three points and got lucky in the 95th minute when Murray connected with Yannick Bolasie's cross but was denied by the woodwork.

It had looked like it was going to be a routine afternoon for the visitors, who had thwarted their opponent's efforts, as Palace went 84 minutes before they registered a shot on target.

But Murray's goal, which came when he slid the ball in from close range after the ball deflected into his path off Laurent Koscielny, gave Arsene Wenger's Gunners side something of a fright.

Nevertheless, Palace could not find an equalising goal as Arsenal moved up to third, their highest position in the Premier League since August.

The Eagles had been beaten in only one of their previous seven top-flight games, but fell behind to Cazorla's eighth-minute penalty, which Souare conceded on his Premier League debut following his move from Lille.

The run goes on
Arsenal have now not lost in their last 11 matches against Crystal Palace. The Eagles' last victory against the Gunners came with a 2-1 success at Highbury in 1994.

Arsenal were forced to defend deep for much of the match, although Palace boss Alan Pardew would have been frustrated with his side's final delivery, as they often wasted good positions.

The Gunners looked to catch the hosts on the break and the tactic worked perfectly at the end of the first half.

Arsenal had to dig for win - Wenger

Alexis Sanchez released Welbeck, who appeared to be in an offside position, but the forward shot at Speroni, although the goalkeeper could not hold the ball with Giroud converting the rebound.

Palace saw a lot of the ball at the start of the second half, but were nearly hit by another Arsenal counter-attack with Sanchez flicking the ball just wide when he only had Speroni to beat after being played through by Mesut Ozil.

But the hosts eventually began to create chances that their possession warranted. Dwight Gayle headed narrowly over from Souare's excellent cross from the left, before substitute Murray got the goal that Palace deserved, although it was not enough to deny Arsenal.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew said:

"I can't remember being as fulfilled by a defeat for a long time. I'm so proud of the players and I feel so despondent for them to not get anything out of the game.

"From the start to the finish we had a game plan to threaten them and give them no time. We were superb, but sometimes this game can be very cruel.

"The performance from the players and the fans was exemplary. We couldn't have done any more. I was kicking myself that we were 2-0 down because we had been so much better than that. We played the best football that we have done since I've been here."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said:

"It was about fighting for the win. Crystal Palace made it a really tough game and we had to dig deep on a difficult pitch against a good team so I'm very happy with the win.

"Palace gave everything they had. It was like a cup game. They closed us down and stopped us playing."

Premier League banner
Crystal Palace fans produced a banner protesting about the cost of watching Premier League football
Santi Cazorla
Santi Cazorla's first-half penalty was his seventh goal of the season for Arsenal
Arsenal
Arsene Wenger's Arsenal have played in the Champions League for each of the last 17 seasons
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud's goal for Arsenal was his fifth in his last seven games for the club
Glenn Murray
Crystal Palace's Glenn Murray spent four months of the season on loan at Championship club Reading

Line-ups

Crystal Palace

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Speroni
  • 2Ward
  • 6Dann
  • 27Delaney
  • 40Souaré
  • 28LedleySubstituted forAmeobiat 80'minutes
  • 11Zaha
  • 42Puncheon
  • 22MutchBooked at 19mins
  • 16GayleSubstituted forMurrayat 79'minutes
  • 10CampbellSubstituted forBolasieat 57'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Hangeland
  • 7Bolasie
  • 13Hennessey
  • 15Jedinak
  • 17Murray
  • 23Ameobi
  • 34Kelly

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Ospina
  • 21ChambersBooked at 85mins
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 34CoquelinBooked at 28mins
  • 19Cazorla
  • 23WelbeckSubstituted forGibbsat 77'minutes
  • 11ÖzilSubstituted forRosickyat 76'minutes
  • 17SánchezSubstituted forGabrielat 89'minutes
  • 12GiroudBooked at 56mins

Substitutes

  • 1Szczesny
  • 3Gibbs
  • 5Gabriel
  • 7Rosicky
  • 10Wilshere
  • 14Walcott
  • 39Bellerin
Referee:
Mark Clattenburg
Attendance:
24,721

Match Stats

Home TeamCrystal PalaceAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home22
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home10
Away1
Fouls
Home15
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Crystal Palace 1, Arsenal 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 1, Arsenal 2.

  3. Post update

    Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) hits the right post with a header from very close range. Assisted by Yannick Bolasie with a cross.

  4. Goal!

    Goal! Crystal Palace 1, Arsenal 2. Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner following a corner.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Laurent Koscielny.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jason Puncheon with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Offside, Crystal Palace. Scott Dann tries a through ball, but Glenn Murray is caught offside.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal).

  10. Post update

    Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Francis Coquelin (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Gabriel Paulista replaces Alexis Sánchez.

  13. Post update

    Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Pape Souaré (Crystal Palace).

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordon Mutch with a cross.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Laurent Koscielny.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace).

  20. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.