BY SAM SMITH
Crystal Palace settled for a goalless draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, but Roy Hodgson’s side were unfortunate not to win.
The South Londoners had several chances to take all three points, particularly in the first half.
A wonderful save by Bernd Leno denied Christian Benteke’s header. James Tomkins then nodded an Ebere Eze delivery against the crossbar.
Palace remain unbeaten against the North Londoners since a 4-1 defeat in January 2018.
Arsenal could have led inside the first 10 minutes. Vicente Guaita saved well from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the forward had cut inside from the left and curled goalwards.
The visitors grew into the game and a tricky Wilfried Zaha run was halted by David Luiz just as the Ivorian was about to pull the trigger.
Palace’s best spell of the game came slightly prior to half-time. The excellent Tyrick Mitchell crossed for Benteke – but the Belgian’s effort was clawed away by Leno at full stretch.
Hodgson had opted to keep Eze in the starting 11, in spite of the midfielder’s visit to watch his former club Queens Park Rangers at the weekend. Eze’s set-piece was slammed against the crossbar by Tomkins.
Arsenal barely tested Guaita, although Luiz should have done better than to head straight at the Spaniard when he found space at a corner.
Alexandre Lacazette fired wide from a tight angle early in the second half. Hector Bellerin took aim from distance but he too could not hit the target.
The more Arsenal squandered chances, the more Palace grew in confidence. Benteke’s header from a corner was miscontrolled by James McArthur just in front of goal.
As Arsenal pushed forward late on, Zaha broke away and fed Jordan Ayew – but the Ghanaians effort was weak.
Palace visit Manchester City on Sunday.
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