Arsenal – Crystal Palace: Have The Gunners Turned A Corner? (5-0)
Three defeats on the spin, pressure built during the break on Arsenal, whether they were able to keep the pace of the title challengers. Originally, Crystal Palace appeared to provide a tough contest but constantly gave them identical routes to attack their limited defense.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
Despite being in very different surroundings, with very different play styles, Arsenal and Crystal Palace can be listed as defensively solid teams, without the killer instinct to take games away from opponents.
Being knocked out of the FA Cup may not weigh significantly, however being defeated by teams around them in the table certainly does not help matters for either side. Arsenal marched towards the top of the table for Christmas Day, defeats to West Ham and Fulham have seen them nearly thrown out of the top four.
In a low-block, Palace could certainly cause similar problems. Under Roy Hodgson, the team is on a different trajectory than what it was under Patrick Vieira, but his experience is respected. Partnering up a consistent goal scorer with the creativity of Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze has been difficult, only the bottom two teams have scored less than Palace this season.
Both Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko returned to action, after coming back from injury. These were two changes out of four that Mikel Arteta . . .