Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report of Arsenal's 2-0 win at home to Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Arsenal moved back to the top of the Premier League table on Sunday thanks to a 2-0 win at home to Crystal Palace.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring moments after the restart as he was able to expertly lift the ball over the onrushing Julian Speroni.

He then doubled the Gunners' advantage with around 20 minutes left with a determined finish into the bottom corner.

Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how all of the action unfolded at the Emirates Stadium.

3pmHello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of this afternoon's Premier League encounter as Arsenal entertain Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium. We should have some team news through for you shortly...

3.02pmUPDATE: There's currently one other Premier League fixture being played today, with West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool currently drawing 1-1 at The Hawthorns. Around 15 minutes left to play there. We'll bring you that result as soon as the full-time whistle goes.

3.04pmPALACE: Speroni; Ward, Gabbidon, Delaney, Parr; Bolasie, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Puncheon, Chamakh; Jerome

3.05pmPALACE SUBS: Hennessey, Mariappa, McCarthy, Bannan, Guedioura, Gayle, Wilbraham

3.08pmStarting with the visitors, Tony Pulis has made two changes to his side following last weekend's 1-0 win over Hull City. Jonathan Parr and Kagisho Dikgacoi are both given the nod, while deadline-day signing Wayne Hennessey is given a place on the bench.

3.10pmARSENAL: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Ozil, Podolski; Giroud

3.11pmARSENAL SUBS: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Rosicky, Zelalem, Gnabry, Bendtner

3.14pmArsene Wenger has also made two changes to his starting XI as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski start in place of Serge Gnabry and the suspended Mathieu Flamini. Tomas Rosicky, Gedion Zelalem and Nicklas Bendtner are among the substitutes.

3.17pmArsenal come into today's match knowing that a win would see them go above Manchester City and back to the top of the table. If that were to happen, City can regain first place with a victory at home to Chelsea tomorrow night. That one should be a cracker.

3.21pmMeanwhile, Palace will climb four points clear of the drop zone if they come away with the spoils this afternoon. The Eagles have won their last two games in the top flight. Tony Pulis has received plenty of plaudits for his instant impact on the team, but he will have the freedom of South London if they earn a shock result today.



3.26pmUPDATE: The full-time whistle has gone at The Hawthorns where it's ended 1-1 between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge gave the visitors a first-half lead before a calamitous error from Kolo Toure allowed Victor Anichebe to net an equaliser for the Baggies with 23 minutes left.


3.32pmHEAD TO HEAD: As one might imagine, Arsenal have the superior record when it comes to past meetings between these teams. The Gunners have won 20 matches compared to Palace's two. There have been a further nine draws.

3.34pmPalace haven't beaten Arsenal in their previous eight attempts. The last time that the Eagles came out on top was at Highbury in the Premier League 20 years ago.

3.36pmArsenal have already beaten Palace this season thanks to a 2-0 victory at Selhurst Park two months ago. Mikel Arteta opened the scoring for the Gunners before getting sent off, while Olivier Giroud sealed the win late on.


3.43pmPREDICTION TIME: Arsenal are the big favourites for today's match and we here at Sports Mole believe that the Gunners will earn themselves a comfortable 3-0 victory over Palace. However, if the Eagles can defend doggedly and frustrate their opponents who knows...

3.46pmOf course, one of the key players for Palace this afternoon will be former Arsenal forward Marouane Chamakh. The Moroccan failed to impress during his time with the Gunners, but he's been in decent form for the visitors so far this season. He would surely love to come back and haunt his ex-employers.


3.51pmREFEREE WATCH: The official for today's match at the Emirates Stadium is Jon Moss.

3.55pmAround five minutes until this one gets underway and the players are in the tunnel ready to step out onto the pitch. Plenty of serious faces in there. In terms of the weather, it's a bright and breezy day in North London.

1 minThe teams are out, the pre-match handshakes have been done, and it will be Crystal Palace to kick us off. Can Arsenal return to the top of the table this afternoon? We're about to find out!

3 minIt's the home side who have started this match the stronger thanks to some decent possession and patient build-up play. Meanwhile, Palace are trying to stay organised and compact at the back.

