Prem Recap: Potential Palace revival, Arsenal’s sudden grit & more
Five of the current top six took maximum points during the Premier League last weekend, while the division’s bottom club continued their gradual revival.
Manchester City edged out West Bromwich Albion, while Arsenal once again grabbed maximum points from a losing position against Swansea City.
We take a look at the weekend’s big topics, beginning with Roy Hodgson’s progress at Selhurst Park…
Will Hodgson produce Palace’s great escape?
After a dismal start to the season, the task of revitalising Crystal Palace was never going to come easily for new boss Roy Hodgson. But Saturday’s draw with West Ham United again showed some shoots of recovery at Selhurst Park.
Despite the hosts’ trailing until a 97th-minute equaliser, they dominated possession, shots on and off target, and corners. That result also means the Eagles are undefeated in three home games in all competitions.
Having been very unlucky to trail 2-0 after two Irons goals against the run of play, Palace showed great skill to recover a point, and probably deserved more.
Luka Milivojevic bagged an equaliser from the spot, before Yohan Cabaye rattled the post. Still, Palace persevered and a piece of individual brilliance from Wilfried Zaha levelled it.
With the sides around them out of form, Palace are now just four points from safety. Survival is beginning to look achievable in SE25.
Wenger’s men learning how to grind it out
Resilience isn’t a quality we’d generally associate with Arsenal, but they’ve shown plenty of it in the past fortnight. While the Gunners haven’t looked convincing during that period, the North London club’s four wins on the trot speaks for itself.
Saturday’s victory over Swansea City marked the third game in succession where Gooners had seen their side come from behind to win. After conceding just past the 20-minute mark, Arsenal huffed and puffed, stretching the Swans defence before pouncing.
Sead Kolasinac netted with a fierce strike just after the break, before Aaron Ramsey finished off a neat move on 57 minutes. While Arsenal were far from imperious, this new-found ability to keep their focus and wear down the opposition after going behind suggests a top-four finish isn’t beyond them.
Relegation a real concern for Toffees after Leicester loss
It’s not unheard of for a top-six side to have a wobble early in the following campaign and find themselves in the lower reaches of the table. But we’re now 10 games into the Premier League campaign, and Everton occupy a relegation spot – and show no signs of improving.
The managerless Toffees are desperately lacking a replacement for Romelu Lukaku. Despite creating 16 chances at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, Everton still failed to score. At the other end, lax defending let Jamie Vardy in for the first of Leicester City’s two goals.
With just one point from the past four league games, the Merseyside club are currently enduring the worst form of any Prem side.
Their leaky, ageing defence has been the main talking point of late. But with striker Sandro Ramirez failing to score in 12 outings to date, and their wingers yet to provide a single goal or assist, there are serious issues throughout the squad.
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