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…


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

  1. jw1 says:

    That XI looks to be the consistency that mikel arteta trying to build

  2. jw1 says:

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

  3. No worries, J-Dub… And thanks for taking the reins…

  4. jw1 says:

    Would like to ask anybody else to please chime in as well

  5. PE says:

    In the tunnel. They look pumped up. No smiles.

  6. jw1 says:

    Very much like the idea that we’re going to play this match in good weather

  7. jw1 says:

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

    Boot now feels on the other foot

  8. jw1 says:

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

  9. jw1 says:

    Actually a goal kick

  10. jw1 says:

    Palace sitting back allowing arsenal to dominate possession.

  11. jw1 says:

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

  12. 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…

  13. jw1 says:

    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

  14. jw1 says:

    Louis has not been shy touching balls over the top or down the side

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    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…

  16. jw1 says:

    Arsenal with 80% of possession over the first 10 minutes

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    It sounds like we’ve scored!!! PEA, naturally…

  18. jw1 says:

    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

  19. jw1 says:

    Think I’m going to have to go old school with the keyboard

  20. jw1 says:

    1-0 to the good guys.

  21. jw1 says:

    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.

  22. jw1 says:

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

  23. jw1 says:

    Another attack into the box– Pepe has choices but a touch too heavy.

  24. jw1 says:

    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

  25. jw1 says:

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

  26. jw1 says:

    The opening goal have brought palace out past the midfield line to chase the ball

  27. jw1 says:

    Jordan Ayew fouls Torriera. Ayew bordering on a booking with a second similar foul

  28. jw1 says:

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

  29. jw1 says:

    Luiz has a pass deflected giving palace their first foray into Arsenals end

  30. jw1 says:

    Some action top of box– ends with a foul on LT

  31. jw1 says:

    Kola gives up a FK from about 30– high pass over everyone for a GK

  32. jw1 says:

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

  33. jw1 says:

    30 minutes in the good guys playing the game they want

  34. jw1 says:

    Palace with a bit more life– and a tendency to shove and kick us a bit.

  35. 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…

  36. jw1 says:

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

  37. jw1 says:

    Xhaka with a handful of jersey gives a FK away near midfield.

  38. jw1 says:

    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

  39. jw1 says:

    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

  40. jw1 says:

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

  41. jw1 says:

    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.

  42. It sounds as if–from a position completely on top of the match, that it’s now Arsenal who could use the HT whistle…


  43. jw1 says:

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

  44. jw1 says:

    Just the one shot by Arsenal to this point. I’d take halftime right now

  45. jw1 says:

    Palace has had the advantage for most of the last 15 minutes

  46. jw1 says:

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

  47. jw1 says:

    And that is a 1-0 halftime lead for the good guys.

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    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… 😀

  49. jw1 says:

    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.

  50. jw1 says:

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

  51. jw1 says:

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

  52. jw1 says:

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

  53. jw1 says:

    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

  54. jw1 says:

    Ayew fouling Luiz ought to booked for anything further.

  55. jw1 says:

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

  56. jw1 says:

    ^ with Zaha

  57. 17highburyterrace says:

    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…

  58. jw1 says:

    AMN booked for sending Kouyate to the turf.
    FK cleared to MF

  59. jw1 says:

    Some very good team defending keep palace at bay Guendo fouled FK sent long.

  60. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oh crap… Sounds like CP have leveled…

  61. jw1 says:

    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.


  62. jw1 says:

    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.

  63. jw1 says:

    Nice advance– controlled down the entire pitch and Pepe wins a corner

  64. jw1 says:

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

  65. jw1 says:

    Auba booked for a dangerous tackle– VAR checking for a RC

  66. jw1 says:

    Still going on…

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

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

  68. jw1 says:

    Red for Auba

  69. jw1 says:

    Martinelli coming on for– I would suspect Ozil– yes.

  70. jw1 says:

    McCarthy booked for running up the back of AMN

  71. jw1 says:

    check that– Martinelli

  72. jw1 says:

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

  73. 17highburyterrace says:

    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?…

  74. jw1 says:

    Now being pinned back with palace maintaining possession

  75. jw1 says:

    Announcers expressing it as a 4-2-3

  76. jw1 says:

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

  77. jw1 says:

    Just earned a corner that had Xhaka with a shot from 18 blocked.

  78. jw1 says:

    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

  79. jw1 says:

    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.

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sounds like Pepe went VERY close to getting us the lead…

  81. jw1 says:

    Guendouzi playing with spirit and some guile retaining possession a couple of times

  82. jw1 says:

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

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

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

  84. jw1 says:

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

  85. jw1 says:

    FK hit long. GK for Leno

  86. jw1 says:

    Laca booked.

  87. jw1 says:

    Zaha dives– the tooth smile gives away the proper decision

  88. jw1 says:

    Palace in our end with 4+ minutes to go

  89. jw1 says:

    Nelson on for Laca. Bit of breath and fresh legs with time ticking down

  90. jw1 says:

    Arsenal countering– results in Pepe not able to sell a FK.

  91. jw1 says:

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

  92. jw1 says:

    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.

  93. jw1 says:

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

  94. jw1 says:

    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.

  95. jw1 says:

    OK. I’m out. Time for food. Still breakfast time here.

  96. 17highburyterrace says:

    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…

  97. 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…

  98. njk84sg says:

    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.

  99. pbarany says:

    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.

  100. goonereris says:

    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.

  101. jw1 says:

    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.


  102. njk84sg says:

    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.

  103. pbarany says:

    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.

  104. 17highburyterrace says:

    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…

  105. jw1 says:

    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.


  106. TotalArsenal says:

    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.

  107. GunnerN5 says:

    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.

  108. jw1 says:

    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. 👍


  109. jw1 says:

    *to go all…

  110. GunnerN5 says:


    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.

  111. PE says:

    Every victory is a little cup won
    Every defeat is a little cup lost

  112. jw1 says:

    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.


  113. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post 🙂

    New Post New Post 😀

  114. goonereris says:

    Lol, TA. Welcome back.

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