Arsenal were left humiliated at the Selhurst Park on Tuesday by a rampaging Crystal Palace who shut them up with three brilliant goals scored by Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milvojevic. With this loss Arsenal have lost vital ground in the race for the fourth spot and it has left many wondering what the future holds for the Gunners and especially their manager Arsene Wenger. While future of the manager and some of its players looms in doubt, here are five talking points from last night’s game:
Arsenal’s bid to remain among the top four takes a massive dent: Arsene Wenger’s side now stands sixth on the Premier League table with 54 points. They trail fifth placed Manchester United by three points. While Arsenal have managed to be amongst the top four consistently for the past few seasons it seems like this year their hopes are already damaged by sixteenth placed Crystal Palace. If they continue to perform playing like this, then there is only more trouble in store. With the likes of Manchester City, Leicester City, West Ham and Tottenham waiting for them in the Premier League it does seem like an uphill battle from hereon for the Gunners.
Crystal Palace safe out of relegation zone: Sam Allardyce has once more brought his side to safe zone after they were just three points away from relegation. After the win against Arsenal they now stand six points clear off the relegation. Big Sam, as he is popularly known has developed a reputation over the years as a survival specialist and last season led Sunderland to an unlikely escape from the drop. The ‘Sam Allardyce factor’ has been driving Crystal Palace’s resurgence and as of now it seems like Palace will survive the drop.
Arsene Wenger’s future: Anger from the Arsenal fans has been growing with each passing match and the voices of protest for Wenger’s ouster from the club continues to grow louder. Vociferous Chants of ‘We want Wenger out’ and ‘You’re not fit to wear that shirt’ are becoming increasingly noticeable and the shameful defeat at the hands of lowly Palace has only added to Wenger’s woes. However, he has remained stoic in his defence and has gone on record to state that the uncertainty over his future is not affecting his Arsenal players.
Palace beat Arsenal for the first time since 1979: Last night was the also the first time that Arsenal was beaten at the Selhurst Park since November 1979. Before this, Palace managed to win only one of the 15 Premier games against the Gunners. The south-London side initially struggled to turn things around after ‘Big Sam’ joined the side in December, but since late February, Palace have collected 15 points from a possible 18, to climb three places to 16th.
Sam Allardyce’s sweet revenge: Interestingly Sam Allardyce has suffered the most number of defeats against Arsene Wenger as a club manager. He has lost to the Gunners boss 15 times in Premier League. But by bringing a lowly Palace to safe zone and beating sixth placed Arsenal at home it was indeed a sweet revenge for him.