LONDON (AP) — Crystal Palace dominated from the start to beat Arsenal 3-0 in the Premier League on Monday as Patrick Vieira’s side dealt his former team a big blow in the fight for a top-four finish.
Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew put the Eagles in control after 24 minutes and Wilfried Zaha’s second-half penalty added deserved gloss to the score for the hosts, who extended their unbeaten run to seven matches in all competitions and moved up to ninth in the table.
For Arsenal, the loss means it’s now behind fourth-place Tottenham on goal difference, albeit with a game in hand.
Palace had held Manchester City to a goalless draw three weeks ago and the hosts made life difficult for the away side in the opening exchanges.
The opening goal came when a deep free kick by Gallagher found Joachim Andersen at the far post, who directed the ball across goal for Mateta to head in from close range for his sixth goal of the campaign.
Eight minutes later, Andersen produced a trademark crossfield pass from the back and Ayew was able to control the ball before he bent his shot around Ramsdale and into the bottom corner.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta brought on Gabriel Martinelli at halftime in place of struggling left-back Nuno Tavares, who was filling in for the injured Kieran Tierney..
Arsenal did improve after the hour mark and Emile Smith Rowe should have done better when the ball dropped for him but his eight-yard effort was weak and straight at goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
Martin Odegaard had an equally fine chance with 23 minutes left after being set up by one of substitute Eddie Nketiah’s first touches and yet the Norway international could only steer his shot wide.
Zaha, who had wanted to join Arsenal in the summer of 2019, then put the game to bed in the 74th minute.
After he won the ball by the halfway line, the Ivory Coast attacker dribbled past Gabriel and ran at Ben White before Odegaard clipped his ankle in the area.
Referee Paul Tierney took a couple of seconds but pointed to the penalty spot and Zaha did the rest to fire home his 11th goal of the season.
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