By Johnny Edward:
Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four suffered a massive setback as they lost 3-0 to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday night, Completesportnigeria.com reports.
Goals from Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milivojevic sealed a comfortable win for the Eagles who also defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago.
Fielding a side without Nigeria forward Alex Iwobi, Arsene Wenger handed a third successive start to Danny Welbeck who failed to sparkle while leading the lines for the Gunners.
Andros Townsend slid in Wilfried Zaha’s cross from the right flank for the opener in the 17th minute as the Eagles displayed a dominant display in the first half.
Arsenal reacted to the goal and almost restored parity when Alexis Sanchez’s follow-up off a Mesut Ozil’s cross was blocked by Mamadou Sakho in the box.
BUt in the second half, Yohan Cabaye doubled Palace’s lead in the 65th minute when he side-footed in Wilfried Zaha’s low cross into the box.
Luka Milivojevic sealed the win from the spot with a low drive into the corner, after Emiliano Martinez in goal for Arsenal had brought down Townsend in the box.
The win is Crystal Palace’s fifth in their last six games while for Arsenal they have won two from past seven and trail leaders Chelsea by 21 points and second place Tottenham Hotspur by 14 points.
The Gunners also trail fourth-placed Manchester City by seven points. Arsenal face Middlesbrough in their next game.