Crystal Palace-Arsenal. I’m In the Dark, (Part II). Show Me the Way… PALS

Up Front, Xhaka, LT behind Ozil in Midfield and the rest pretty much pick themselves.  Is Arteta putting out his best 11 to do the job at Palace?

What do you think?

Here are the line-ups…

Arsenal: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Papastathopoulos, Luiz, Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
Subs: Holding, Nelson, Martinez, Willock, Guendouzi, Martinelli, Saka.

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Kelly, Tomkins, Cahill, Riedewald, Meyer, McCarthy, Kouyate, McArthur, Zaha, Ayew.
Subs: Dann, Hennessey, Tosun, Wickham, Woods, Kirby, Pierrick.

We’re a point behind Palace, so this is a real opportunity… COYGs and all that…

As I wrote in the previous thread, I’ve got no coverage for this match so I’ll be counting on my colleagues to describe the action for me.  Help a fellow out, eh…

Go on then…


116 thoughts on “Crystal Palace-Arsenal. I’m In the Dark, (Part II). Show Me the Way… PALS

  • Good morning HT
    Going to see if the voice recognition option is going to work this morning. Bear with me on the verbal typos

  • used to be concerned that our opposition was going to come out pressing to making a mistake.

    Boot now feels on the other foot

  • Quick from the kickoff also heading forward to Abba who gets to the byline and we have a corner

  • Some probing passes in the middle of the field to give up possession Alba called for a foul on Max Meyer

  • Sorry PB, but I’ve got no bandwidth…I’m running my internet only off a hot-spot from my phone…

    But, at least I’ve got my BK buddies… 😀

    And, my coffee…More on that at some point…

  • Most of Arsenal’s attack coming down the left side to cola did not yet been able to get across soon Kitty attackers in the box

  • Where’s Eris? What about LeGall, who did so well for me in the cup game?…

    J-Dub, you might need to slap that voice recognition thing around a bit… 😀 It’s interesting the idea of watching the match and calling out the play-by-play…

  • pass from Louise to lacazette through the middle a through-ball to Abba right side from about 12 yards out slaughterhouse one nothingpass from Louise to lacazette through the middle a through-ball to Abba right side from about 12 yards out slaughterhouse one nothing to the good

  • Luiz sent a pass through a number of defenders to Laca, pivoting to send a through ball to Auba who slots it home from 12 with a clinical finish.

  • Prior to the goal was expressing that Arsenal hadn’t yet decided how to attack through the middle– then voila!

  • Luiz and Xhaka have settled into a strategy of crossfield passes to auba on the right and pepe on the left as a fashion of spreading palace out

  • Laca with a ball in the right corner with a cross to high and past all of the bodies in the box

  • Arsenal’s closing down quickly has been influencing palace to backpass when they want to counter

  • palace with another foray into the box– zaha shoves pape into LT sending them both to the turf.

  • Sounds as if CP have found a way back into the match with some stomping and pushing our guys… The replay on the goal (from Arseblog) is nice… I gotta get my screen situation worked out sooner than later…

  • James macArthur generally a pain- has not been so to this point. Several poor passes and a FK to his discredit

  • Palace on the front foot pressing into our box Luiz sends one out– the ball pushed back in and LT whiffs on a clearance– luckily the resulting ball straight to Leno

  • Kola takes a shot from CB Thompkins who steps into Kola on a charge toward the middle of the 18

    Ozil with the FK– a couple of touches without much intent– palace clears

  • Arsenal at the least back in palaces end– after a few menacing minutes earlier by palace

  • Kola gives a FK at MF to no end– then Laca called for a foul on Macarthur. FK taken short– and a ball over the top for Ayew too long.

  • Bit of chaos outside the box results in a short shot for palace– that leno parries then gathers

  • Pepe picks up a nearly no foul booking– for straddling over top of MacArthur after both tumbled to the ground

  • We get to halftime still with the lead… 😀 But maybe Arteta has to get his charges back on track a bit. We (or I, at least…) always counted on AW to improve things at the interval, and MA did likewise in midweek so, hopefully, it becomes a regular feature…

    OK, time to make another espresso on my bigger machine–the one where I wired the (external) pump so that I can pre-infuse (i.e. moisten) the shot with some unpressurized water, before the real pull begins. I’m sure you (J-Dub…) all (if anyone else is around…) were just dying to know about that… 😀

  • Arsenal have reverted to sending balls long instead of working to advance from our end after recovering the ball. Need to be a bit more concerted effort to retain possession– as palace have been energized– and in our half those last 15 minutes or so.

