James McArthur

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Crystal Palace comes back for point in drama-filled Arsenal draw

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Sokratis Papastathopoulos scored early but saw his late winner pulled back by a controversial VAR decision as Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.

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David Luiz also scored for Arsenal, whose defense was a strength in attack and a weakness at the back in providing a 2-0 lead and allowing it to disappear.

Luka Milivojevic and Jordan Ayew scored for Palace, the latter a star in the draw.

Arsenal sits fifth with 16 points, one more than sixth place Palace.


Three things we learned

1. If at first you can’t defend… Arsenal’s oft-criticized center backs took the goals into their own hands, and if you’re up 2-0 within nine minutes it’s gonna be hard to be the goat. Sokratis’ goal came with calm after Granit Xhaka knocked down a clearance off a corner, and he was back post when David Luiz poked home a Lacazette-flicked cross to make it 2-0.

2. …You’re still going to have to defend, though: Arsenal’s backs helped give the lead away within 40 minutes, with Chambers cutting down Zaha — or at least daring VAR to go the other direction — and Luiz losing track of Ayew. Chambers really struggled, picking up a yellow card in addition to some haphazard first half passing, as improved defense in recent weeks appeared to be a magician’s trick after multi-goal concessions to Vitoria and Palace within three days.

3. Xhaka’s Arsenal career meets flash point: Voted club captain to the consternation of many Gooners, Xhaka was booed off the field when he was subbed off at the hour mark. The Swiss enforcer motioned his arms to welcome more boos, then yelled to the crowd to expletive off, cupping his hand to his ear before ripping off his shirt and storming down the tunnel. Things are not good in North London.

4. VAR overrules Sokratis winner for… something? As of publishing time on this post, there’s no clarity as to why VAR found a clear and obvious error that Roger East missed on Sokratis’ winner. Chambers is battling for the ball with several Palace defenders, hands everywhere, as he pushed the ball to Sokratis for what would’ve been a huge winner. There’s a problem here.

Man of the Match: Ayew? Milivojevic? Sokratis? We’ll go with McArthur, who was quite good and supplied the match-drawing assist.


An early corner cause Palace problems and put Arsenal in front, with Granit Xhaka settling Gary Cahill‘s headed clearance for Sokratis Papastathopoulus to hit through traffic for 1-0.

He could’ve had two had Luiz not also been at the back post to poke home a ninth minute corner, as Arsenal had Palace at sixes and sevens.

Lacazette had an effort saved moments later, and Palace fans were right to be concerned for the score line.

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Aubameyang missed a chance, too, as Arsenal really should’ve had a massive lead when Zaha won a penalty off of Calum Chambers. Palace penalty usually equals Palace goal in Milivojevic’s world, and this time was no different.

Palace leveled the score just after halftime, as James McArthur‘s cross hung in the air for days. Neither Luiz nor Leno could get there as Ayew headed home.

As poor as he was defensively, Chambers was nearly again an offensive hero before sweeping a shot wide in the 62nd.

Arsenal thought it went ahead through Papastathopoulous, but VAR found a hard-to-pinpoint foul on Chambers as he won what would’ve been a match-winning assist. Baffling.

Wayne Hennessey made a nice stop on a Lacazette header as the match headed toward its final half hour. He’d late stop Luiz in the 89th with a result-saving stop. Zaha came close to equalizing when he turned a Christian Benteke flick toward goal and burned Chambers.

Benteke leads Palace surprise at Arsenal (video)

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  • Benteke scores first goal since April 28, 2018
  • Zaha nabs ninth of season
  • Ozil goal forges brief deadlock

Christian Benteke scored a goal and added an assist as Crystal Palace handed much-changed Arsenal a 3-2 set back at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Wilfried Zaha and James McArthur also scored for the Eagles, while Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang posted Arsenal’s goals.

The win boosts Palace into 12th with 42 points, while Arsenal remains fourth with 66.

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Roy Hodgson‘s men took a surprising early lead through a strangely surprising source, given that Benteke was once a prolific and danger scorer.

With room to operate, the Belgian turned a header past Bernd Leno to put the Eagles on top.

Palace was fortunate not to concede a penalty through an Aaron Wan-Bissaka handball in the box, and Cheikhou Kouyate saw two bids to beat Leno saved by the keeper.

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Arsenal needed less than two second half minutes to equalize, with Iwobi finding Lacazette with a deft outside-of-the-boot pass. The Frenchman slid Ozil through on goal, and Ozil blasted it near side for a 1-1 score line.

Palace restored its lead thanks to a Benteke flick toward Zaha, with the Ivorian going around Shkrodan Mustafi before beating Leno.

