It seemed a strange team selection which smacked of gross underestimation of the opposition. Jenkinson, Elneny and Guendouzi in tandem through the centre plus twin strikers for a must win game at home. Hmmmm.
On the positive side, pre-match drinks with the boys and Peaches were excellent listening to updates from Goodison, just a shame they proved to be the high point of a day that slipped thereafter.
Mesut should have scored early on but for someone whose passing is so good, his shooting is abysmal.
Palace scored from a free kick which looked miles offside in the ground but probably wasn’t. (just looked at the goal and Jenko played Benteke onside – as you all would have known already)
The team seemed unbalanced and toothless, changes were required.
Team selection mistakes were half rectified at the interval. Iwobi for Jenks excellent. Taking Mavropanos off when he had been one of our best players in the first half seemed weird. I suppose hindsight is a wonderful thing – if only one of our other centre backs had got the hook!
Superb start with Mesut scoring straight away.Iwobi on the left and Ainsley on the right were suddenly causing Palace problems on the flanks. It was surely only a matter of time before we scored a second.
Then things took a plunge. Mustafi gave the freedom of Islington to the Palace striker, Zaha and then seemed aggrieved at what? – Who knows? 2-1 down to a poor team but with lots of time to rectify the situation.
More shocking defending from a corner and we were 3-1 with little hope of a positive result all of a sudden. Auba played a one two off a defender and gave us some false hope. Alex Iwobi fluffed a great chance at an equaliser from a cut back but virtually passed to the keeper.
Bang goes fortress Emirates. A combination of poor team selection, dreadful defending and the lack of any real plan up front contributed to our own downfall.
Such a great opportunity to strengthen our claim for a top four place squandered. We’re still in 4th spot – well, until the chavs play Burnley tonight, that is.
Wolves at Molineux next up.
Leno – kept us in with a shout with a great save just before half time … 6
Jenkinson – not much to say … 3
Mavropanos – no idea why he was subbed off – yellow card? … 6
Koscielny – struggled to make up for the deficiencies of those around him … 6
Mustafi – some around me in the ground were booing him touching the ball in the second half – inexplicable defending at times – thick as pig excrement unfortunately – the nadir of his performance was getting booked for diving … 1
Kolasinac – drove me bananas in the first half just passing the ball back from where it came – we could have kept Theo Walcott if we needed someone who could only do that … 3
Elneny – nah … 3
Guendouzi – yet again given too much to do with the lack of decent senior partner … 5
Ozil – a game tailor-made for him to dominate and he wasn’t up to it – a fine goal though… 5
Aubameyang – out of position and it showed … 5
Lacazette – huffed a puffed with little service … 5
Iwobi – had an immediate impact – should have been playing from the start … 6
Maitland-Niles – added much on the right flank but just couldn’t make that crucial difference at the end of the day … 6
Torreira – another who should have started if he was fit enough to be on the bench … 6
Emery – bound to have an off day every now and again – just a shame I had to witness it in person … 3
Wagnerson – must be so pleased we put up such a poor fight … 6
Moss – as dreadful a performance as Arsenal’s – just appalling … 2