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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
August 16, 2014
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: J. Moss
• Attendance: 59962
L. Koscielny 45'+
A. Ramsey 90'+
B. Hangeland 35'
My name's Ben Cullimore and it's been an absolute pleasure describing the action to you today. Until next time, goodbye!
Crystal Palace were so close to earning themselves a well-deserved point but had it snatched away from them in the final moments by yet another important goal scored by Ramsey. The visitors defended fantastically and took advantage of Arsenal's frailty at the back to go 1-0 up midway through the second half, but Puncheon's red card late on hit them hard and in the end Arsenal were just too strong. Nevertheless, Crystal Palace can take plenty of positives away with them, whilst Arsene Wenger will no doubt be angry at some of the sloppiness that was on show in the final third by a plethora of his players.
FULL-TIME: ARSENAL 2-1 CRYSTAL PALACE
90' + 5'
Jonathan Moss blows the whistle for one last time and brings an end to a thrilling game that has left Crystal Palace fans across the country with broken hearts.
90' + 5'
Crystal Palace earn themselves a corner kick with just a few seconds remaining. It's sent deep into the box where it's met by Szczesny, who gets two hands on the ball but is fouled in the process, leaving Jonathan Moss no choice but to award a free-kick to Arsenal.
90' + 3'
Now it's Arsenal's turn to defend. For the first time since the opening moments of the game, the hosts have sent as many bodies as possible back into their own half of the pitch as Crystal Palace push for an equaliser.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Goal Aaron Ramsey
GOAL! Ramsey scores what is surely the winner and breaks the hearts of every Crystal Palace player and fan inside the Emirates Stadium. Oxlade-Chamberlain is left in acres of space on the right flank, allowing him to whip a deep cross towards Koscielny. He then heads it towards Giroud, who sets up Debuchy, and his fellow Frenchman's close-range effort is parried by Speroni into the path of Ramsey, who bundles the ball into the back of the net. Arsenal have surely wrapped up the win now!
The fourth official has indicated that there will be five minutes of added time.
Yellow/Red Jason Puncheon
RED CARD! Disaster strikes for Crystal Palace as Puncheon is shown a second yellow card of the game after a mistimed sliding tackle on Monreal. It's going to be a nervy final few moments for the visitors...
Arsenal have thrown as many bodies forward as possible, whilst Crystal Palace have put almost every yellow shirt behind the ball. Chamakh is playing as almost a defensive midfielder, with Gayle the only Crystal Palace player anywhere near the halfway line.
Bolasie charges forward for Crystal Palace on a rare run into the Arsenal half of the pitch. He looks as if he's about to unleash a shot on goal but chooses not to. Instead, he eyes up a pass to Puncheon, but by the time he's made his mind up he's been dispossessed and Arsenal have the ball once again.
Great chance for Giroud! The Frenchman darts around Hangeland and unleashes a cross-cum-shot that beats Speroni but also beats the far post.
Another Arsenal attack breaks down in the final third as frustration builds around the ground. Oxlade-Chamberlain is the culprit this time, much to the delight of the visiting fans.
Arsenal continue to be frustrated as they attempt, yet again, to beat the Crystal Palace back four. This time, Cazorla - who has had a poor game, in truth - sends a wayward pass out for a throw-in, handing possession back to a clearly tiring Crystal Palace side.
Kelly is the latest player to enter the referee's book after a poor challenge on Sanchez. The Chilean winger then takes the resulting free-kick but it's sent miles over the crossbar.
Yellow Card Martin Kelly
Sanchez turns and tees up an unmarked Monreal, who whips a fantastic ball into the heart of the Crystal Palace box but it just misses the outstretched foot of Giroud. If the Frenchman had made contact with the ball, no doubt it would have found its way into the back of the net.
Delaney comes on to replace Dann, who has been an important part of a very impressive Crystal Palace defence today.
The Arsenal fans aren't happy with Dann, who, after a picking up a thigh injury, is gingerly limping off the pitch. It looks as if he's going to have to be substituted.