  • Always some sort of ceremony– that seems to justify the ingestion of substances. 😁

  • Wished to add that Ozil had a deft touch pass in a combo with Laca prior to Alex’s assist to Auba.

  • Guendouzi on for Torriera who has an unspecified knock.
    Now hear one of his falls injured his back.

  • A chance to break early see s a too-hard touch from Kola to Auba. Resulting in our fouling to stop play. FK into our box but offside called on palace

  • Excellent D by AMN on a ball down the wing– Ainsley manages to be physical enough to allow the ball to carry out.

  • Keep it coming J-Dub, even if it’s just the two of us…

    Up on the roof now as we’ve got nice sunrise colors happening… Plus the big moon in the west going down…

  • Scrappy. Yeah. That’s the term.
    Laca fouls Ayew the resulting sees a ball into the box pinging around until a shot deflected– twists its way past Leno.


  • Guess the good news now– is Palace has dropped back into their half to defend.
    We have a ball through to Laca whose touch is a bit har.

    Palace back to our end– and Ayew takes a shot outside of boot well wide from 20.

  • Pepe tries to find Laca near post another corner– Luiz with a near post flick just over the bar

  • Sounds like PEA with a bad tackle…and now gone–for this match and the next 3….

  • Credit to Arteta– choosing to chase and press to control the flow of the game.
    Going to be hard with 18 minutes plus remaining.

  • Please explain, JW… Are we still going after the full points here…or just trying to hang on and maybe get lucky on the break?…

  • We’re looking for the points HT.
    Any recovery of the ball and we’re breaking forward

  • A ball into the box by Zaha– pings around– palace claiming the ball crossed the goal line.
    Clean and resolute defending as the announcer put it.
    Results in a corner taken long for a GK

  • Unreal. Martinelli crosses to Laca who turns then passes to Pepe–w ho hit the inside of the far post — and out. Laca almost with the spilled rebound– but no.

  • Martinelli obviously cut down by Thompkins– who is being reviewed– but no just a YC

  • I dunno, it sounds like we’re giving it a good effort, but I might take the single point if it were on offer…

  • Probably 5 minutes left– palace seems to want the 1 point now.
    Arsenal surrender a FK at MF

  • And we have a draw. Not undeserved– though Pepe does seem to have an uncanny accuracy for hitting woodwork.

  • NBCSN studio expressing the RC on Auba was an inconsistent call compared to earlier in the season. The call took far too long– to be a certainty. Wondering if this might be a situation for appeal.

  • Might have been luckier. Might have been smarter.
    Arsenal– still had the better chance of winning– even down to 10.

  • Did like how we showed fight during those last 25 minutes.
    Great sub Martinelli for Ozil. Thinking it caused Hodgson to keep his players back to defend.

  • We’ve arrived at Full time…and will go back to North London with just a point… Missing PEA for 3 games might be the bigger issue.

    I never really felt awake this morning, even with my coffee set-up, so I’ll switch off for a back to sleep moment. Hopefully, we’ll get some match comments (and maybe something big I can put up as a match report)… I’ll check back when my morning begins in earnest…

    BIG thanks, however, J-Dub for efforts with voice AND fingers in describing the action…

  • Well, some 12+ hours later and… No comments at all…


    I tried, but, alas…

    Maybe sorta like the Arsenal… Night, night… Enjoy the rest of your weekend…

  • 17ht, jw1,

    Thanks for the brilliant commentary.
    I was outside when the match is on so was not able to watch it. This commentary helped me lots.

    I am still getting to grips with the result, and will write something later.

  • I’m not too inspired either, but since this will be the 100th comment in the thread… what the hell. 🙂

    I’m a bit worried about Torreira’s muscle injury. On the other hand, about Aubameyang’s suspension not that much. We have Lacazette, who is (on the verge of becoming) a world class striker, and we have Pepe, Nelson and Martinelli to support him from the wings. We even have Saka as LW, if Kolasinac resumes his left back role.

    What I find disappointing though, is that we were aiming again for a 1:0 win. Yes, the deflected equalizer was bad luck – so was Auba’s red card – but while Chelse and ManU have no problem trashing the opponent by 4:0 or 3:0 we are unable to kick some serious ass, and stand back playing ball possession game, with occasional yet ineffective counterattacks (again) after a 1:0 lead.

  • Just seen a replay of the game a few minutes ago. Was on the move quite a bit but was always looking in on the live blog comments.

