Nuno Tavares is terrible in the absence of Kieran Tierney as Aaron Ramsdale averts a full-blown meltdown

ARSENAL’s top-four hopes suffered a major blow after their third-heaviest loss of the season.

It was a night to remember for the north Londoners as the Eagles beat the Gunners at home for the first time in five years.

Nuno Tavares suffered a shocker at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace beat Arsenal 3-0


Nuno Tavares suffered a shocker at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace beat Arsenal 3-0Photo credit: Reuters
Only the returnee Aaron Ramsdale prevented further embarrassment


Only the returnee Aaron Ramsdale prevented further embarrassmentCredit: Alamy

Alan Smith, the former Arsenal striker, called it the “worst performance of the season” – despite defeats by Manchester City (5-0) and Liverpool (4-0).

Here the one from SunSport Rob Maul shows how Arsenal flops fared at Selhurst Park.

Aaron Ramsdale – 6/10

At times, the goalkeeper led a dangerous life as he dealt with some of the hospital passes he received from his teammates.

He did just enough to ensure Crystal Palace didn’t make a fuss and was arguably the star in an otherwise sloppy performance from the Gunners’ first-team.

Cedric Soares – 4th

All the action went down Arsenal’s right flank in the first half and Wilfried Zaha assessed his chances every time he faced Soares.

It lasted just 21 minutes into the second half when enough was enough and he was sent off after a disappointing performance.

Ben White – 4

It was his ridiculous challenge to Zaha in the first half that gave away the free-kick from which Palace took the lead.

Conceding three goals against a London rival, especially when chasing a place in the Champions League, is unforgivable for someone who wants to play for England at a World Cup next season.

Gabriel – 4

What on earth did the Brazilian do for the opening goal? He was nowhere near the ball and landed on his butt on the ground.

And for Palace’s second goal, he finally got some fresh air when he completely missed the through ball that Jordan Ayew completed. Pathetic defense.

Nuno Tavares – 2

A rare start for the Portuguese star as regular left-back Kieran Tierney has been ruled out with a knee injury that could potentially spell the end of his season.

But he was ineffective for the Palace opener and inexplicably stopped running for the second.

Mikel Arteta did the right thing by substituting him at half-time.

Nuno Tavares was ecstatic at half-time after a shocking night


Nuno Tavares was ecstatic at half-time after a shocking nightPhoto credit: Reuters

Thomas Partey – 4

The Ghanaian was the king of loose passes for Arsenal at Selhurst Park and has sometimes struggled to find a team-mate.

His miserable night was summed up by the yellow card he received in the second half and, more worryingly, the fact that he walked away with an injury with 15 minutes remaining.

Granit Xhaka – 5

Was used at left-back when Tavares was substituted at half-time and carried out his duties effectively enough.

But as a former captain, perhaps the Swiss should have taken a more leadership role in the difficult moments.

Bukayo-Saka – 5th

Frustration was the prevailing emotion for the Englishman, who returned having recently missed international duty with a bout of Covid.

Probably thinks he should have gotten a penalty when he was brought down by Cheikhou Kouyate in the 50th minute but the referee didn’t get any of it.

It was a quiet night for Bukayo Saka at Selhurst Park


It was a quiet night for Bukayo Saka at Selhurst ParkPhoto credit: Getty

Martin Odegaard – 4

In the 66th minute there was a moment when the ball fell friendly to the Norwegian in Crystal Palace’s penalty shoot-out.

Yet the £30m midfielder had clearly left his shooting boots in the dressing room, taking the effort horribly far when a degree of composure and precision was required.

It was his tackle against Zaha that conceded the penalty that saw Palace lead 3-0 and he deserves a low mark for that.

Emile Smith Rowe – 5

Wayne Rooney is a huge admirer of the England midfielder but Smith Rowe missed his chance to impress the ex-Manchester United man.

He was placed in a more central position in the second half but all too often he was deflected off the ball and lacked the overview to reverse the result.

The 21-year-old had Arsenal’s best chance in the 62nd minute but his shot was tame and easily parried by Palace goalkeeper Vincente Guaita.

Alexandre Lacazette – 4

Where was the attack entrance? Where was the edge? Where was the urgency?

Yes, he needed the help, but he wasn’t exactly a power cord.

His finish has been underwhelming this season and in the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, that’s not good enough for a club the size of Arsenal.


Gabriel Martinelli (for Tavares, halftime) – 5

The Brazilian did so when asked to do so by manager Arteta in the second half but the damage had already been done by that point.

Took a nasty fall when accidentally knocked his knees with a Palace opponent.

Eddie Nketiah (for Soares, 66 mins) – 5th

Did more from an offensive perspective in his 24-minute cameo than his teammates have done in all of 90.

In the 83rd minute, Nketiah circled a superb shot that ricocheted off the post on the top right. It was unfortunate but showed he deserved more playing time going forward.

Albert Sambi Lokonga (for Partey, 75 mins) – 5th

The 22-year-old came on for the injured Partey with 15 minutes remaining and filled in defensive midfield well. Nuno Tavares is terrible in the absence of Kieran Tierney as Aaron Ramsdale averts a full-blown meltdown


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