Another penalty shout for Arsenal! This time Giroud claims that he was wrestled to the ground by Hangeland, but Jonathan Moss remains uninterested.
Koscielny sends a great low ball into the feet of Cazorla, who shows great footwork to dart around the Crystal Palace defence before firing a shot on goal that is deflected out for a corner. The resulting set-piece finally ends up with Ramsey in acres of space 25 yards out, but his choice to shoot is a poor one and it's collected easily by Speroni.
Arsenal regain possession and Sanchez darts forward towards the Crystal Palace goal, unleashing a shot just as he reaches the penalty area. However, the attempt is weak and it trundles along the ground, allowing Speroni to comfortably save the effort.
Yellow Card Marouane Chamakh
Chamakh slides in and clatters Wilshere, and, unsurprisingly, he earns a yellow card as a result. Arteta plays the resulting free-kick short, which is a poor choice and allows Crystal Palace to reclaim possession.
Arsenal continue to push for a second goal but they still can't find a way through the Crystal Palace back four. With each failed attack, the Arsenal players - and fans, I must add - are becoming increasingly frustrated, with Sanchez especially flustered.
Cazorla almost threads a wonderful through-ball into the path of Monreal, but Dann, who has been superb for Crystal Palace this afternoon, is there to cut out the danger at the last moment and send the ball out for a corner, which fails to result in a chance on goal.
There are cries for a penalty as Chamakh seems to have handled the ball just inside the Crystal Palace box, but the referee waves play on, much to the annoyance and disbelief of the Arsenal players around him.
Unsurprisingly, Sanogo is replaced by Giroud as Arsenal desperately search for a second goal.
Hangeland continues to have a great game, and this time he dispossesses Sanogo, who has had a poor time up front so far.
Yellow Card Santi Cazorla
Arsenal win a corner and it's flung into the penalty area by Sanchez. This time, however, Koscielny is unable to get his head onto the ball, and Crystal Palace are able to send the ball back into Arsenal's half of the pitch.
Hangeland wins the ball back for the visitors and then starts off a Crystal Palace counter attack with a great long ball forward. The ball finally ends up with Chamakh on the edge of the Arsenal box, and he twists and turns before teeing up Puncheon, but the shot is poor and it's easily dealt with by Szczesny.
Sanchez tries to cross into Sanogo in the centre of the Crystal Palace penalty area, but the attempted pass doesn't have the required height and is headed away by Jedinak.
Gibbs has been struggling in the opening moments of the half with an injury, and he's finally replaced by Monreal after being unable to recover.
Puncheon is outnumbered and loses the ball in the middle of the pitch but Kelly stands tall in the Crystal Palace back line and is able to win possession back for the visitors. Both he and Dann have had a frantic start to the second half.
Again, Arsenal try to set off on a quick counter attack but, just like before, the ball ends up with Cazorla and the Spaniard takes too long on the ball, allowing the Crystal Palace defence to regroup and cut out the danger.
Bolasie runs down the left flank and earns Crystal Palace a corner when his attempted cross is deflected out of play. The resulting set-piece is headed away from danger and Arsenal then embark on an attack of their own, but it's brought to an end when Cazorla spends too long in possession and is dispossessed just outside the penalty area.
Yellow Card Jason Puncheon
Crystal Palace break away on an early attack but Puncheon's attempted through-ball is cut out by Chambers before it was able to reach Campbell, who was outnumbered in the centre of the pitch.
And we're off once again!
The two sides are making their way back onto the pitch ahead of the start of the second half.
As expected, Arsenal have dominated the majority of the first half, spending the bulk of their time deep inside the Crystal Palace half of the pitch, but they were caught sleeping when the visitors won a rare corner and were made to pay for their sloppiness. However, since going behind they have pushed forward with even more determination, and Hangeland's goal could prove to be the catalyst for a second half in which Arsenal are far more clinical in front of goal.
HALF-TIME: ARSENAL 1-1 CRYSTAL PALACE
45' + 1'
Assist Alexis Sánchez
45' + 1'
Goal Laurent Koscielny
GOAL! Koscielny makes up for his previous error by heading in an equaliser for Arsenal with just a few seconds to go before the half-time break. The hosts are awarded a free-kick halfway inside the Crystal Palace half and Sanchez sends a beautiful ball in towards Koscielny, who stoops down low and heads the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be two minutes of added time.