6 minIt's still all Arsenal at the moment, but it's the familiar story in terms of them not doing much to worry the opposition defence. Palace have hardly been out of their own half so far, though Speroni has had little to do in the away goal.

7 minCHANCE! Now Speroni's goal is under threat! Ozil floats a delightful ball over the top for Monreal, but the defender sees his improvised effort kept out by the Palace goalkeeper, who made himself big.

10 minSomething of a half-chance for Arsenal as Cazorla takes aim with a free kick from all of 30 yards, but the Spaniard can only send his shot high over the crossbar. Still, the hosts are absolutely dominating right now. Palace are just trying to keep their heads above water.

12 minPalace put together an attack. Repeat, Palace put together an attack. Delaney tries to loft the ball into Jerome, who is on the shoulder of the last defender. However, the forward is deemed to be offside. Chamakh has a sniff of goal soon after, though Szczesny is quick off his line to ease the danger.

15 minThe visitors have enjoyed a decent spell in the last few minutes, but Arsenal are still looking far superior. The passing is crisp, while the movement is giving the Palace defence plenty to think about. Still, it remains goalless at the Emirates Stadium.

17 minPalace threaten the Arsenal goal again as Chamakh tries to thread the ball through to Puncheon. However, the pass is too weighty and goes out of play. Puncheon looks annoyed and so he should: that was a simple one for Chamakh to pull off.

20 min

23 minArsenal continue to huff and puff but they're finding it tricky to break Palace down. As you would expect from a Tony Pulis team, the away side are looking compact and organised. Meanwhile, the Palace fans are making plenty of noise from the stands.

25 minCredit must also go to Palace for now sitting back and putting 10 men behind the ball. The visitors have shown lots of attacking intent so far, committing men forward whenever they get the ball.

28 minDespite the visitors giving Arsenal one or two problems up front, it's the home side who are still controlling this match. However, their fancy passing isn't really doing any damage. The Palace back four have remained solid so far, while their midfield is hustling well in and out of possession.

31 minTony Pulis is sure to be quietly pleased with what he's seen from his players so far. Palace are giving as good as they get at the moment, defending solidly and breaking with pace.

33 minCHANCE! Almost the opening goal for Arsenal! Ozil's free kick from a central position was whipped into the box but went through everyone before Speroni was forced to tip the ball away. That could quite easily have crept into the corner of the net.

36 minJust under 10 minutes left in this first half and we're still awaiting the first goal of the afternoon. That earlier opportunity for Arsenal seems to have sprung the home side into life a bit as they go in search of the breakthrough. Speroni and Sagna clash inside the Palace box with the latter coming off worse. However, it looks like the Frenchman will be okay.

37 minCHANCE! Now it's Palace who threaten as Puncheon's cross is met at the near post by Jerome, whose flick is saved by Szczesny. The visitors get a corner out of it, though they fail to make it count.

40 minIt has to be said that the Palace fans have been absolutely sensational this afternoon. They've been singing with plenty of energy and enthusiasm right from the kickoff, drowning out any whimpers coming from the Arsenal supporters.

41 minYELLOW CARD: The first booking of the match goes the way of Palace's Marouane Chamakh for a cynical trip on Ozil.

43 minPalace show a bit of promise in attack as Puncheon fires a cross into the Arsenal box, but Szczesny is there to collect with Jerome in attendance. Two minutes of normal time left in the half.

45 minTwo minutes of added time...


4.49pmReferee Jon Moss blows the half-time whistle at the Emirates Stadium where it's goalless between Arsenal and Crystal Palace. The hosts were dominant during the opening 45 minutes, but they failed to really trouble the opposition goal.


4.55pmIf Arsene Wenger is likely to be frustrated by that first half, Tony Pulis will be fairly content with how things have gone. Palace have defended well but they've also threatened at the other end of the pitch through Chamakh, Jerome and Puncheon. He will probably be telling his players that he wants more of the same.

4.58pmUPDATE: Today's other match in the Premier League ended 1-1 between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool at The Hawthorns. Daniel Sturridge gave the visitors the lead before Victor Anichebe sealed a point for the Baggies. You can read our match report for that one right here. As long as you promise to come back.

