Feature

#CRYARS: Three things we noticed

FROM HERO….

First the positives. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang now averages less than 90 minutes per goal or assist in Premier League London derbies. This was his 11th goal against capital opposition, to go with four assists.

It was his 16th of the season – 14 have come in the Premier League – and his ninth away from home this campaign. No other player has more than one.

It was his third against Palace since joining, but we've yet to win in any of those games. And the leading striker has to take his share of the burden for these dropped points, for what followed in the second half.

But that red card should not detract from what was a beautifully crafted goals. Eight players combined in an 18-pass move, culminating with Alexandre Lacazette sliding the ball through to his strike partner to finish.

Lacazette has now assisted six Premier League goals for Auba, twice as many as he has for any other player in the competition. In all the duo have combined with each other for 10 goals in the league since Auba joined in January 2018.

Lacazette will need to step up now though, as our top scorer will be suspended for our next three games - at home to Sheffield United and away to Chelsea in the Premier League, and away to Bournemouth in the FA Cup fourth round.

 

….TO ZERO

And that's because the Gabon striker undid his good work with a rash moment halfway through the second half. He was undoubtedly frustrated as he slid in late on Max Meyer near the halfway line. It didn't appear malicious, and referee Paul Tierney initially showed a yellow card.

However replays showed the danger of the challenge, Meyer's ankle turning under Aubameyang's studs.

VAR intervened and deemed it to be serious foul play. So just as in this fixture at Emirates Stadium earlier in the season, when Sokratis late goal was ruled out for a foul by Calum Chambers, the video assistant referee had a huge say in the game.

Incidentally Auba became the first Arsenal player to score and be sent off in the same Premier League game since Mikel Arteta back in October 2013 - also away at Crystal Palace.

 

A SETTLED TEAM

Auba's suspension will mean enforced changes for Mikel Arteta in our next game at home to Sheffield United. This was only Arteta's fourth Premier League game as a head coach, but it's already becoming clear what he considers to be his strongest team.

We named an unchanged starting XI for the first time since last January, giving the 11 who beat Manchester United another run out here.

And it certainly worked for the first half hour or so. We dominated the ball - enjoyed 78 per cent of possession, and were very good value for our 1-0 lead.

However the way we allowed Palace back into the match will concern Arteta. As with previous games, we weren't able to put the opposition under pressure for the majority of the 90 minutes.

In fairness though, even with 10 men we created chances, and could even have snatched a win late on when Nicolas Pepe struck the post.

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