Yellow Card Calum Chambers
Crystal Palace break away on a counter attack but it's brought to an end quickly by Chambers, who cynically brings down Campbell and earns himself a yellow card as a result.
Arsenal again try to carve out a chance down the right wing, but Jedinak is back helping out his defence and is able to deal with the multitude of red and white shirts that attempt to skip past him.
Puncheon is penalised for a push on Debuchy on the right hand side of the Crystal Palace box, resulting in a free kick. Referee Jonathan Moss attempts to use his vanishing spray to mark where the ball should be placed but instead ends up accidentally spraying Cazorla in the face. As a result, the set-piece is poor, and the ball eventually ends up in the hands of Speroni without causing the Crystal Palace defence too many problems.
Arsene Wenger remains frustrated as Crystal Palace continue to take their time when the ball is out of play. The visitors look far more confident than they did at the start of the game, and these constant stops in play are just what they want.
A clearly riled up Arsenal have upped the tempo, resulting in Arteta getting a shot away from the edge of the penalty area that takes a slight deflection off Ledley that sends the ball just past the post.
Assist Jason Puncheon
Goal Brede Hangeland
GOAL! Completely against the run of play, Crystal Palace go 1-0 up! The visitors win a corner kick and Koscielny's marking from the resulting set-piece is poor, allowing Hangeland to rise high and head in an opening goal for the South Londoners. Stunned silence fills the Emirates Stadium.
Scrappiness at the back almost ends up in a Crystal Palace goal. Szczesny rushes out to cut out a Jedinak through ball and sends the ball into the path of Chamakh, who then tries to lob the out-of-position goalkeeper. His shot is weak but it ends up with Campbell, who attempts to twist and turn through the Arsenal defence but is unable to find a way towards goal, much to the relief of the home fans.
Kelly sets off on a Debuchy-esque marauding run down the right flank but his cross is poor, sailing past Gibbs and out for a goal kick. He had Campbell alongside him but the former Liverpool player chose to go it alone, and he was punished for his error.
Great chance for Wilshere, and a great save by Speroni! Wilshere finds himself with the ball at his feet on the edge of the box and, thanks to the amount of space that he has been given by the Crystal Palace defence, he's able to get a shot away, but Speroni dives acrobatically to his right and is able to parry it out for a corner.
Debuchy once again flies down the right wing before sending the ball across to Ramsey, who misreads the situation and temporarily loses possession after trying to tee up Wilshere. However, he's persistent and wins the ball back, but no matter how hard they try Arsenal continue to struggle to penetrate the Crystal Palace penalty area.
Sanogo slides in and wins the ball before turning and choosing to fire a long-range effort from 20 yards out, but his shot is wild and it flies across the ground and out for a goal kick, causing Speroni no problems whatsoever.
Ward and Chamakh work their way down the left flank, but the former Arsenal man is finally dispossessed as he tries to muscle his way into the box, allowing the hosts to break into the Crystal Palace half of the pitch. However, the visitors are well organised and the attack breaks down almost as quickly as it started, forcing Arsenal to start again from the halfway line.
Sanchez and Ward clash on the edge of the Crystal Palace penalty area and, much to the surprise of the majority of the fans inside the Emirates Stadium, the free-kick is awarded to the away side, denying Arsenal the perfect opportunity to grab an opening goal.
With little over 20 minutes gone, plenty of Crystal Palace players are showing signs of tiredness already. Chamakh and Campbell have been required to play extremely deep inside their own half, making it difficult for them to break away and attack when needed.
The play has slowed day slightly as Crystal Palace attempt to take as long as possible when in possession. Arsene Wenger doesn't look happy as, not for the first time, Speroni shows no sign of urgency when taking a goal kick, but the Crystal Palace goalkeeper won't be concerned in the slightest. His side have a clear game plan and they are determined to stick to it.
