James Tomkins praises Crystal Palace battle against Arsenal after ‘long way’ back from injury

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James Tomkins has praised the battle Crystal Palace showed in their performance against Arsenal, despite the visitors grabbing two stoppage-time goals to win the match.

Arsenal took the lead in Roy Hodgson’s last match in charge at Selhurst Park in the first half through Nicolas Pepe.

Palace rallied in the second half with Christian Benteke levelling things up thanks to a fine stooping header, and went in search of a winner. However, two stoppage-time goals for Arsenal completed a smash and grab for Mikel Arteta’s team.

Tomkins says that the scoreline did not tell the story of the match, and that Palace “really brought the game” to Arsenal at times during the match.

“Yeah, it was a good performance,” Tomkins told football.london. “We showed good battle in the second half and the scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story.

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“Their second goal was in the 91st minute. We took the game right to them right up until that moment. That knocked the stuffing out of us when they went 2-1 up.

“But we gave them a good game second half. Obviously it would have been nice to send Roy off from the last home game against Arsenal with a win but it just wasn’t to be but it was a good performance from the team.”

Tomkins made his return from a serious eye injury as a substitute in the 3-2 win against Aston Villa, and the match against Arsenal was his first start for Palace since the middle of January.

The 32-year-old says it’s good to be back playing, and he has come a long way since suffering the problem.

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“Yeah it was great to be back out there, especially with the fans there as well today,” Tomkins added. “They put on a great atmosphere considering it wasn’t full capacity. They gave us good support out there.

“But it’s good to be back. It’s been a bit of a weird season with the strange injury to the eye. I was hoping to get back before the end of the season, but it was nice to get that game time in before the end.

“It would have been nice with a better result but from a personal point of view I feel like I’ve come a long way. It was a bad injury and it’s just nice to be back.”

Source by Football London

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