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Latest News

Palace Stun Gunners To Go Top

Crystal Palace pulled off a sensational 4-1 victory away to Arsenal to go top of the Academy League Group A on Saturday.

After a week of freezing weather and snow, the extraordinary drainage system at Arsenal’s London Colney training centre coped with the overnight thaw and produced a perfect playing surface which suited the Gunners’ slick passing style.

The home side took control of the game from the off with left winger Nigel Neita looking particularly dangerous, but as Palace centre-back Dan Pringle explained in his blog, the Eagles hung on and managed to keep Arsenal out of range.

Palace then took the lead against the run of play. On 28 minutes, left midfielder Johnny Williams raced into the box and was fouled, Ibra Sekajja converting the penalty.

That was how it stood until the break, but six minutes into the second half Gary Issott’s Palace doubled their lead to the shock of most of the spectators, Alex Wynter tapping in from close range after Sekajja had twice been foiled in his attempts to convert from Jake Caprice’s cross.

Seconds later Pringle cleared off the line as Arsenal gathered momentum again but it was 15 minutes from time before the Gunners finally scored, Neita tucking away a penalty after being brought down by keeper Charlie Mann, himself a former Arsenal player.

Arsenal sent on two substitutes but struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities. Instead, it was the visitors, playing a flexible 4-2-3-1 formation, who scored the goal of the game to clinch victory.

Williams, a Wales Under-21 international at the age of 16, went on a fabulous mazy dribble into the Arsenal box and laid the ball back for Kyle De Silva to knock in Palace’s third goal. It crowned a superb performance in defence and attack by the diminutive Williams.

As Arsenal attempted a comeback, Palace added the icing to the cake in the final minute with a fine breakaway goal, Caprice racing away down the right and crossing for Sekajja to get in front of the Arsenal goalkeeper and nudge in to the net.

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