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Arsenal 2-1 Crystal Palace: Aaron Ramsey strikes again

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Arsenal were Not Great, but managed to win the game with a stoppage time set piece score to end each half.

more or less, yeah
more or less, yeah
Clive Mason

0-1 Brede Hangeland 35'
1-1 Laurent Koscielny 45'+1
2-1 Aaron Ramsey 90'+1

Let's be real for a minute here: Arsenal were kind of bad today. Nobody was on the same page offensively, too many zigs that should have been zags and passes that went straight to the opposition. Defending of set pieces was shaky, and cost us a goal. The team as a whole was disjointed and everything was just a little bit off.

And that's why we have Aaron Ramsey.

Let's get to the first goal first, though. Laurent Koscielny played a part in Crystal Palace's goal, by failing to react quickly enough to Brede Hangeland's run after he dropped Alexis Sanchez, and allowing Hangeland basically a free header. So he had some work to do to make up for it (really, both did) and that happened just ten minutes later. Alexis won a free kick about five yards outside the Palace box and took it himself, putting the ball right on the six-yard box. Koscielny bettered Hangeland, breaking away with a curling run and then dropping low to head the ball (with the back of his head!) into the bottom corner. Just before the break, Arsenal had snatched Palace's lead away.

Fast forward forty-five mostly pointless minutes later, Aaron Ramsey happened. Just after Jason Puncheon was sent off for his second booking, Arsenal drew a corner that ended up with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain playing a cross into the box, which Koscielny headed forward. Olivier Giroud headed that ball down into the six for Mathieu Debuchy, whose shot went straight into the keeper. But the rebound came free, and as he tends to be, Aaron Ramsey was exactly where he needed to be when he was needed most. He blasted the ball into the back of the net from close range, and Arsenal had the three points.

Yeah, we'll need to play better than that against better teams. Everyone knows that. But dropping points to inferior teams is not a good thing to do when you want to win stuff, so whether it's a 3-0 walk in the park or a 2-1 lifeline from your best player, when you win you need to just take that and be okay with it and move on to the next thing.

Oh, and a bird pooped in Ashley Young's mouth earlier today. So it could have been a lot worse.