Granit Xhaka stars against Crystal Palace but Alexandre Lacazette struggles in toothless attack

ARSENAL’S three-match winning run in the Premier League is over as Mikel Arteta’s side were held to a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace.

The Gunners boss made three changes for the match – notably resting left-back Kieran Tierney – and they didn’t look like the same dangerous side that have impressed in recent weeks.


Crystal Palace stood firm against Arsenal at the Emirates as they frustrated the GunnersCredit: AP:Associated Press

Alexandre Lacazette was unable to get himself into the match, and the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka struggled in the final third.

Here’s how Jake Lambourne rated and slated the Gunners.

Bernd Leno – 6

Made a fantastic diving save to deny Christian Benteke before the break with the striker’s header looking to be creeping in the bottom right corner.

Didn’t have much to do in the second half as Arsenal pressed for a winner.

Hector Bellerin – 5

The Spaniard looked suspect whenever faced with a one-on-one and was slow jotting back into position.

He was also guilty of sloppy passes in the final third. Not a great showing from the ex-Barcelona academy ace.

Rob Holding – 7

Defensively solid as he mopped up countless Palace loose balls.

However he still needs to work on his passing out from the back as his cross-field switches failed to find his man on more than occasion.


Granit Xhaka was one of Arsenal’s standout players against the EaglesCredit: Rex Features

David Luiz – 7

Slotting in for Pablo Mari, the experienced Brazilian didn’t put a foot wrong.

Dominant in the air, and calm and composed with the ball at his feet, Luiz often drove forward in his bid to spark an attack.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 5

The versatile England international struggled down the left flank when going forward, as he mishit a number of crosses on his weaker foot.

Though you can’t fault his desire and willingness to get forward, he just didn’t pose the same threat as Kieran Tierney.

Dani Ceballos – 8

One of Arsenal’s best players on the night, the midfielder often glided past Palace players as he looked to break the line.

His range of passing was a joy to behold and his close control under pressure helped the hosts make a quick counter-attack.

Granit Xhaka – 9

Made a brilliant crunching tackle in the first half to deny Wilfried Zaha from breaking the deadlock, and again then stopped Benteke from tapping home in the second period.

His passing was yet again on top form as he effortlessly switched the ball with ease, while also playing in multiple through balls.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang yet again disappointed as he failed to get on the score sheetCredit: AP:Associated Press

Emile Smith Rowe – 7

Always eager to run in behind and stretch the Palace defence, the youngster was constantly looking to make himself available.

But when he got the ball in dangerous positions, his final ball was often just short of finding his man.

While he can be proud of his performance, Arsenal need another attacking midfielder to ease the burden on the 20-year-old.

Bukayo Saka – 6

Failed to replicate the same success on the right flank than he has done in previous weeks.

Was switched to the left in the second half and whipped in a number of beautiful crosses, though no-one was there to get on the end of it.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5

The Arsenal skipper looked more lively than in previous games as he linked up well down the left channel.

But he was predictable to read for the Palace defence as they continuously stopped him from cutting inside.

Alexandre Lacazette – 4

Another player in form going into the match, the French striker struggled to get himself into the game.

Often a passenger, the former Lyon maestro made a number of runs, but was not found by his team-mates.



Alexandre Lacazette simply couldn’t get into the game as Arsenal dropped two pointsCredit: AP:Associated Press


Nicolas Pepe – 5

Brought on for Maitland-Niles, the Ivorian’s first thought was to always go forward and beat his man.

But he ultimately failed to make an impression as just like with Aubameyang, he constantly looked to cut inside, which made it easy for Palace.

Did nothing to suggest he should be starting the next match.

Thomas Partey – 5

On for Ceballos, the Ghanaian looked strong in the middle of the pitch, though Arsenal looked more dangerous with the Spaniard on.

Eddie Nketiah – 4

Replacing Lacazette for the final ten minutes, the Arsenal academy graduate barely touched the ball.

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