Mikel Arteta and his boys couldn’t sustain their newfound momentum as the Gunners’ three-match Premier League winning run came to an end at the Emirates on Thursday night following a goalless draw with Crystal Palace in the London Derby.
Both sides had their moments to win the match with Arsenal’s captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang denied by Vicente Guaita while James Tomkins’ hit the crossbar from a header just before half-time.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles also tested Vicente Guaita shortly after the hour mark and Rob Holding could not direct a Bukayo Saka’s corner into the net as the match finished goalless.
As a result, Arsenal remains 11th on the log while Roy Hodgson’s side, Palace, who extend their unbeaten league run over the Gunners to five matches, are a point and two places behind them.
Watch the highlights of the match below
Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta said: “Some freshness and some quality in the final third [is what we were missing]. There were situations where we lacked the last pass or the timing, or the last shot. Probably we had to generate more to be able to win that game.
“I would like to see a win today and score a few goals, and it didn’t happen. There were moments as well that fatigue played a big moment, when we started to give very difficult balls away.
“I cannot fault the spirit, the fight that they put in. They tried to the last minute but it wasn’t enough today.”
Roy Hodgson on the other hand said: “I’m more than satisfied with everything. I thought our defending was good throughout, we had a particularly good spell in the first half when we created some very good opportunities. In the second half, we perhaps wasted one or two opportunities with the final pass after getting ourselves into a position where we could have produced a pass which could have hurt them.
“But throughout, it was an excellent defensive performance and a fantastic piece of discipline and hard work of the players. I’m very proud of how they’ve gone about their work today.
“It’s very good (to keep clean sheets). I think we’re getting back to where we want to be and it’s nice to go into the next stage of the season with at least 23 points. We haven’t given up the chance yet of getting points at Man City as well, but it’s nice to know there’s healthy gap between us and the teams really fighting at the bottom. If we keep playing the way we played today, I think there are points in the bag for us going forward.
“When you look at the games on paper, which is a foolish thing to do, you are facing two potential defeats in a row against two top teams, so it’s very good we’ve avoided that at least and it will give us some confidence going to Man City that if we can keep Arsenal at bay, we might be able to keep them at bay as well.”
Stats and facts from the match (Backed by Opta)
- Crystal Palace have kept consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time since a run of four in a row between February and June last year.
- Arsenal have kept four consecutive clean sheets in all competitions for the first time since October 2016.
- Arsenal have failed to score in seven Premier League matches this season, as many as in the entirety of last season, last failing to score in more games in a season in 2015/16 (8).
- Arsenal extended their winless top-flight league run against Crystal Palace to five matches, drawing four of those (L1).
- Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke had more shots than any other player tonight (6) – the last five players to have 6+ shots in a Premier League game at the Emirates have all been visiting players: John McGinn (Sept 2019), Raúl Jiménez (Nov 2019), Sadio Mané (July 2020), Danny Welbeck (July 2020) and Benteke tonight.
- Crystal Palace have kept more Premier League clean sheets in two matches in 2021 (2) than they managed in their final 24 matches in 2020 (1).