Arsenal woe as injury proves pivotal in Crystal Palace defeat

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When asked who might prove the biggest miss in Monday Night Football’s clash between Crystal Palace and Arsenal, without a second thought, guest pundit, Wayne Rooney said “Kieran Tierney”.

At the 24-minute mark, Arsenal centre-half, Gabriel lunged for a late interception on a through-ball destined for Jordan Ayew. Nuno Tavares could only watch as Ayew’s touch left the Portuguese full-back flat-footed on the edge of the 18-yard box, before the Ghanaian coolly slotted home past Ramsdale for Palace’s second of the night. Tavares was subsequently hooked at halftime as Arteta opted for a more offensive-minded approach to the second half, bringing on Gabriel Martinelli, and slotting Xhaka in at left-back.

Arsenal would go on to lose the game 3-0 thanks to a late Zaha penalty and ultimately drop three points to their London rivals, who are enjoying a rich spell of form.

On a micro-scale, it was simply three points dropped, and a small blip in an otherwise positive spell for Arteta and the Gunners, however, it has now left the door open for North London rivals Tottenham to mount a real challenge for the top-four as we approach the final stretch of the Premier League campaign. Despite having a game in hand, Arsenal are now level on points with Spurs, who enjoyed a comfortable 5-1 win over Newcastle at the weekend.

The result also sparked Wayne Rooney, to tip Spurs for the much sought-after top-four spot, “I think Tottenham are a little more experienced, which may help Tottenham get over the line”.

The result could also set up an even feistier than normal affair in the upcoming North London derby on May 12, and with Tierney’s fitness put in doubt for the remainder of the season, Tottenham will be poised to capitalise.

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