Wenger avoids future talk after Palace loss

20 April, 2017, 13:26 | Author: Benny Bass
  • Mesut Ozil has also been linked with a move away with his contract set to expire in June 2018

A third home victory in succession for a completely reformed Palace side was secured thanks to goals from Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milivojevic, the latter of whom tucked away from a contentious penalty to help move his team six clear of danger.

And Ozil has told his Arsenal team-mates to put their personal targets to one side and instead focus on helping the Gunners qualify for next season's Champions League.

Suffering a fourth successive away league defeat for the first time under Wenger, sixth placed Arsenal are seven points behind fourth placed Manchester City in the race to qualify for the Champions League via a top four finish.

It is increasingly hard to see how Wenger, who has yet to sign a new contract, can prolong his reign as his team falls apart around him.

"Benteke was up for it and he was a handful".

In response Arsenal created a few chances via Alexis Sanchez but the hosts looked capable of scoring whenever they ran at Arsenal's fragile defence.

The Gunners' first sight of goal fell to another unlikely source, as Mohamed Elneny - again selected alongside Granit Xhaka in the engine room - guided the ball towards the far corner but was kept out by Wayne Hennessey.

Arsenal had plenty of the ball but found themselves behind after 17 minutes, Townsend and Cabaye combining before sending the ball out wide to Wilfried Zaha whose cross was steered home by Townsend. But the only way to take advantage is to work hard and shut them down to frustrate them.

But Wenger's luck was out and Arsenal's creaky defence was almost breached again when a counter-attack ended with Benteke barging through for a shot that Martinez pushed away.

"The club comes first, not Mesut Ozil or anyone".

As the hour mark approached Wenger turned to his bench, bringing on Aaron Ramsey in midfield and Olivier Giroud - a scorer at Selhurst Park in his previous three visits - in attack for the remainder. But Eagles fans didn't have long to wait before Cabaye doubled their lead with a superb strike that floated beyond goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. There was worse to come five minutes later.

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