By 90Min
October 28, 2019

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has defended his the nature of his tackle on Wilfried Zaha in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners had to settle for a point despite taking a two-goal lead inside 10 minutes, as goals from Luka Milivojevic, from the penalty spot, and Jordan Ayew salvaged a draw for Roy Hodgson's Eagles.

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Things could have been worse for the home side as Palace broke away in the dying embers of the game, only for Guendouzi to haul Zaha down with a no nonsense rugby-style tackle in order to stop the attack.

While some called for Guendouzi to be sent off for a professional foul, the 20-year-old insisted after the game it was a tackle he had to make - before insisting that the home side's failure to hold onto the lead was not down to a mental problem within the dressing room.

"I had to foul Zaha at the end, otherwise he is through on goal on his own. I'm the last defender but I’m far from our goal as well. I had to do it," he told Arsenal's official website.

"It’s not a mental issue. We didn’t manage to hold our advantage. We knew they were a good team, with individual quality, and they played well for their goals. Zaha did well to get a penalty. It’s down to us to work so we win these kinds of matches after taking the lead."

Guendouzi added that inconsistency with the use of VAR was frustrating, as Palace were awarded a penalty after intervention from Stockley Park - something which Arsenal didn't benefit from against Sheffield United earlier in the week.

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"I’m not sure what happened on our disallowed goal. It’s like last Monday at Sheffield [United]. The ref didn’t check with VAR then on Sokratis and Saka," he added.

"This time he checks and it goes against us. I haven’t seen it again yet but we lose two points because of that today and a point at Sheffield too."

The result saw Arsenal slip to 5th in the Premier League table, but the result will be remembered for many months to come after captain Granit Xhaka's ugly spat with supporters after being substituted midway through the second half.

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