LONDON (REUTERS) – Arsenal’s hopes of securing a top-four Premier League finish this season were dealt a blow as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday (April 4).
“Congratulations to Palace for the game they played but we made it impossible for ourselves with the way we competed,” Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports.
“I apologise to our supporters. We didn’t have the presence today or the composure to dominate the situation so that is what I’m most annoyed with.
“First of all we need to put our hands up and get the criticism we deserve. Then we accept it, look ourselves in the mirror and look to the next game. This was not good enough.”
Arsenal were put to the sword in the first half by the clinical hosts, with goals from forwards Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew giving Palace a deserved 2-0 interval lead.
Arsenal improved after the break, with Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard missing big chances to get their team back into the match. Their wastefulness proved costly as Wilfried Zaha put the game to bed with a penalty 16 minutes from time.
Tottenham Hotspur’s 5-0 home victory over Newcastle United on Sunday means they are fourth, ahead of their of their north London rivals on goal difference having played a game more.
The scoreline at Selhurst Park did not flatter an impressive Palace, who continue to improve under former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, with the victory moving them up to ninth.
“I’m really proud,” Vieira told Sky Sports. “We defended well and took our chances. We scored in important moments of the game. We needed a big team performance and we did it so we’re really pleased.
“It is a good moment for the club but we know we need to be consistent in our performances and results.”