Arsenal wasted their chance to take advantage of Manchester United’s earlier defeat with a limp and error-ridden performance in defeat to Crystal Palace.
Arsenal played one of their worst first halves of the season after being forced into a number of changes from the midweek win over Napoli. Christian Benteke gave Palace the lead as he was unmarked in the box from a free-kick, and that was pretty much that for notable first-half chances.
Mesut Özil dragged Arsenal back into the game early in the second half, before Shkodran Mustafi gifted Palace the chance to kill the Gunners’ momentum again. James McArthur added to the lead not long afterwards, and a positive individual goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang couldn’t help Unai Emery’s side avoid defeat.
Let’s have a look at our individual player ratings for the match.
Goalkeeper and Centre-Backs
Bernd Leno 6
Despite conceding three goals, Leno did make a few important saves (or rather, they would’ve been important if Arsenal didn’t continuously self-destruct). His distribution was also very good.
Konstantinos Mavropanos 4
Mavropanos was a victim of Arsenal having to change the system, as he was withdrawn at half-time. He was good on the ball, and had a few good defensive moments, but he also had one or two lapses letting players run in behind him, and he gave away the free-kick that led to the first goal.
Laurent Koscielny 5
Koscielny was dispossessed twice, which is a bit worrying as the central centre-back. His defending was mostly pretty good though, particularly as he had to cover for quite a few mistakes.
Shkodran Mustafi 1
What does it matter what Mustafi does for 99% of the game when the other 1% is him letting Wilfried Zaha in for a free shot at goal at the most crucial point in the match?
Arsenal had successfully come back from 1-0 down and were pushing for a second when the German killed the team’s momentum, the crowd’s enthusiasm, and with that any chance of Arsenal taking all three points.