Crystal Palace gnawed into Arsenal like lions attacking evacuating penguins from a zoo. Sure it doesn’t happen very often but when it does it’s spectacular. Three nil to the Palace and by the looks at the end from Arsene Wengers dejected troops they will feel they got off lightly.
Arsenal Chewed To Bits By Eagles
Who would have thought Arsenal could be so placid and who would have thought Crystal Palace could be so ruthless. Wenger’s name was called countless times during the game by the Arsenal fans, some for him to stay and some for him to go but whatever the outcome this was a shockingly poor display by The Gunners and a major shot in the arm for Palace for oh, about two weeks since the upset over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Zaha was excellent and confident in his ability, Sakho played a blinder, Townsend was marauding all down the left and Sam Allardyce looked a contented man and so he should be. After a difficult couple of months into his tenure Palace came alive and as I wrote in January, Palace on paper look strong and should be mid table but you don’t play football on paper. Big Sam has brought stability to the defence and clarity and vision to his midfield while Benteke looks at last like a man with belief in front of the opposing goal.
Time and time again Palace ousted a pathetic Arsenal off of the ball and were hungry and relentless. Ozil looked like he’d rather be running a chippy and Bellerin was poor as always in defence, although in defence of the guy he did at least look a threat going down the right wing although what he was doing there is up for major discussion. Arsene?
Palace led through Andros Townsend’s close-range finish, doubling their lead when Yohan Cabaye’s fired in a cracker in a lovely Palace move.
Luka Milivojevic clinched victory and his first goal for the Eagles with a crisp, low penalty as Palace moved six points clear of the relegation zone.
Sixth-placed Arsenal did not manage a shot on target in a dreadful second half performance.
As The Clash once expressed ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?’. Over to you Mr Wenger.
Saturday 8 April
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Watford
Scorers: Dele Alli 33, Eric Dier 39, Heung-Min Son 44, 55
Manchester City 3 – 1 Hull City
Scorers: Elmohamady (o.g.) 31, Aguero 48, Delph 64 / Ranocchia 85
Middlesbrough 0 – 0 Burnley
Stoke City 1 – 2 Liverpool
Scorers: Walters 44/ Coutinho 70, Firmino 72
West Ham United 1 – 0 Swansea City
Scorers: Kouyate 44
West Bromwich Albion 0 – 1 Southampton
Scorers: Clasie 25
AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea
Scorers: King 42 / Smith (o.g.) 17, Hazard 20, Alonso 68
Sunday 9 April
Sunderland 0-3 Manchester United
Scorers: Ibrahimovic 30, Mkhitaryan 46, Rashford 89
Everton 4-2 Leicester City
Scorers: Davies 1, Lukaku 23, 57, Jagielka 41 / Slimani 4, Albrighton 10
Monday 10 April
Crystal Palace 3-0 Arsenal
Scorers: Townsend 17, Cabaye 63, Milivojevic 68pen
Manchester United made easy meat of Sunderland winning 3-0. Sunderland played with 10 men for more than 45 minutes after Sebastian Larsson’s controversial red card for a challenge on Ander Herrera. Basically it should have been yellow at most but as with everything with Sunderland these days when you’re down, you’re down and they pretty soon will be.
David Moyes sitting on the bench looked like he’d just been to a boarding school reunion. He seemed resigned to everything, another defeat, facing an FA rap for a comment on a slap, desolate relegation. The only area he doesn’t seem resigned to is resigning strangely enough.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had already put United ahead with a sublime, curling 20-yard effort that he made look so easy. Henrikh Mkhitaryan made it 2-0 before Marcus Rashford drilled in the third to give him some much needed confidence and United a comfortable win.
Spurs looked in devastating form with a standard 4-0 demolition of an in form Watford and kept the pressure up on Chelsea who came away from the South coast with all 3 points as they beat Bournemouth 3-1 with a lovely Alonso free kick securing Chelsea’s win and a continued 7 point cushion over Spurs.
Liverpool stay in third thanks to 2 goals in 3 minutes as they saw off Stoke City by 2 goals to 1. A totally unmarked Jon Walters headed the hosts into the lead after meeting Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross, as the Reds failed to register a first-half effort on target and looked poor. Second half and Liverpool rung the changes and they worked.
Coutinho levelled with a first-time shot before Firmino smashed the bouncing ball beyond keeper Lee Grant after Georginio Wijnaldum’s pass.
West Ham got a much needed win and morale booster as they left Swansea city in further trouble with a 1-0 win although it wasn’t clever it was 3 points nonetheless. The Hammers took a deserved lead just before half-time when Cheikhou Kouyate collected a Robert Snodgrass pass and scored with a stunning low 25-yard strike.
For West Ham, they move up to 14th and now have an eight-point cushion between themselves and 18th-placed Swansea.
The result leaves Swansea in the bottom three of the Premier League with only six games left to secure their top-flight survival. With Sunderland as good as down which we saying 4 months ago and with Middlesbrough unable to locate any opponents net and probably on course to follow them it looks like a 2 horse race to stay up. Hull or Swansea? Take your pick.
Hull were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City to stop City’s slide but continue Hull’s long standing woes.
Ahmed Elmohamady’s own goal opened the scoring before half time at Etihad Stadium, as the Hull defender turned in Jesus Navas’ dangerous low cross. Hull were lucky it was only 1-0 at the break but they were still in the game.
Raheem Sterling’s jinking run then set up Sergio Aguero and the Argentine’s powerful effort squeezed past Eldin Jakupovic to make it 2-0 although the Hull shot stopper had no chance from City’s third, with Fabian Delph allowed time and space to smash in from outside the box with a lovely touch.
Andrea Ranocchia did pull one back late on, as the City keeper let a weak effort trickle past him. It was more Juliet Bravo than Claudio Bravo but Pep likes him.
Middlesbrough drew 0-0 at home again. Those poor poor fans in the north east. This time it was Burnley they needed to beat but didn’t.
Finally Southampton won 1-0 at West Brom and Everton won too. Their hitman Lukaku goes further ahead in the scoring stakes with two more as the blues came back in an entertaining game to beat Leicester City 4-2 after being 2-1 down after a pulsating first eleven minutes.