16.00 GMT - Arsenal vs Crystal Palace

Arsenal transfer targets: Who will the club sign in January? IBTimes UK
Arsenal transfer targets: Who will the club sign in January?IBTimes UK
Arsenal transfer targets: Who will the club sign in January?IBTimes UK
  • Fourth-place Arsenal can move into third with a victory over relegation battlers at the Emirates Stadium
  • The Gunners, 12 points adrift of runaway leaders Chelsea, bounced back from consecutive away defeats at the hands of Everton and Manchester City to record a 1-0 victory over West Brom on Boxing Day
  • Arsene Wenger's side have lost none of their last eight home matches in the Premier League
  • Sam Allardyce, appointed to succeed Alan Pardew in December, takes charge of Crystal Palace for only the second time after his first match ended in a 1-1 draw at Watford
  • The Eagles have won just one of their last 12 top-flight games and currently sit 17th - two points clear of the bottom three

That is all for this live blog, but stay tuned to IBTimes UK for all the reaction to that wonderful Giroud goal.

We will also be back tomorrow to bring you another six-game slate of festive Premier League fixtures that includes Sunderland vs Liverpool, Manchester City vs Burnley and West Ham vs Manchester United.

Farewell for now.


Allardyce's wait for his first win as Palace boss continues, meanwhile. The Eagles, who have won just one of their last 13 top-flight matches, remain 17th and two points clear of the bottom three.

They host Swansea City in a proverbial relegation six-pointer on Tuesday evening. Defeat in that one is surely unthinkable.

Sam Allardyce
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images


Another comfortable home league win sends Arsenal into third. The Gunners, three behind Liverpool, now trail leaders Chelsea by nine points ahead of Tuesday night's trip to Bournemouth.

Tottenham quickly drop a place and Manchester City fall out of the top four altogether.

That Giroud effort will certainly live long in the memory. Make sure you see it, if you somehow haven't already.



Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace


Arsenal are denied a third goal in the final minute of added time. Hennessey gets down low to his right and keeps out Oxlade-Chamberlain's shot with a strong one-handed save.


Three minutes of added time have been signalled by the fourth official. Arsenal are easing towards a comfortable first victory of 2017.


Tomkins is deservedly cautioned for upending Ramsey. Xhaka has a shot blocked.


Cech gathers a Palace cross without issue and Arsenal, seeking to add a bit more gloss to the scoreline, move forward again through Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The supposed Liverpool transfer target finds Ramsey, who cleverly creates a couple of yards of separation from Tomkins before drilling a shot wide.


Oxlade-Chamberlain has shown an impressive burst of pace since coming on, comprehensively beating his marker around the outside before producing a low pass into the six-yard box that is hacked away by Kelly at a crucial moment.


Zaha's trademark trickery bamboozles Monreal and Coquelin. The former accepts a booking for cynically stopping the Ivory Coast winger.


With his header likely having ensured a second successive victory, Iwobi is withdrawn in favour of the returning Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Sanchez's cross for Giroud is just too high for the Frenchman and Hennessey makes an initial clearance before Dann sends the ball crashing into a teammate.

Some of Palace's defending this afternoon can best be described as haphazard.


Ward is somewhat harshly penalised for a robust challenge on Bellerin in which he appeared to take ball before man. The subsequent free-kick comes to nothing.

Allardyce's final change is up front. Frazier Campbell comes on for Benteke.


A raft of substitutes now as Wenger sends on Aaron Ramsey and Coquelin in place of Elneny and Lucas. Allardyce, meanwhile, swaps Townsend for Chung-Yong Lee.

Jason Puncheon looks to send in an enticing free-kick but his deep delivery goes behind for a goal kick.


Bellerin's low cross towards Giroud is kept out by the foot of Hennessey and Kelly accidentally blasts the rebound into teammate Dann.

Xhaka's shot is turned behind by Ward. Palace really need to get out and stop defending so deep.


With his team at last posing a genuine attacking threat, Allardyce looks to his bench for the first time in the 65th minute.

Cabaye makes way for Jordon Mutch, a player who appeared surplus to requirements under Pardew but now has another chance to make a positive impression.


A dangerous cross from Townsend makes life difficult for Cech and he turns the ball behind for a corner.

Arsenal then attempt to counter before Zaha launches a quite dreadful strike into the stratosphere.


Palace suddenly spark into life at 2-0 down and Cech produces a string of fine saves in quick succession to deny Benteke, Cabaye and Townsend.

There was also a fresh-air shot there from Kelly that, had he made contact, would surely have nestled in the back of the net.


The Gunners double their lead and strengthen that grip on third place. After seeing an initial drive blocked, Sanchez gets the ball back and releases Monreal with a low pass.

The Spaniard's subsequent cross is cleared high into the air by a sliding Dann and Iwobi heads the loose ball home via a deflection from Tomkins and an attempted Joel Ward clearance that comes down off the underside of the crossbar.

Game over?

Joel Ward
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Alex Iwobi
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images


Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace (Alex Iwobi)


Monreal gets the better of Townsend and Sanchez bursts forward for Arsenal. He eventually opts to play in Perez, whose poor first touch takes him too far wide of goal.

He tries to rectify the situation with a cross that sails behind for a goal kick.


Pinball in the Palace box as Allardyce's side concede a corner and then cling on for dear life. Sanchez's shot crashes into Scott Dann before Elneny volleys into row z.


Palace carve out a decent early chance to equalise as Townsend isolates the full-back and crosses for Benteke.

However, the physical striker fails to make a strong enough connection on his header and the ball drifts wide. Hector Bellerin did just enough to put him off.


The second half has begun. No changes from either Wenger or Allardyce just yet.


Giroud's mesmerising 17th-minute scorpion goal is the difference between the two teams at the break. It is an effort that will be talked about for some time to come.

Arsenal have been much the better side and Arsene Wenger will likely be frustrated that this game is not already dead and buried at half-time.

Palace are technically still in it, but they have yet to offer much by way of an attacking threat.