Premier League: Iwobi missing as Arsenal survive late Palace scare

Premier League: Iwobi missing as Arsenal survive late Palace scare

Nigeria international, Alex Iwobi was conspicuously missing as an Alexis Sanchez double earned Arsenal a 3-2 win against Crystal Palace on a special night for manager, Arsene Wenger at Selhurst Park.

Shkodran Mustafi gave Arsenal the lead with a calm finish after Julian Speroni palmed away an Alexandre Lacazette shot to the path of the German defender, who was as cold as ice.

Andros Townsend drew Palace level following a Wilfred Zaha cut-back cross which found the unmarked Englishman in the box.

Sanchez restored the lead for Arsenal four minutes later, before doubling their advantage with his second of the game and side’s third.

However, James Tomkins’ grabbed a second goal for the Eagles late on via a corner.

It was a special night at the Park for Gunners manager, Wenger, who took charge of his 810th PL game, equalling the record set by former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Wenger made three changes to his side, including leaving out his Nigerian playmaker, Iwobi, who watched on from the substitute bench.

Last time the Gunners came visiting, it wasn’t a pleasant day as they were at the receiving end of a 3-0 thrashing from the home side.

However, on Wenger’s landmark night, the hosts were not going to ruin the party for him as Arsenal dominated and took a deserved lead through Mustafi just before the half hour mark.

The away side could have been more comfortable given how much in control they were and chances they created thereafter. But Mesut Ozil, Sanchez, Hector Bellerin and Lazacette all missed, while Zaha came close for Roy Hodgson’s side.

It ended 1-0 in favour of the visitors, who were well worthy of their advantage heading into the break.

After the restart, Palace needed a response and whatever they were told worked when Townsend equalised four minutes after the break.

Their lead, however, didn’t last, as Arsenal were back in front courtesy of Sanchez’s first of the night just after the hour mark, before he doubled their lead moments later with his second to put the Gunners 3-1 up.

At this time, Wenger’s men were cruising, but were given a scare by Palace who almost pulled another goal back but for Zaha, who missed a glaring opportunity as he mis-judged his header with the goal gapping.

Second half substitute, Bakary Sako also blasted a very good chance, minutes later. With stoppage time in sight, the Eagles were rewarded for their fighting spirit, as Tomkins pulled another goal back.

It was a little late though, as Arsenal held on for the win, which sees them level on points with rivals, Tottenham, but stay sixth on the table due to their inferior goal difference.

“When you come here it’s a difficult game for everybody,” Wenger said. “To go home with the three points you need to suffer a little bit, and we did that tonight.”

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