    I feel Auba needs to start aiming for more than one goal a game, seeing as he appears to be about the only one able to find the Onion bag. He scores one and seems satisfied, which Arteta needs to be addressing. I guess what I am saying is pretty much in line with the above comment: our team should be looking to keep going and scoring as many as possible while we are on the up. With our not-so-good defending, we can’t defend a first half lone goal lead.

    Torreira’s reported injury will give Arteta some sleepless nights, truth be told; he may not show it but I believe he’s resigned to the fact the Uruguayan is simply an undroppable item, given the structure he has planned for the team. Without Torreira, we would have to tweak something with our balance with him potentially out of the team. Hopefully, it’s not as bad as to necessitate this.

  • Doing the commentary in-match? Last night I went back and watched start to finish. Seeing all of the snippets of it I’d missed while typing.

    Arsenal’s effort was pretty good throughout– not always on the front foot– but most of the time. Never was the effort poor.

    Ainsley Maitland-Niles– was absolutely brilliant. He must have oversized pockets in his kit shorts– as on a cold, windy day– throughout the match– Wilfried Zaha stayed cozy in one of them. AMN should be certain to check his pockets again before washing. Possibly his best game ever defensively.

    Don’t get me started… but,
    Was really unimpressed with referee Paul Tierney. He missed several YCs in the first half. How Jordan Ayew was never booked is amazing– at least 4 cumulative fouls uncalled in the first half. One a distinct YC cutting down Lucas Torreira from behind with the ball a step away. Zaha’s shove in Pepe’s back clearly caused the in-air collision that sent Torreira to the bench at half. That might have been a RC for dangerous play. CB James Thompkins should have seen yellow by stepping in front of a charging Sead Kolasinac in the first 20 minutes– then dismissed after another booking late– at around 80 mins.

    That we drew on Sunday wasn’t directly on Tierney’s shoulders– but his lenience of certain fouls allowed in the run of play surely is.

    Arsenal might have won anyway. At 10-men we went for the 3pts– outshooting CP 5-2 in the 30+ minutes after Auba was dismissed. Pepe hit the inside of the far post with a rocket– that stood a ricocheting chance of hitting the GK in the back and going in anyway. And Laca nearly got to it after the spilled save. On a Pepe corner shortly after– David Luiz flicked an unsaveable header inches above the bar. Less so, but still aggressive– Granit Xhaka had a hammer-shot body-blocked from the top of the box.

    We did come close to conceding again on a contested header that angled toward the net– which Papa cleared off the line. VAR concluding the entirety of the ball never crossed.

    The look of being in control– while being down to 10-men? Gave me a flashback moment– back to when I’d first started watching Arsenal in 2004-05. Of all the replays I’d scramble to find and record– it seemed so many had the Gunners down to 10-men and ended up scoring to win or draw. Just seemed miraculous how often it happened. That was how I felt about our chances yesterday. The boys came very close.

    Still, it was a character check– for more than a third of the match on Sunday. The team passed the test. But it might have been a big, big boost to have gone one better.


  • Looks good jw1.
    We looked in control even after being down to 10 and it seemed like we are quite strong in controlling the game and preventing turnovers.

    We seemed to be building a good base for Artetaball, which is a mix of Wengerball and Total Football.

  • JW,
    Fully agreed on the responsibility of Tierney.
    In fact – though it’s not on Tierney – even their equalizer seemed to start with a slight offside.
    This is a great article, please check it out:

    On the other hand I don’t entirely share your perception on AMN. He was good, no doubt about that, better than most of his past appearances this season, but Zaha was quite lively throughout the game (mostly in the 2nd half), but he fortunately screwed up his dribbles and crosses. Some of them is Ainsley’s merit, but often the center backs helped him out with well timed clearances.

  • Hi guys… Busy here, as the pressure of the other side (of the wall) starts to tighten its grip upon me… We need our TA back, obviously…

    Cheers to Eris and JW for going back to the (video)tape… (and for PB with additional comments, including actually disagreeing, mildly and politely, with another comment writer–you know, the way a blog is supposed to function… JK, I’m not sure how your mind works, but at least you seem enthused… 😉 …)

    Going back to the video–is something that, for psychological reasons, I just don’t seem able to do. Once I know the result, the thought of “studying the match” just doesn’t appeal (and the result doesn’t really seem to matter, i.e., I never went to see more than highlights of the ManU match)… That said, if I feel like I missed some stuff (while live-blogging) then I often do go back and take a 2nd gander at specific parts of the match…

