Sports Desk, Jan 14 (efe-epa).- Arsenal suffered a dip in form Thursday against Crystal Palace, who created the better chances in a 0-0 draw at London’s Emirates Stadium that leaves the two Premier League sides separated by just a point.
A fourth straight league win would have lifted the Gunners into the top half of the table, instead they remain 11th on 24 points, one more than Leeds United and Palace.
Mikel Arteta’s men had 68 percent possession, but lacked the quality they showed on Boxing Day in their 3-1 upset of Chelsea, the 4-0 rout of West Bromwich Albion or last weekend’s FA Cup third-round win against Newcastle United.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came the closest for the hosts, forcing a stop from Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita in the 20th minute.
At the other end of the pitch, Bernd Leno denied Christian Benteke, while the cross-bar thwarted James Tomkins and Granit Xhaka blocked an effort by the Eagles’ top striker, Wilfried Zaha. EFE On the positive side, Arsenal kept a fourth consecutive clean sheet in all competitions for the first time since 2016.
“Some freshness and some quality in the final third. We generated a lot of entries into the final third, but without big, big chances,” Arteta said afterward. “We had to generate more to win that game … But I cannot fault the spirit or the fight they put in.”
Unsurprisingly, Palace’s Roy Hodgson was the happier manager.
“It was good. I’m more than satisfied with everything. Our defending was good throughout. There was a particularly good spell in the first half when we created a few opportunities but in the second half I thought we wasted a few. But I’m very proud of the way they went about their work today.”
Crystal Palace’s will be away to Manchester City for their next match. Arsenal are set to host Newcastle United at the Emirates.
Earlier Thursday, the Premier League announced the postponement of Sunday’s Aston Villa vs. Everton match due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the Birmingham-based club.
Villa already had to postpone a scheduled match against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night. EFE id/dr