46 minSECOND HALF UNDERWAY! The players are back out and it will be Arsenal to kick us off again. No changes for either side at the break.


46 minThe Emirates Stadium erupts as Arsenal take the lead through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain! Cazorla did brilliantly on the edge of the box as he floated the ball towards his teammate, who was able to sneek in behind the defence and lift the ball over the onrushing Speroni.

49 minThat's changed the whole mood inside the ground as the home fans raise their voices and sing triumphantly. It's been a difficult afternoon for the Gunners, but they're firmly on control now.

50 minSAVE! What a stop from Szczesny to keep Arsenal in front! Puncheon's cross from the left was flicked on by Bolasie before Jerome saw his header kept out by the legs of the Pole. That could easily have been 1-1.

53 minArsenal are trying desperately to kill Palace off now. Some good link-up play from Arteta, Cazorla and Podolski ends with the German have a crack at goal on the angle, but his effort flashes narrowly wide. You wouldn't bet against the Gunners getting a second goal sooner rather than later here.

56 minSUBSTITUTION: Palace make their first change of the match now as Cameron Jerome comes off for Barry Bannan. Can the Scot give the visitors a boost?

59 minThe hosts continue to look comfortable as they try to probe their way through the Palace defence. Their passing approach reaped few rewards during the first half, but there's much more menace about them since they came out for the second half.

61 minSome Palace pressure sees Ward cross for Delaney, who heads harmlessly wide with Monreal for company. You get the feeling that chances are going to be few and far between for the visitors now. However, they will still feel like that they are in this match as long as the score stays the same.

66 minThe Palace fans are still signing their hearts out. They've been a real credit to their club. On the pitch it's the visitors who are starting to ask one or two questions. It could be a nervy end to this match if Arsenal fail to kill it off.

67 minYELLOW CARD: Palace's Damien Delaney goes into the book for bringing down Cazorla. That's a fairly harsh decison because the defender looked like he might have got a tiny nick on the ball.

70 minTwenty minutes of normal time remaining at the Emirates Stadium where Arsenal still lead 1-0. However, Palace are beginning to push more and more men forward in search of an equaliser. That could be dangerous because, as we know, the hosts can be lethal on the counter-attack.

71 minSUBSTITUTION: A change for Arsenal here as Tomas Rosicky enters the action in place of Lukas Podolski. The Czech midfielder gets a huge cheer from the home fans.


72 minSurely game over now as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gets his second of the afternoon! The midfielder was allowed to run at the Palace defence, weaving his way into the penalty area. He then created a bit of space for himself before drilling a low effort past Speroni and into the net. Clinical stuff.

75 minArsenal are stretching Palace now with some expansive passing. You wouldn't bet against them getting a third goal at this rate.

77 min

80 minTen minutes left to play and it looks as if Arsenal will be heading back to the top of the Premier League table. The Gunners have got a huge month coming up in terms of both the Premier League and Champions League, but they will start it off with a win unless we see something incredible during the final stages here.

81 minSUBSTITUTION: Palace's final swap of the evening sees Marouane Chamakh replaced by Dwight Gayle. Chamakh gets a good ovation from the whole of the stadium as the Arsenal fans applaud the ex-Gunner off the pitch.

83 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Arsenal make a double change as Mesut Ozil and Olivier come off for Nicklas Bendtner and Kieran Gibbs.

86 minYELLOW CARD: Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker goes into the book for bringing down an opponent on the edge of the box. However, the visitors can't make anything of the resulting free kick.

88 minA bit of a worry here for Arsenal as Oxlade-Chamberlain looks to have maybe pulled his calf. It was a fairly innocuous-looking incident, but he's not moving too freely. Still, he seems able to carry on during these final moments.

90 minThree minutes of added time indicated by the fourth official...


5.53pmJon Moss blows the final whistle and it's Arsenal who go back to the top of the table thanks to a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring for the Gunners early in the second half before he added a second with 20 minutes left.

5.55pmThat's all from me but don't forget that you can keep up to date with all of the reaction from tonight's match right here on Sports Mole. Thanks for your company, and enjoy the rest of your evening. Goodbye!

Marouane Chamakh of Crystal Palace celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and West Ham United on December 3, 2013
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