    Anyhow, as I often tell people, that’s really a question for me and my mental health team… 😀 and I’ll be back in California soon enough (but I might be looking for a stream for Saturday’s match as I could be staying at a place with fiber-optic interweb, but no television sevice., i.e., with the cord cut). For Tuesday’s match, I should be able to resume full live-blogging services, which actually might help folks (like JW at work)…

    Wait a minute… I just looked up the matches…and…WTF?!!…there appears to be zero television coverage for the Chelsea match!! (Again, WTF?…) Audio only?!?!!… At least the Sheffield United match wins the “free” coverage slot among the 3pm kickoffs on Saturday… So, now I have to rearrange my travel plans…or just resign myself to have even fewer things to look forward to… 😦

    Happy travels to everybody else…esp. TA… Come and get your blog… (that’s a twist on a VERY old song title…) Please…

  • HT– it’s just the opposite in the US.
    Sheffield on NBC Gold ($$ season only)
    Chelsea on NBCSN
    Bournemouth on ESPN+
    Did get Leeds on a ‘free’. Likely have to do Sheffield that way.

    Will watch DVR’d matches repeatedly (wins or draws mostly) during the following week. As I’m readying to sleep– I’ll start watching. Then pick it up the next night where I’d drifted off. Thanks to the lack of DVR-able matches since Arteta took over? I’ve seen the ManU match about 6 times. 😎 The CP one– I’ve seen twice. And again– the 30 minutes after Auba’s RC. It’s a really good snapshot of Arteta’s vision for the team. The aggressiveness with 10-men was enjoyable. We could have easily won with that type of effort and focus.


  • Good afternoon BK-Friends 🙂

    Back from the Netherlands and ready to roll again.

    17HT thank you for keeping the blog going with two good posts. I will write something tonight or tomorrow morning, so will keep my powder dry for now.

  • Welcome back TA, I hope you had a good rest.

    I’ll send you something on the next game sometime on Thursday.

    In all honesty I feel that the remainder of this (lost) season is all about Mikel entrenching his style and more-so his attitude and philosophy on the players, those that tune in will stay and the remainder will be cleared out during the summer. Next season we will see just how effective he has been in both his player selection and in entrenching his style on the club.

    This is one of the few occasions during my 70 plus years of support that I have no sense of excitement – other than looking forward to a renewed spirit in 2020/21.

  • GN5–
    I’ll have go all silver-lining then. We have a manager with goals. A plan. And vision.
    We’re still in two competitions. Excellent proving ground for the younger players to plant a stake for a starting position. This season or next. Players have reacted with purpose to a positive concept.

    When you can’t finish where you’d like? Make it about how you finish. 👍


  • JWL,

    I respect your opinion but –

    I fully appreciate where we are in all competitions, but I do not see a brass lining let alone a silver lining. Our defense is sub standard and with the injuries we have, plus the huge possibility of not bringing in recruits I simply cannot see how we can compete with the quality of the teams that remain in both the league and cup competitions.

    As always I will watch and fully support the team for every remaining game – my fanaticism with Arsenal has remained the same since I was a nipper kicking a football at the gates of Highbury in 1946/47. This team has some great parts but overall it’s below average and I don’t think it will change until 2020/21.

  • Appreciate your reply GN5.

    But hey! It’s no longer Unai’s rudderless ship. Nor Freddie’s trying to find the port in a storm.

    Arteta already have the current crop of players surpassing (by far) the level of effort before Freddie stepped in. Let’s say we get John Stones (rumored) in on loan and we have a bit of depth at CB? As long as Lucas Torreira stays upright– this team might make a push into an EL spot– or even the EL final (where we’re due.)

    Do feel good about the possibilities with Mikel Arteta driving things. Why not?
    Outside of the Chelsea meltdown? It’s not been the defense’s play that’s kept the team from garnering more points– but the attack.

    Since Arteta:
    Brnmth 1 : 1 Arsenal
    Arsenal 1 : 2 Chelsea*
    Arsenal 2 : 0 Manchester United
    Arsenal 1 : 0 Leeds
    CPalace 1 : 1 Arsenal

    Two clean sheets. A third without a deflection goal vs Palace. Can’t win ’em all 1-0 these days. 2-0-1* at home. Even the goal vs Leeds was bundled across.

    Get where you are at GN5. I’d had a hard time– during the long slog with Emery.
    Where it may not be possible to reap silverware or honors? It’s still– getting to watch Mikel Arteta lay brick upon brick to rebuild the team– and moreover, the club.


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