Just when the internet was going overboard with the perennial connection of Arsenal and number ”4”, a french scorpion stung.
Olivier Giroud probably scored ‘The Goal of the Year’ at the 17th minute as his scorpion back-heel volley entombed an Alexis Sanchez cross into the back of the net against Crystal Palace, guiding his side to the third position of the League table. An outstanding Alex Iwobi sealed the match for the dominant Gunners at 65th with a looping header as Arsenal got a two-nil victory over somewhat wasteful Palace. Gunners enjoyed 65% possession over the course of the match.
Here are the highlights from the Arsenal vs Crystal Palace game:
Let’s now take a look at how the Arsenal players performed.
Petr Cech: 8
The veteran goalkeeper was outstanding, as he made three stunning saves and a midst Palace pressure, was solid between the sticks. Cech cancelled Arsenal players’ planned Christmas Party to concentrate on the game, this time he spoiled the party for Palace.
Hector Bellerin: 7
The right-back’s electric pace was pivotal in Gunners’ attacking and defending. Aerially could have performed better. Otherwise solid performance.
Gabriel Paulista: 7
There is a famous folklore story of Vikram aur Betaal in the Indian Subcontinent, where the ghost Betaal remains always on the back of Vikram. Gabriel seemed like a perfect reincarnation of Betaal on Christian Benteke, as he never let the Palace striker walk alone and he literally rode on the back of Benteke. Decent performance from the centre-back as he justified his selection ahead of Mustafi.
Laurent Koscielny: 7
The centre-back was solid as he didn’t put a foot wrong and displayed leadership at the back.
Nacho Monreal: 6
The full-back was shown the yellow. Struggled against Townsend. Some good forward inclinations though.
Mohamed Elneny: 7
Displayed decent work rate and good range of passing as he was really good as holding midfield role.
Granit Xhaka: 7
Starting to find his feet in the Premier League and improving with each game. Decent.
Lucas Perez: 6
Below average performance as he couldn’t capitalize the chance he was given. Extremely weak on his right.
Alex Iwobi: 8
The ‘Iwobinho’ shined in the number 10 role in the absence of Ozil. Nutmegged Zaha insanely.
Alexis Sanchez: 7
Worked so hard, always trying to make things happen, involved in goals.
Olivier Giroud: 7
Wonderful goal, amazing back heel, without doubt the best goal of 2017 so far.
Francis Coquelin, for Elneny, 72 mins, 6
Aaron Ramsey, for Perez, 72 mins, 6
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, for Iwobi, 77 mins, 6
Photo by joshjdss