And then it was 3-1, a 69th minute corner kick from Luka Milivojevic finding the back of the goal when James McArthur redirected a header into the goal.

Aubameyang needed a fortunate bounce to line up his shot, but deserved every bit of his 77th minute goal.

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Clinical Palace defies Leicester City in big win (video)

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  • McArthur with two assists
  • Zaha scores twice
  • Batshuayi, Milivojevic also score
  • Evans with lone Leicester tally
  • Foxes out-attempt Palace 27-7

Crystal Palace made the most of their limited chances, a deceptive scoreline of 3-1 greeting their win over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

James McArthur had two assists, while Wilfried Zaha, Michy Batshuayi, and Luka Milivojevic scored for the Eagles.

Jonny Evans had the lone Leicester goal.

Palace moves into 13th place with 30 points, six clear of the drop zone, while Leicester fails in its bid to go 10th.

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A pair of near-misses greeted Leicester City’s control of the first 10 minutes, as both Jamie Vardy and James Maddison came close to putting the Foxes ahead.

Leicester was clearly the superior side, and Palace was sloppy when it found a rare spell of first half possession.

So, of course, Palace scored first, as Leicester backstop Kasper Schmeichel was wrong-footed when Batshuayi swung his leg and redirected a James McArthur rip from distance.

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The Foxes leveled the score deservedly when Harvey Barnes‘ pass to Jonny Evans was met with a lunging leg that swung the ball past Vicente Guaita.

But Zaha restored Palace’s lead in the 70th, as Harry Maguire and the Leicester City defense completely lost track of the electric Ivorian for a back post finish of McArthur’s cross.

And wouldn’t you know it: A penalty! Evans took down Jeff Schlupp in the 82nd minute, and Milivojevic did what he usually does from the spot to make it 3-1.

Man City shocked at home by Crystal Palace

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  • Gundogan gives City lead
  • Townsend scores beauty (video)
  • Milivojevic wins it from spot

Jeffrey Schlupp, Andros Townsend, and Luka Milivojevic scored as Crystal Palace built a two-goal lead and held on to beat Manchester City 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne scored for City, who led 1-0 and now sits four points back of leaders Liverpool heading into Christmas.

Palace moves 14th with 18 points.

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Man City was in firm control, almost from moment No. 1. Nicolas Otamendi came close to scoring early, and Leroy Sane blasted into the outside of the net in the 11th minute.

The air of inevitability was proven correct by Gundogan, who ran onto a Fabian Delph cross to head into the corner for 1-0 in the 27th minute.

Palace equalized out of nothing, with James McArthur feeding Schlupp outside the box. Schlupp was given some room to shoot by Kyle Walker, and worked left before finishing right. 1-1, 33′.

That’s when Palace made it 2-1 with a Goal of the Season contender, with Townsend tearing into a looping clearance with perfect technique. The frozen rope beat Ederson to his left.

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Walker’s bad day got worse when he chopped down Max Meyer in the box to give Palace a chance for 3-1, which Milivojevic converted to the left of Ederson with a near-perfect take.

Gundogan smashed a 69th minute effort wide of frame from distance, as Palace packed the box and dared City to find a way into the danger areas.

Sane hammered a free kick off the bar in the 76th.

City made it 3-2 in the 85th through De Bruyne, who curled a beautiful ball over Wayne Hennessey from a wild distance. If it was almost anyone else, you’d have called it a mishit cross.

Goal burst leads West Ham past Crystal Palace

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  • PVA, Palace takes early lead
  • Chicharito goal, assist
  • Felipe Anderson goal, assist

West Ham United scores three goals for the third-straight time, extending its win streak to three matches with a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday at the London Stadium.

Felipe Anderson, Javier Hernandez, and Robert Snodgrass scored for West Ham, now 10th with 21 points.

James McArthur and Jeff Schlupp scored for Palace, who has 12 points and sits two points above the drop zone.

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Palace took a lead after just seven minutes, when Patrick Van Aanholt‘s free kick was headed into the path of McArthur. His low shot was enough for 1-0.

West Ham had a lot of the ball, but little danger. Lucas Perez volleyed wide, and Felipe Anderson hit a fine cross that found no receiver as the Irons looked to level the score before halftime (to no avail).

You’d call Snodgrass’ second half equalizer well-deserved, as the in-form Scottish midfielder beat Wayne Hennessey with a swerving left-footed shot.

West Ham kept moving forward, with Pablo Zabaleta hitting a shot wide of goal.

The Irons took their first lead when Hennessey saved Felipe Anderson’s free kick and only primo poached Chicharito followed up the rebound, blasting it into the goal.

And it was 3-1 when Chicharito cued up Anderson for a goal that had been coming his way.

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