Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Player Ratings

Last updated : 15 February 2005 By Mike Bohndiek

Arsenal picked up where they left off at Villa with a crushing display which sent our confidence sky high and Palace closer to relegation. After a brief early scare, we took hold of the game and with a three goal margin already established by half time we were never in any trouble.

Key Incidents:

Goal (Arsenal) (32) – A superb goal, with flowing passing all the way. Edu picked out Jose on the left, who drilled in a low cross. The onrushing Bergkamp slotted the ball home from 5 yards out to give us the lead. Another typically cool finish from the Iceman.

Goal (Arsenal) (35) – If ever a man needed a goal! Well after a Henry ball had deflected out of the box, Jose took centre stage, slamming his shot into the far corner, leaving the keeper with no chance. For me the best part of this goal was seeing Tel be the first one over to Jose, with both of them hugging and smiling. A positive sign for our front men.

Goal (Arsenal) (37) – But, wait one minute! Did you really think Tel would let Jose score the goal of the game? Just two minutes after Jose had put the ball in, Tel did likewise, with a screamer of a shot which curled in after a shot corner. He is now just 11 short of Wrights record.

Goal (Arsenal) (54) – The cheek of this goal has to be right up there with Kanu v Deportivo! Henry slipped the ball in for Vieira, who dummied the ball allowing it to run past both defender and keeper. He then quite simply walked the ball into the net. Each replay made me laugh more, what a classic!

Goal (Palace) (63) – Vieira took down Johnson just inside the area. With me hoping for a repeat of those terrible penalties which eventually decided the Sheffield United v West Ham match, there was no such luck as Johnson's shot crashed in off the underside of the bar.

Goal (Arsenal) (77) – Having turned this way and that, leaving the Palace defenders stunned, Tel let rip with a driving shot into the top corner.

Man Of The Match – Thierry Henry

Player Ratings

Jens Lehmann - 6 - So there I was, sitting quite happily singing the praises of Jens, when Clichy played the ball back to him, expecting a simple clearance. Did he get it? Oh no! The ball went under his foot and nearly trickled across the line! Such a shame, as now his critics will be out in force again, and it will detract from a night where he made a great double save and was sound in the air.

Gael Clichy - 7 - Another sound performance. Had the tricky task of keeping Routledge quiet, but dealt with him well.

Pascal Cygan - 6.5 - Was again fairly solid, although he was beaten in the air by Johnson a few times! Just for good measure, late on while under no pressure he hoofed the ball out for a Palace throw. It wouldn't feel right if he didn't do it!

Kolo Toure - 7 - Saw us through a dodgy opening spell, and then helped to drive the game on from the back.

Lauren - 7- You know he has had a good game when you don't remember him doing anything. He just got on with his job and that was exactly what was needed.

Jose Reyes - 8- While he doesn't get the man of the match award, he does get the award for most improved performance. He was not at his best at Villa, but took to his task in this game, and was lively all night. His running was excellent, his goal superb and his attitude fantastic. Need I say more?

Patrick Vieira - 7 - Drove the midfield forward and was always available to receive the ball. More than that, he actually did something when it when he got it! Won the majority of his tackles, and scored a brilliant goal.

Edu - 7 - Another good game for him, having come back from injury. His passing was the best I have seen from him in a long while, and he got stuck into the midfield work.

Robert Pires - 6.5 - He doesn't look happy playing on the right side for us. He had an average game, where he didn't see a lot of the ball.

Thierry Henry - 8.5 - Another amazing display. From start to finish, he just wanted it. In his 200th premiership game, he started brightly and didn't look back. Scored two more incredible goals, and even smiled at Jose! His determination to win the ball back was brilliant and in this sort of form he could score against anyone.

Dennis Bergkamp - 8 - Classic Dennis. He just did what he always does, playing amazing passes, linking up the play, showing great will, and even scoring a goal!


Robin Van Persie - 6.5 - Came on for Dennis; what big shoes to fill! He did well, playing the ball about.

Mathieu Flamini - 7 - Came into the action, and put his foot in. That's what I like to see from a substitute.

Cesc Fabregas – N/A - Not enough time to rate him.