Chamakh clumsily gives the ball away just outside the Crystal Palace penalty area but, luckily for the former Arsenal striker, Ramsey is unable to find a way through the defence. The Crystal Palace back four have been worked extremely hard already, and barely quarter-of-an-hour has been played. It's going to be a long day for Kelly, Dann, Hangeland and Ward...
Gibbs wrestles with Kelly for the ball on the left hand side of the Crystal Palace penalty area before the ball is eventually sent out for a corner. Cazorla sends the resulting set-piece in towards Sanogo, who tries to flick the ball with the back of his heel, but the attempt is poor.
Crystal Palace fly forward on a rare forage into the Arsenal half of the pitch but Campbell's attempted cross into the heart of the penalty area fails to find a yellow shirt and is easily collected by Szczesny.
Arteta brings down Campbell with a clumsy tackle, allowing Crystal Palace time to breathe.
Crystal Palace are finding it impossible to get out of their half of the pitch at the moment. Arsenal are having particular success down the right flank, where a combination of Sanchez and Debuchy are causing Bolasie and Ward a plethora of problems.
It's been all Arsenal inside the opening 10 minutes. This time, the ball ends up with Ramsey on the edge of the penalty area, and the Welshman decides to unleash a rocket of a shot towards goal. It's blocked by a yellow shirt, however, and sent away from danger, allowing both sides to regroup before the hosts embark on yet another attack.
The Arsenal players and fans cry for a penalty after Ramsey is brought down just inside the box by Dann, but referee Jonathan Moss shakes his head and waves play on.
As expected, Arsenal are bossing possession and keeping a high line in an attempt to pass their way through the Crystal Palace back line, but the visitors are holding firm.
Arsenal patiently pass the ball around in the centre of the field before Ramsey unleashes a ball across the pitch towards Debuchy, but the pass is too heavy and it bounces out for a goal kick.
Great play by Sanchez down the right flank, who twists and turns before flicking the ball with his heel into the path of Debuchy, but the Frenchman's cross fails to find a red and white shirt in the penalty area.
Crystal Palace embark on an attack straight away, with Campbell flying through a static Arsenal defence that were taken completely by surprise. Luckily for the hosts, they were able to cut out the danger at the last minute and shepherd the ball into the hands of Szczesny.
And we're off! Crystal Palace get us underway, kicking from right-to-left.
The players are making their way out onto the pitch as we near kick-off. The Arsenal fans are in great voice and the atmosphere is rising with every second.
As for Crystal Palace, caretaker boss Keith Millen has also chosen to field three new faces, with Hangeland, Kelly and Campbell all making their competitive debuts for the South London side. Kelly was signed just hours before Tony Pulis left the club, and it will be interesting to see what impact the Welshman's departure has on the players today. He was arguably Crystal Palace's saviour last season, and they could struggle in the opening stages of the season as they try to weather a storm that they would rather do without.
Arsene Wenger names three new signings in the Arsenal starting line-up, with Debuchy, Chambers and Sanchez all getting the nod after impressive performances during pre-season. Sanogo is also handed a start ahead of Giroud, who is on the substitutes' bench, and the youngster will be looking to impress after struggling against Manchester City in Arsenal's 3-0 Community Shield victory last Sunday.
Crystal Palace substitutes: Hennessey, McCarthy, O'Keefe, Murray, Bannan, Delaney, Gayle
Crystal Palace XI: Speroni; Kelly, Dann, Hangeland, Ward; Jedinak, Ledley, Puncheon, Bolasie; Chamakh, Campbell
Arsenal substitutes: Martinez, Monreal, Rosicky, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Campbell
Arsenal XI: Szczesny; Debuchy, Koscielny, Chambers, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey; Sanchez, Cazorla; Sanogo
First, let's have a look at how the two teams line up this afternoon...
With the surprising departure of Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis less than 48 hours before the start of the season, today's game is bound to be an extremely interesting clash. Both sides will be looking to start the campaign with victories, albeit for different reasons in light of recent events.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace. My name is Ben Cullimore and I will be keeping you up-to-date with all of the action from today's clash.
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