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Thomas Partey returns but Arsenal held to a goalless draw

Partey featured for Arsenal for the first time since picking an injury against Spurs last year

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Thomas Partey returned to action for Arsenal last night, after being sidelined with an injury, but it was not enough for Arsenal to secure a win against Crystal Palace.

The Ghanaian international had not featured for the Gunners since picking up an injury in his side’s 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspurs in the London derby, but he made a cameo in Arsenal’s stalemate with Crystal Palace on Thursday night after being declared fit by Mikel Arteta.

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Arsenal were the dominant side of the two, securing 68% of possession, 11 shots and 4 shots on target in the 90 minutes, but failed to translate that into goals. In fact it was Crystal Palace who created the most dangerous chances with Tomkins and Christian Benteke going close for Roy Hodgson’s side.

The draw brings to an end Arsenal’s winning streak as they stay 11th on the league table.

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace: Managers’ reaction

After his side failed to secure a fourth successive win, Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta bemoaned his player’s inability to create better chances in the game.

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Some freshness and some quality in the final third. We generated a lot of entries into the final third but without big, big chances, he said.

We had to generate more to win that game … But I cannot fault the spirit or the fight they put in … but it wasn’t enough today.

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Roy Hodgson, on the other hand, was satisfied with his side’s performance and insisted that he was proud of his boys despite their inability to get the goals in.

It was good. I’m more than satisfied with everything. Our defending was good throughout, Hodgson stated.

There was a particularly good spell in the first half when we created a few opportunities but in the second half I thought we wasted a few. But I’m very proud of the way they went about their work today.

Notable facts from the game

  1. Arsenal have extended their winless top-flight run against Crystal Palace to five games, drawing four of those and losing one.
  2. Crystal Palace have kept consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time since a run of four in a row between February and June last year.
  3. Arsenal have kept four consecutive clean sheets in all competitions for the first time since October 2016.

Both sides will be back in action for the last game of the first round, which is scheduled for this weekend. Crystal Palace travel to the Etihad to face Manchester City while Arsenal will host Newcastle on Monday night, with the hope that Thomas Partey who has been named as an influential player in the will return to the starting lineup. 

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