EPL: Alexis Sanchez scores twice as Arsenal defeat Crystal Palace
29 December, 2017, 01:26 | Author: Lamar Ellis
On paper, this fixture has an Arsenal victory written all over it, given the attacking talents at Wenger's disposal as well as Palace's struggles to keep clean sheets at Selhurst Park.
Although Palace went into the match without a defeat in their previous eight top-flight outings, Arsenal were well in charge for the majority of the first half and were fully deserving of the opening goal through Shkodran Mustafi in the 25th minute.
Palace, beaten for the first time in nine games, are 16th on 18 points, just a point above the relegation zone.
Alexis Sanchez was the difference as Arsenal survived a pair of second-half scares to edge past Palace.
Arsenal was off the mark first when Alexandre Lacazette's shot forced goalkeeper Julian Speroni into a save that reached only the unmarked Shkodran Mustafi, who tapped-in easily.
With a brilliant chipped-pass from inside his own half, Jack Wilshere - often a peripheral figure this season - sent Sanchez into space in the Palace area and, after he impressively controlled, the Chilean routinely poked beyond Speroni.
Six minutes later, Arsenal would have been two up but for Speroni who produced an excellent, one-handed reaction save after Ozil had latched onto Sanchez's superbly weighted through ball.
The visitors failed to make the most of their chances while they were on top, though, and Palace punished them early in the second period - Andros Townsend with the finish after excellent play from Wilfried Zaha. Great finish; can Arsenal really think about cashing in on him next month?
"He has shown [the good form he is in] recently and again tonight [Thursday]", Wenger said.
James Tomkins gave Palace a lifeline on 89 minutes with a headed consolation from Townsend's corner but the Eagles ran out of time.
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