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[Ratings] Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace: Granit Xhaka is a disgrace to the shirt

By on October 27, 2019

It was another dramatic afternoon at the Emirates as Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace while our captain virtually ended his career at the club.

Arsenal made a terrific start as we blew Palace away with two goals inside the opening 10 minutes. First, Sokratis fired home with a decent shot after Palace failed to clear a 7th minute corner before David Luiz poked home at the far post from another corner a minute later.

However, Palace pulled one back in the 32nd minute. Wilfried Zaha was initially booked for an alleged dive after he went over in the box under the challenge of Calum Chambers. But the VAR over-ruled referee Martin Atkinson and awarded a penalty. Luka Milivojevic made no mistake for 2-1. It was probably the right call but where’s the consistency? VAR didn’t give Arsenal a clear penalty for a shirt pull on Sokratis against Sheffield United, so we’ve been on the wrong end of both calls.

Arsenal made a woeful start to the second half and Palace levelled things up in the 52nd minute. Granit Xhaka should have done much more to try and stop a James McArthur cross which led to Jordan Ayew headed home at the far post for 2-2.

We thought we’d grabbed a late winner when Sokratis fired home in the 85th minute but unbelievably the VAR ruled it out for an apparent foul by Chambers. Replays showed it was a disgraceful decision but the goal didn’t count and we drew 2-2.

Here are my ratings:

Leno  5/10 | Failed to save the 11th penalty he’s faced and his distribution was disappointing at times.

Chambers  5/10 | Poor challenge gave away the important penalty that let Palace back in the game. Harshly adjudged to have fouled for what should have been a late Arsenal winner.

Sokratis  7.5/10 | Opened the scoring with a fine finish and should have won it late on with another great goal that was unbelievably ruled out. Defended well at the other end of the pitch too.

Luiz  6.5/10 | On hand to poke home at the far post for 2-0 but allowed Ayew space to equalise in the second half.

Tierney  7/10 | Great to see him start in the league and he was a good outlet down the left. No issues at the back and was always keen to get on the ball.

Guendouzi  7/10 | Played a few lovely passes and gave his all as usual. Showed leadership qualities when it went to 2-2 but could do with playing without Xhaka as they want to occupy the same spaces too much.

Xhaka  2/10 | Assisted the opening goal as he headed down for Sokratis to score but should have done much more to prevent the McArthur cross for the equaliser. The Swiss international then all-but ended his Arsenal career by throwing a tantrum when he was subbed off. He threw the armband away, cupped his ear as the fans jeered him, told the crowd to fu**off before storming down the tunnel. It was awful behaviour and I can’t see a way back for him. [Watch the incident here]

Ceballos  6/10 | Average performance from the on-loan midfielder. He had some promising moments but didn’t take the game by the scruff of the neck and failed to be the creative force we needed.

Pepe  7/10 | His corners created both the opening two goals and his deliveries were a danger throughout. A few lively moments on the ball too. Confidence is clearly on the up which can only be a good thing.

Lacazette  5/10 | Assisted the second goal and drew a terrific save from Hennessey in the 12th minute but still isn’t fully match fit yet.

Aubameyang  5/10 | Once again he was starved of service. The lack of creativity behind him is becoming a real problem. If only we had a top class playmaker sitting in the stands…..

Subs:

Saka   5/10 | No real impact after replacing Xhaka midway through the second half.

Kolasinac   5/10 | Nothing of note from his 15 minute cameo.

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