James McArthur: Start was vital to Crystal Palace pulling off win at the Emirates

BY SAM SMITH

James McArthur felt Crystal Palace’s start to their game against Arsenal was pivotal, sending them on their way to an incredible 3-2 victory at the Emirates stadium.

Christian Benteke headed the Eagles into the lead on 17 minutes, before Wilfried Zaha and McArthur put Palace further ahead after Mesut Ozil equalised.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a consolation for the Gunners, who had gone 4-0 in front after just 22 minutes in this fixture last season.

“We came here last year and thought we had a very good chance – but they put us away in 15-20 minutes,” McArthur explained to Palace TV.

“Today we knew the start was very important and we got a good start, so that put us in good stead for the whole match.”

Benteke’s goal was his first since he scored a penalty against Leicester City last season – some 358 days prior. But McArthur praised the maligned Belgian and fellow scorer Zaha, who combined to lead the forward line to good effect.

“Not only on the ball, but off the ball they were tremendous today. They made it so hard for Arsenal and gave us a great shape all the way through to counter with.

“It was unbelievable. It’s a very, very hard place to come to. What a performance.”

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