By Williams ‘Bantu’ Irubor
Crystal Palace continued their recent revival to boost their Premier League survival hopes and leave Arsenal struggling to maintain their run of top-four finishes under Arsene Wenger.
Palace led through Andros Townsend’s close-range finish, and Yohan Cabaye’s looped shot helped them double their lead.
Luka Milivojevic clinched victory with a firm, low penalty as Palace moved six points clear of the relegation zone.
Sixth-placed Arsenal did not manage a shot on target in a poor second half.
Some travelling Gunners fans again called for manager Wenger, who has led Arsenal to top-four finishes in each of his previous 20 seasons at the helm, to leave the club.
The Frenchman’s side are seven points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City with eight games remaining.
There will be increased scrutiny on Wenger yet again because of the manner of Arsenal’s performance which was disorganised, devoid of attacking ideas and lacking fight.
Wenger’s contract expires at the end of the season and the club has offered him a new two-year deal, although he is still to announce whether he intends to carry on.
Arsenal had 72% possession against Palace but that didn’t mattered as the hosts broke quickly on the counter-attack, exploiting space down the flanks and taking their chances clinically.
On this evidence, Allardyce looks much likelier to maintain his achievement than his long-time adversary.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger spoke to BBC Sport after the game and admitted his side lost too many duels which they paid for, recognising the quality of the hosts (who also beat Chelsea at home).