Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Arsenal outscore Palace 3-2

Published:Friday | December 29, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during their English Premier League match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in London yesterday.

LONDON (AP):

Arsene Wenger admits Alexis Sanchez's future at Arsenal remains uncertain even after the Chilean scored twice to help beat Crystal Palace 3-2 in the English Premier League yesterday.

Sanchez has long been of interest to league leaders Manchester City, and his tenure at Arsenal is set to come under renewed speculation ahead of the impending January transfer window.

"Nobody knows what will happen. It's difficult to speculate," Arsenal manager Wenger said.

Sanchez's double made it an easy looking evening for Arsenal after Palace's Andros Townsend initially cancelled out Shkodran Mustafi's opener.

The Gunners remained sixth and one point behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

 

FREQUENT RESISTANCE

 

Crystal Palace had been undefeated in their last eight games and, though they next host City on Sunday, they again demonstrated they can survive by often resisting Arsenal. Palace remained one point off the drop zone.

Arsenal were off the mark first when Alexandre Lacazette's shot forced goalkeeper Julian Speroni into a save that reached only the unmarked Mustafi, who tapped in with ease.

The equaliser began on the left wing four minutes into the second half; Wilfried Zaha used his footwork to cross towards Townsend, who under little pressure finished first-time into the bottom left corner beyond the diving Petr Cech.

Arsenal required time to recover from the setback, and it was only after a lethargic clearance from Christian Benteke after the hour mark that the Gunners were gifted the chance they needed. When Benteke half-heartedly cleared a corner to Calum Chambers, the defender returned possession to the Palace box and watched as Lacazette and Sanchez combined to create space for the latter to strike into the bottom left corner.

Despite leading, Arsenal's form this season meant only another goal would make victory look likely, and their fans had to wait only four more minutes.

With a brilliant chipped-pass from inside his own half, Jack Wilshere - often peripheral this season - sent Sanchez into space in the Palace area and, after he impressively controlled, the Chilean routinely poked beyond Speroni.

Crystal Palace's pressure and obvious ambition produced a goal in the 89th minute when, after a corner, Townsend crossed to James Tomkins who, under too little pressure at the back post, headed in.