Crystal Palace player ratings: Benteke and Townsend on top form despite Arsenal sucker punch

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Vicente Guaita : Made a low stop from a cross early on, and a punch midway through the first half. Couldn’t do much about Pepe’s opening goal. Calm to make a couple of claims in the second half, but wasn’t too busy in all honesty. 6

Joel Ward : Got into an early scuffle with Tierney after making a good covering tackle. Unfortunate slip to allow the left-back in to cross for the opener. Made a good run forward to nod back for Townsend to make a dangerous delivery. Solid in the second half with Townsend offering more protection as Palace moved to a 4-4-2. 7

Gary Cahill : Nodded just wide early on. Good positioning to make a number of blocks in the first half, and didn’t allow anything in behind in the second half. 7

James Tomkins : Calmly headed a ball back to Guaita in the early stages. Had a decent headed effort of his own save from Leno. A solid performance and unfortunate to come out on the losing side. 7

Tyrick Mitchell : Had a tough job with Smith Rowe drifting wide to overlap and combine with Pepe. Did better as the match progressed. 6

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Cheikhou Kouyate : Made a couple of good clearing headers early on. Was a test after so long at centre-back, but he did well moving forward, including a nice passage in the first half where he evaded a couple of tackles (with an advantage given) before moving the ball on. 7

James McCarthy : A low-key affair from the midfielder, making a good interception and pass for Benteke in the first half. Marshalled the centre well alongside Kouyate, forcing Arsenal to look wide to get in. 6

Jeffrey Schlupp : Struggled a little on the defensive side, at times unsure whether to pick up Smith Rowe or let him go when on Palace’s left side of midfield. Wasn’t alive to Pepe running in off his shoulder for the opener.

Andros Townsend : His deliveries in the first half were a level above some of what he’s offered this season, causing plenty of problems for the Arsenal defence and finding teammates regularly. Perhaps slept a bit with Tierney running in for the opener. Another fabulous ball in for Benteke’s equaliser. Continued pressing and winning tackles as well as going in search of a winner. On a night when Palace would miss a creative spark like Eze, he provided plenty of good contributions. A fine performance. 8

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Christian Benteke : Caused problems for the Arsenal defence throughout the first half, and probably should have opened the scoring with a header. Booked for a scuffle with Elneny before the break and was perhaps lucky to avoid a red card after a VAR check. A perfectly-timed run and header to get Palace back level. Picked up a knock and took some treatment before heading off with a little over 10 minutes remaining. 8

Wilfried Zaha : A lot of tracking work in the early stages, and plenty of encounters with national team teammate Nicolas Pepe. Looked more dangerous the longer the game went on.

Subs

Jordan Ayew: Came on for Benteke and while he can’t dominate quite like the Belgian, he made a real nuisance of himself for the Arsenal defenders.

Jairo Riedewald: On for the last 10 minutes or so.

Source by Football London

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