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Arsenal gunned down by rampant Palace

Premier League

LONDON – Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League top-four suffered a huge blow as they suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Crystal Palace on Monday.

Palace, winners of four of their previous five league games, started in confident fashion and opened the scoring when former Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend swept the ball home at the end of a smart passing move after 17 minutes.

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Andros Townsend starts the celebrations after scoring the opening goal for Crystal Palace against Arsenal. Photo: Stefan Wermuth, ReutersArsene Wenger at Selhurst Park after the defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday. Photo: Matthew Childs, Action Images via Reuters

Palace striker Christian Benteke then had a goal ruled out for offside before Yohan Cabaye’s superb curled effort, and Luka Milivojevic’s penalty in five second-half minutes completed a miserable night for Arsene Wenger’s struggling side.

Arsenal, who have finished in the top four in 20 consecutive seasons, have 54 points from 30 games – seven points and two positions behind fourth-placed Manchester City, who have played a game more.

Crystal Palace stay 16th but now have 34 points from 31 matches, six more than Swansea City, who occupy the final relegation place in 18th and have played a game more.

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