A rare 3pm Saturday game for Arsenal this week saw the Gunners reclaim a top four spot.
In addition to our extensive pre-match coverage of the game, we got our writers together for a short prediction on how they thought the game would pan out.
Here’s how we did:
Lee Hurley Predicted Win 3-0
I saw us winning this game but I expected it to be a lot more comfortable than it turned out being, Arsenal once again switching off when they were two up and nearly dropping points because of it.
It was a different game than we are used to seeing against this sort of side, however, and despite some lapses of concentration towards the end, on the whole the team were up for the game even if they couldn’t get into their stride.
Let my heart rule my head this week and, as I should know by now, my heart is an idiot.
Helen Trantum Predicted Win 4-1
Well, I have to say I’m very glad that Bolasie only came on when Campbell’s injury forced it – as expected he was the main threat, actually having some end product unlike Zaha!
Both fullbacks struggled at times in this game (how Monreal escaped without a yellow is a mystery to me) and it turned into a very tough game.
First half was more of less as expected, with Arsenal coming out the blocks quickly with an incorrectly disallowed offside goal from Özil and an incorrectly given penalty confidently converted by Santi.
We had all the good chances and Giroud tapped in to finish an excellent move he started.
I said at half time that the next goal would decide which way the game went, either relaxing or heart-attack inducing, and Arsenal being Arsenal it was the latter to put my prediction out of sight.
If Alexis had scored his golden chance following super work by Özil (another magic performance from him) then I don’t believe we’d have seen the Palace revival!
That’s all ‘if’s and ‘but’s though, and I have to accept others did much better this week. My optimism is well placed at home but needs work away!
Stephen Bradley Predicted Win 2-0
For 91 minutes, I was spot on.
We had defended well, kept the ball pretty well and most importantly, ran at their backline when given the chance. We’re finally seeing what Özil can do when multiple players make runs in front of him.
Conceding that late is a little worrying, but Palace did spend the majority of the second half on the front foot, pushing us back at every opportunity.
It was of great credit to our centre-backs that Ospina didn’t have much to do until injury time.
It wasn’t as comfortable as we might have wished, but it’s a decent three points during a weekend where most of our rivals have/will drop points.
On to Monaco.
Paul Williams Predicted Win 2-1
I didn’t see the game as I was recovering from a Friday night bender but I’m pleased to get another correct score under my belt.
Obviously, I’m even more pleased that Arsenal left south London with the three points.
A combination of that win and United losing to Swansea sees Arsenal in the top three for the first time in ages.
What’s not to like about that?
Sylvain Jamet Predicted Win 2-1
First correct prediction!
Winning ugly and three points. It is all that matters.
Lewis Ambrose Predicted Win 2-1
Palace fought really hard, hassling ta and giving us no time to settle on the ball. That wasn’t only in the beginning but throughout the game, and was really impressive,
Despite that, we capitalised on their mistake early on and looked solid enough at the back. One good attacking move at the end of the first half was enough for a two goal lead which, in all honesty, was flattering.
Even though Arsenal failed to finish them off during one of our many counter-attacks we weren’t in danger until the final moments.
One goal after switching off at a corner, we were ultimately lucky to get away with all three points with Murray hitting the post right at the death.
Regardless, a tough and well earned three points – and a correctly predicted 2-1 win on my part.
Nia Griffiths Predicted Win 2-1
Although I got the score right and knew we wouldn’t be in for an easy game, I was hoping we’d play a little better.
Crystal Palace put intense pressure on us from the outset and I think our performance was more a reflection on how much they wanted it, as opposed to how badly we played (although we did play pretty badly).
We couldn’t seem to string passes together, were giving the ball away constantly and generally seemed a bit clumsy.
I’m not too worried; we got the three points and if winning ugly is the most of our worries, we should be fine.
Andi Foster N/A
Sean Ferguson Predicted Win 3-1
I didn’t actually see the game as I was at a wedding but after seeing the brief highlights and reading a couple of match reports there appears to be a fortune of good luck involved.
A debatable penalty and a goal that could’ve been ruled for offside on Welbeck in the build up seem to be the main talking points but we’ve come away from a potentially tricky tie with three points. Can’t argue.
After other results went our way we’ve found ourselves in third with a favourable run in. If we can get into a habit of winning games with a stroke of good fortune then you won’t find me complaining!
Bring on Monaco!
Mark Fine Predicted Win 3-1
Like I said, wasn’t sure how it was going to play out.
Palace played a physical game, looking to push us off the ball at any given chance and it was definitely not the easy game I thought we might have had.
Then again it wouldn’t be Arsenal if it were easy.
It seemed like we were very much in control, rolling along in the first half and then dropped off into heart-attack mode in the second and I’ve noticed this trend now for the past 3-4 games, where we come out great guns, only to be tanked by the 70th or so minute.
We conceded late, but by that time were too committed to the defence and well under pressure to add a third.
With Chelsea and United dropping points this is a well-timed win to thrust us (pending Southampton’s outcome on Sunday) into third.
Anita Sambol Predicted Win 2-0
Phew, three points!
Those were some crazy last five minutes but I should have gotten used to that already.
As Arsene said in the presser, the players tend to relax and think it’s over, and then we almost draw. This wasn’t the case only in the last minutes, remember that foul right outside our area that wasn’t given? Our players stopped and Palace kept going? Yeah, play to the whistle!
We really didn’t look good on Saturday, passing was bad and Coq scared me a few times. Monreal had problems with Zaha but adapted over time. The pitch was poor and Clattenburg was poor too, although little less poor for us. I thought it was a penalty, but also Coq should have been given a card for that high boot.
Individually, Ozil had a great game; I just love how much he has worked on his physique. Alexis keeps mesmerizing me with his dribblings. Chambers and Nacho didn’t have the best of games but it was okay in the end.
Ospina is a great choice for second keeper, and the defence seems to like playing with him at the back.
Other results on Saturday were great for us too! At the end, only three points matter, and the fact I called set piece goal.