Crystal Palace – Arsenal – 3: 0: Wilfried Zaha, Jean-Philippe Matteta and Jordan Ayu strike

How Arsenal could have done with player Patrick Vieira last night. He would not put up with it – no way.

If you didn’t know better, you wouldn’t believe that Arsenal was a Champions League qualifier for hunting clubs here at Selhurst Park.

The fact that one of their most legendary players hosted their demise was no consolation to those with ties to Arsenal.

Wilfried Zaha celebrates after scoring the third goal of “Crystal Palace” against “Arsenal” in the Premier League on Monday night

Zakha made no mistake from the point after winning a penalty by scoring a foul on Martin Adegaard in the second half

Zakha made no mistake from the point after winning a penalty by scoring a foul on Martin Adegaard in the second half

The top four players chasing Arsenal look depressed after losing again during a London meeting at Selhurst Park

The top four players chasing Arsenal look depressed after losing again during a London meeting at Selhurst Park

WET FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE

CRYSTAL PALACE (4-1-3-2): Guaita 6; Klein 7, Andersen 8, Guehi 7.5, Mitchell 7; Cowate 7.5 (Milivaevich 80); Ayu 7.5 (Edward 76), Gallagher 7, Sloop 7.5; Matthew 7.5 (MacArthur 69), Zecha 7

SUBMISSIONS NOT USED: Butland, Ward, Tomkins, Eze, Hughes, Benteke.

MANAGER: Vieira – 8

ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Rumsdale 6; Saares 6 (Nketia 66, 6), White 6, Gabriel 5, Tavares 4 (Martinelli 46, 7); Party 6 (Laconga 75), Jack 6, Adegaard 6; Smith Row 6, Saka 6, Lacazette 5

SUBMISSIONS NOT USED: Leno, Holding, Elneny, Ogungbo, Swanson, Flores. Reservations: Partey, Xhaka.

MANAGER: Arteta – 6

JUDGE: Paul Tierney – 6.5

MANAGERS: 25149



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Who knows, maybe Vieira will one day return to north London as a manager. The way he accomplished Crystal Palace during his first season in office, one can imagine that there is a pretty good chance that this tale will become a reality in the future.

But here and now Vieira is focusing entirely on south London – the transformation of a football club that desperately needed to be stepped up; this victory is the last in the list of highs, which is growing rapidly.

The only positive that Mikel Arteta can take from this disappointment is that their fate in the Champions League remains in their hands.

Replay in their game in reserve and they overtake Tottenham’s avid rivals in fourth place. And then, of course, on May 12 there will be a re-organized derby of north London. Get attached, people.

But this performance, not to mention the result, should worry the boss of the Gunners. For most of this meeting, Arsenal was pathetic – it was not surprising that Arteta apologized to fans after the final whistle.

In the second half, they can count on a few wasted opportunities, but so far the damage has been done.

Jean-Philippe Mattet (center) opened the scoring at close range in the 16th minute of the game, and the crowd was amazed

Jean-Philippe Mattet (center) opened the scoring at close range in the 16th minute of the game, and the crowd was amazed

Aaron Rumsdale (right) and Ben White (center) watch Palace take the lead in the first half of the showdown

Aaron Rumsdale (right) and Ben White (center) watch Palace take the lead in the first half of the showdown

Mateta celebrates in front of Crystal Palace fans, consolidating the hosts' dream against rivals

Mateta celebrates in front of Crystal Palace fans, consolidating the hosts’ dream against rivals

Less than a week after Côte d’Ivoire missed a friendly against England at Wembley because his international boss Patrick Bamel diagnosed a 2nd degree hamstring rupture, Wilfried Zaha was found fit enough to take the place in the starting lineup, and led the Eagles team.

Considering Class 2 strains usually require a minimum of four weeks to repair, you would forgive Arte for being a little suspicious.

Not that Vieira cared too much about the machinations in Arteta’s head; Zaha was on the field – that’s all that bothered the boss of the Palace.

It became clear why in the 16th minute his iconic star in the center of Pelas came forward, Zaha won from the penalty spot, which led to their opening.

It was simple, really. Too easy for Arteta.

Jordan Ayev calmly ends the game after teammate Joachim Andersen played in the first half

Jordan Ayev calmly ends the game after teammate Joachim Andersen played in the first half

Arsenal defenders are watching as Rumsdale goalkeeper failed to stop Ayu, who scored 2-0, giving them the mountain to climb

Arsenal defenders are watching as Rumsdale goalkeeper failed to stop Ayu, who scored 2-0, giving them the mountain to climb

Ai plays in celebration after doubling his team's lead, finishing well in the middle of the first half

Ai plays in celebration after doubling his team’s lead, finishing well in the middle of the first half

Conor Gallagher’s deep free kick nodded towards Joachim Anderson’s goal, leaving Jean-Philippe Mattet with the easiest tasks.

Off the French striker has gone to complete his branded holiday kung fu kicking the corner flag.

Meanwhile, the defense of “Arsenal” rushed to his feet. The defense was shambolic, the expression on Arteta’s face said it all.

The great opening of the “Palace” should not have been a surprise for “Arsenal”, they largely lost in the relevant match in October, which ended with a score of 2-2.

Since then, Arsenal has certainly improved significantly. Not that you know this from the evidence of their opening 45 minutes here at Selhurst Park.

The second “Palace” was inevitable and came in the 24th minute thanks to the further devilish defense of “Arsenal”.

Nuno Tavares looks depressed as he watches his side miss a second during the miserable first half in the capital

Nuno Tavares looks depressed as he watches his side miss a second during the miserable first half in the capital

Gabriel had to regularly cut off Andersen’s pass, but he didn’t.

Nuno Tavares had to watch Jordan Ayu with much more energy than he did, but he didn’t.

In contrast, Ayu did exactly what he had to, sweetly controlling his finish behind Aaron Rumsdale to double the advantage of the Strip.

Selhurst Park went crazy; like Arteta – but for completely different reasons.

Somehow, through all the chaos, Vieira – against the club he spent the most memorable years as a player – remained the coolest man in Selhurst Park.

The best that Arsenal could have collected in a difficult opening in the 45th minute was a mischievous header by Alexandre Lacazette, who flew harmlessly over Vicente Guaita’s crossbar.

White and Gabriel protest against referee Paul Tierney after he pointed to the spot after a foul on Zaha committed by Adegaard

White and Gabriel protest against referee Paul Tearney after he pointed to the spot after a foul on Zaha committed by Adegaard

The only positive that Arteta could highlight from the vivid demonstration of his side is that it could not be worse.

Tavares paid the price for his lethargy before Pelas ’second goal, a left-back caught in the break instead of Gabriel Martinelli.

It was a clear statement of intent from Arteta. However, it would have been on the verge of neglect if he hadn’t changed things during the break.

Martinelli’s introduction certainly improved Arsenal’s position, although it wasn’t difficult after the first half.

Zachu congratulates his teammates after scoring three points from the penalty spot in the second half

Zachu congratulates his teammates after scoring three points from the penalty spot in the second half

Emile Smith Rowe missed a golden chance in the 63rd minute after Martinelli’s more determined work before Martin Adegaard missed an even better opportunity three minutes later when Palace became vulnerable.

But any late anxiety disappeared in south London in the 74th minute when Zaha broke a penalty, which he majestically won, enchanting, which eventually led to Adegaard turning it over.

Eddie Nketti’s replacement came into Arsenal’s cross-country at the deathbed – but by then they were dead and buried.

Their dream of the Champions League will go the same way if they are not careful.

Scroll down to see how things turned out with Live Runner Sportsmail …

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