Emery highlights ‘set piece problem’ after loss to Palace

Arsenal boss Unai Emery believes that qualification for the top four is still in his side’s hands after a shock defeat to Crystal Palace.

Christian Benteke’s first goal in almost a year helped Palace sink Arsenal 3-2 and put a huge dent in the Gunners’ Premier League top-four hopes.

Benteke fired his first goal in 20 games then laid on another for the tricky Wilfried Zaha as the Eagles stunned the Emirates Stadium to claim their eighth league win on the road this term.

James McArthur’s header sealed a fine victory that ended Arsenal’s 10-match winning league run at home – and threw a spanner in the works in the Gunners’ bid for a top-four finish.

Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck for Arsenal, but those goals seemed little other than afterthoughts for Unai Emery’s rudderless hosts.

Arsenal remain fourth in the table but are only ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea on goal difference, with Manchester United two points behind in sixth.

“In the first half with the possession we were better. The second half we started well and we drove,” Emery told the BBC.

“The second goal gave them confidence to continue and beat us. Our second goal gave us opportunity.

“They were very good tactically and were organised defensively. In the set pieces they gave us a problem.

“We brought on Alex Iwobi and we were better but their second goal was very bad for us and took away our confidence.

“We had fresh players and energy but in front we had a very good team. To finish in the top four is in our hands.”


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