London: Arsenal's bid to play in the Champions League for a 19th consecutive season suffered a setback after they were held to a 1-1 draw by London rivals Crystal Palace yesterday.
Arsenal players sport a dejected look after their EPL match against Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium in London yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Alexis Sanchez headed the Gunners in front on the stroke of half-time but visitors Palace equalised nine minutes before the final whistle at the Emirates Stadium when Yannick Bolasie's shot from the edge of the box somehow evaded Petr Cech at the Arsenal goalkeeper's near post.
The draw meant Arsene Wenger's side failed to regain third place from Manchester City and were only four points in front of fifth-placed Manchester United, with just the top four clubs at the end of the season guaranteed Champions League football next term.
Wenger under fire
Wenger had been criticised for sticking with David Ospina in goal despite Cech's return from injury, but it was the former Chelsea man who was culpable for an equaliser from Alan Pardew's FA Cup semi-finalists.
The visitors had largely played on the back foot but will welcome a share of the spoils after both Sunderland and Newcastle won on Saturday.
Ozil came within a whisker of adding the second with a well-taken free-kick but it remained an afternoon of toiling with the Gunners' attacking talent.
Former Arsenal man Emmanuel Adebayor was introduced to a chorus of jeers just before Hennessey did well to stop Welbeck scoring from close range.