Premier League
ArsenalArsenal2Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace3

Arsenal 2-3 Crystal Palace

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
Christian Benteke scores for Crystal Palace against Arsenal
Christian Benteke has scored 70 goals in 200 Premier League appearances

Arsenal's hopes of a top-four finish were dented after Christian Benteke's first goal in a year helped Crystal Palace to an excellent win which confirmed their Premier League place.

Benteke was left unmarked to head Luka Milivojevic's delivery past Bernd Leno, only for Mesut Ozil to equalise with a clever finish shortly after half-time.

However, two goals in eight minutes ended Arsenal's 10-match winning league run at Emirates Stadium.

Wilfried Zaha capitalised on a mistake by Shkodran Mustafi to restore Palace's lead and James McArthur's header made it 3-1 before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reduced the deficit with his 19th league goal of the season.

Sloppy Arsenal pay the price

With Manchester United on the receiving end of a hammering at Everton earlier in the day, and Tottenham losing at Manchester City the previous day, this was an ideal opportunity for the Gunners to take a big step towards securing a Champions League place.

Yet Unai Emery's side were punished for an awful defensive performance as they fell to only a second home league defeat under the Spaniard.

The marking for Benteke's goal was non-existent, Mustafi's failed attempt to block Zaha ended in embarrassment and a second Palace goal, while McArthur was also left unmarked to head home the third.

Captain Laurent Koscielny and leading scorer Aubameyang were starting their third game in eight days but this was an under-par performance by a team looking to finish in the top four for the first time in three seasons.

Arsenal 2-3 Crystal Palace: Unai Emery says a top four finish is now "more difficult"

The Gunners monopolised possession but it required a double change at half-time to help them get back on level terms after Benteke's header separated the teams at the interval.

Alex Iwobi, one of the substitutes, was involved in Ozil's lovely equaliser, his pass finding Alexandre Lacazette to set up the German.

That should have been the signal to push on, yet Arsenal fell away and, despite a late rally which saw Aubameyang score, will fall out of the top four if Chelsea beat Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Monday (20:00 BST).

Palace find comfort away from home

Despite gathering only eight points from their first 12 games, Palace will spend a seventh successive season in the top flight after securing safety with three matches to spare.

While their home form has been disappointing, Palace have played with freedom and confidence on the road.

Having won at title-chasing Manchester City, they can now add a first win at Arsenal for 25 years to their impressive collection of away achievements.

Manager Roy Hodgson will hope Benteke can kick-on after ending a a run of 19 appearances, 25 shots and 358 days without scoring.

Roy Hodgson delighted with 'really good' performance

The Belgian, who once scored 19 goals in a Premier League season for Aston Villa, missed a glorious chance to double Palace's lead on the stroke of half-time.

It did not prove costly, Palace showing character to respond with two quick goals after Ozil's equaliser.

Scott Dann and Martin Kelly were strong at the heart of the defence, while skipper Milivojevic was involved in two of his side's three goals.

In addition, Vicente Guaita clawed away a dangerous Ozil cross and Iwobi shot straight at the Palace keeper.

Man of the match - Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace)

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic talk after Palace's 3-2 win at Emirates Stadium
Luka Milivojevic's 12 top-flight goals has been invaluable to Palace's cause this season and he was involved in another two at Emirates Stadium as Palace celebrated a memorable derby win

Zaha's away-day goal streak - the stats

  • Wilfried Zaha has scored eight away goals for Crystal Palace in the Premier League this season - only Tottenham's Harry Kane (11) and Leicester's Jamie Vardy (10) have netted more.
  • Arsenal suffered their first home league defeat in a London derby since January 2016 when they lost 1-0 to Chelsea.
  • Palace avoided defeat in both league meetings with Arsenal in a campaign for the first time since 1979-80.
  • Arsenal's Mesut Ozil has been directly involved in 52 goals in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium (20 goals, 32 assists).
  • Palace have scored 29 goals away from home in the Premier League this season - their most in a single campaign in the competition and joint-most overall in a top-flight season.

What's next?

Arsenal play their fourth game in 10 days on Wednesday when they travel to face Wolves (19:45 BST), while Crystal Palace host Everton next Saturday (15:00).

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 19Leno
  • 20MustafiBooked at 85mins
  • 6Koscielny
  • 27MavropanosBooked at 16minsSubstituted forIwobiat 45'minutes
  • 25JenkinsonSubstituted forMaitland-Nilesat 45'minutes
  • 29GuendouziBooked at 68mins
  • 4ElnenySubstituted forTorreiraat 68'minutes
  • 31Kolasinac
  • 10ÖzilBooked at 63mins
  • 9Lacazette
  • 14Aubameyang

Substitutes

  • 1Cech
  • 7Mkhitaryan
  • 11Torreira
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 17Iwobi
  • 18Monreal
  • 49Nketiah

Crystal Palace

  • 31Guaita
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 34Kelly
  • 6Dann
  • 2WardBooked at 81mins
  • 18McArthur
  • 4Milivojevic
  • 8Kouyaté
  • 7MeyerSubstituted forTownsendat 80'minutes
  • 17BentekeSubstituted forJ Ayewat 78'minutes
  • 11Zaha

Substitutes

  • 3van Aanholt
  • 10Townsend
  • 13Hennessey
  • 14J Ayew
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 26Sako
  • 44Riedewald
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
59,929

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home73%
Away27%
Shots
Home12
Away16
Shots on Target
Home5
Away7
Corners
Home8
Away3
Fouls
Home15
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 2, Crystal Palace 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Crystal Palace 3.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal).

  4. Post update

    Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal).

  6. Post update

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  8. Post update

    Delay in match Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) because of an injury.

  9. Post update

    Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace).

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Matteo Guendouzi.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Vicente Guaita.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Crystal Palace. Luka Milivojevic tries a through ball, but Jordan Ayew is caught offside.

  14. Booking

    Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) has gone down, but that's a dive.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. James McArthur (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Ayew.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Wilfried Zaha.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Mesut Özil (Arsenal).

  20. Post update

    Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool35277179205988
2Man City34282487226586
3Tottenham342211164352967
4Arsenal34206868432566
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Man Utd34197863481564
7Everton35147145044649
8Watford34147134949049
9Leicester35146154847148
10Wolves34139124142-148
11West Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff3594223065-3531
19Fulham3565243376-4323
20Huddersfield3535272069-4914
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