Perspective is a funny thing in football because as we all know, one minute you can be on top of the world and then the next you can be suffering from an extremely bad run of form. In the case of Arsenal their luck tends to fluctuate more than most big teams, and in recent times, they’ve been subjected to some defeats against sides that they would never have lost to even a few years ago.
In this edition of On This Day, we’re taking a look back to April 10th 2017, when Arsene Wenger’s side suffered a defeat which probably made the Frenchman a little bit worried about his own future at the club. Of course, these kinds of results happen, but the loss to the Eagles that we’re referring to was their fifth in the span of just eight Premier League games.
That isn’t the kind of form that you’d expect from title challengers, and as had become clear over the previous eight months, Arsenal were way off the pace when it comes to mounting a serious push for the championship.
Over the years we’ve seen Palace produce some pretty special performances in the top flight, and there’s no denying that this was one of them. The 25,000 in attendance were probably fearing the worst after an initially strong start from the visitors, until Andros Townsend caused pandemonium with a strike that gave Palace the advantage after less than 20 minutes.
From that point on Palace took their foot off the gas but maintained their control, and Arsenal just couldn’t capitalise. At the time the Eagles were still in with a realistic chance of dropping into the Championship having conceded 50 league goals, and yet they looked unstoppable at times throughout the evening.
Yohan Cabaye made it 2-0 midway through the second half, in the midst of a performance which reminded fans why he was so highly valued once upon a time. From that point on the win as academic, with Luka Milivojević rounding off a comprehensive victory for Crystal Palace.
Now, twelve months on, Arsenal will look to build upon a six-game winning streak which very few fans would’ve seen coming back in February.
Have Arsenal improved since the Palace game last year?