Friday, March 1, 2024

Champions League live: How to watch, schedule, quarterfinal draw, fixtures

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LONDON – Arsenal eased past Crystal Palace to move eight points clear atop the Premier League table as Mikel Arteta’s side are surging towards a first league title in 19 years.

Not quite ‘one hand on the trophy’ territory but it’s getting close to that stage for the Gunners.

FULL MATCH REPLAY

Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka each scored in the first half and then Granit Xhaka added a third and Saka added his second and Arsenal’s fourth after Palace briefly threatened a comeback through Jeffrey Schlupp’s goal.

The home fans at the Emirates sang ‘we are top of the league!’ with gusto throughout and the positive vibes are swirling around this part of north London heading into the international break.

Arsenal now have 69 points, eight clear of second-place Manchester City but City do have a game in-hand over the Gunners and host them in April in a title showdown. Palace remain on 27 points and although they sit in 12th place they are just three points off the bottom three and four points off the bottom of the table.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


First half blitz theme continues to lead title charge

Most teams are beaten by Arsenal before they know what happened. That was the case for Crystal Palace on Sunday. They did have the best chance of the early stages but Zaha’s shot hit the post, hit Ramsdale and somehow squirmed wide. That woke Arsenal up (perhaps their Europa League exploits delayed their usual early blitz a little?) and normal service resumed about 20 minutes into the first half. Saka, Martinelli and Trossard were too quick for Palace and Gabriel Jesus came on to help them close it out in the second half. Arsenal’s intensity is too much for teams they play against and that hunger combined with pace, skill and understanding is so tough to stop. Eight points clear with 10 games to go, which includes that trip to Manchester City in April. Arsenal’s fans are so close to believing that almost two decades of waiting for a league title is over. 


Stars of the show; Arsenal vs Crystal Palace player ratings

Bukayo Saka: Two goals and an assist in the first half and was so sharp cutting in from the right. Back to his very best.

Granit Xhaka: Lovely move and finish for his goal and plugs the defensive gaps so well.

Ben White: Supported Saka whenever he was needed and gave Arsenal an extra attacking outlet down the right.

Graphic via FotMob.com

What’s next?

Arsenal host Leeds United on Saturday, April 1, while Crystal Palace host Leicester City in a big relegation six-pointer on the same day.


How to watch Arsenal vs Crystal Palace live, stream link and start time + analysis by Joe Prince-Wright at Emirates Stadium!

Kick off: 10am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

FULL TIME: Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace – That is a very, very comfortable win for Arsenal who have now won six in a row in the Premier League. They are full of confidence, all of their main men are standing tall and with 10 games to go they are eight points clear.

Smith Rowe and Jorginho come on for Arsenal. Plenty of cheers for Ben White and Gabriel Martinelli. A really party atmosphere here now.

GOALLLL! Game. Set. Match. After a few poor clearances from Palace, substitute Kieran Tierney crosses for Saka and he finishes beautifully. Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace. Again, this is too easy for the Gunners.

CLOSE! Wilfried Zaha drags a shot across goal and inches wide of Aaron Ramsdale’s far post. So close to a second for Palace. This is getting very interesting now.

GOALLL! Maybe this isn’t over? Jeffrey Schlupp bundles the ball home and after a quick VAR check for handball, the goal stands. Arsenal 3-1 Crystal Palace.

GOALLL! Granit Xhaka scores. Lovely pass from Leandro Trossard on the give and go. This is too easy for the Gunners. Arsenal 3-0 Crystal Palace.

Ramsdale saves at the near post from Zaha. Maybe Palace have a little bit left in them here?

The second half is underway. No changes but a few more chances for Arsenal early on. This could get ugly quite quickly for Palace.

HALF TIME: Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace – After a shaky start, total control from Arsenal. Martinelli and Saka (once again) with the goals and Mikel Arteta’s side are cruising and eight points clear at the top. They are way too good for Palace.

GOALLL! Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace. Bukayo Saka strokes home. He has been unstoppable in this first half. Arsenal cruising and going 8 points clear atop the Premier League table.

Arsenal probing for a second as we approach half time. The youngsters dressed in the same black shirts are banging their drum loudly at the Clock End. Arsenal then go so close to scoring a second. Odegaard drags a shot just wide.

Reminder: as it stands Arsenal are eight points clear atop the Premier League table. Not that Arsenal fans anywhere needed a reminder of that. But still. For the rest of us.

GOALLL! Gabriel Martinelli smashes home across goal after Bukayo Saka found him with a lovely cross. All came from Ben White winning the ball in front of Wilfried Zaha. The Emirates erupts! Arsenal 1-0 Crystal Palace.

Caretaker Palace boss Patrick McCarthy will be delighted with this first 25 minutes for his side. They look well organized and have a threat on the counter. Arsenal are getting a little frustrated.

Rob Holding doing his best Virgil van Dijk impression so far. Some majestic passes out of the back.

SAVE! Teenage goalkeeper and lifelong Palace fan Joe Whitworth with a really good stop to deny Odegaard who fired a shot on goal from the edge of the box. Saka tried to get on the rebound but he was offside.

That chance for Palace has quietened down the home crowd a bit. Then there is a good save by Ramsdale to deny Edouard but he was offside as the flag goes up. Arsenal are getting caught out on the counter quite a bit here.

POST! So close to an opener for Crystal Palace. They find Wilfried Zaha on the counter, he beats Ben White easily and his shot hits the post, hits Ramsdale on the back and goes out for a corner. So close for Palace.

Arsenal having plenty of the ball early on but Palace look okay on the break. The managerless Eagles are holding firm. For now. The rhythmic beating of a drum in the home end is keeping the atmosphere nice and lively as the sun peeks through the grey London clouds.

The first song of the day from the Arsenal fans is for their legendary midfielder Patrick Vieira who was sacked. Harshly treated, Vieira.

KICK OFF! We are underway. Palace’s fans in the away have lit flares. There is a drum beating in the home end. A brilliant atmosphere.

Hello and welcome to a lovely spring day here in north London! That smell in the air is expectation. Arsenal fans are hoping for an easy home win against out of form and managerless Crystal Palace. We all know it isn’t quite as easy as that.


Key storylines & star players

Gabriel Jesus started Thursday in the Europa League, so it’s easy to predict a depth flex from the Gunners on Sunday rather than another start for their just-fit star. Leandro Trossard, Martin Odegaard, Ben White, Thomas Partey, and Bukayo Saka were kept on the bench at the start versus Sporting Lisbon, but the Gunners going 120 minutes and then losing on penalty kicks will certainly challenge them.

Palace is going to hope to get something out of Wilfried Zaha here. He’s looked more like a red card candidate lately but we all know an in-form Zaha is electric. Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze will look like even better playmakers once Zaha starts punching home some goals.


Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Eddie Nketiah (ankle), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Mohamed Elneny (knock), William Saliba (back)

Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Albert Sambi Lokonga (loan – parent club),  Sam Johnstone (calf), Nathan Ferguson (undisclosed), James McArthur (illness), Vicente Guaita (hamstring)

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