Arsene speaks: On BT Sport, Arsene Wenger calmly says that he thinks the red card was the wrong decision. He says Chamakh did not have a clear goal-scoring opportunity because he was so far from goal and because Arteta was not the last defender. That's all from me, until tonight's super clasico between Barcelona v Real Madrid at 5pm. Thanks for your time and your emails amnd if you've nothing better to do, feel free to join me for that one.
Arteta's sending off: Lots of people are emailing to say that Arteta couldn't possibly have stopped a clear goal-scoring opportunity, because Chamakh had barely crossed the halfway line. I'm really not sure what difference his distance from the goal makes - he's a professional athlete and without the intervention of Arteta, would have covered the ground to the edge of the penalty area in a heartbeat.
Peep! Peep! Peeeeeep! Arsenal take the points to go five clear at the top of the Premier League table. They won comfortably in the end, but had to fight tooth and nail for their win. Until Giroud scored their second three minutes from time, they were never comfortable. Palace remain second from bottom of the table, with only Sunderland beneath them. Their supporters can be very proud of their team's efforts today, but football fans being football fans, I'm sure plenty of them will find something to complain about.
90+2 min:Olivier Giroud tries to score from distance, but his ambitious effort from out near the right touchline swerves hopelessly wide of the left upright. The striker laughs at the sheer awfulness of his effort.
90 min: On BT Sport,Michael Owen gives the man of the match award to Wojiech Szczesny, for the two splendid saves from Ward and Jedinak that kept Arsenal ahead when Crystal Palace had them under the cosh.
89 min: Crystal Palace were caught out by a classic Arsenal counter-attack there, getting caught on the break as they poured men forward in search of an equaliser. Aaron Ramsey perhaps harboured notions of trying a shot himself, but realised he was running down a blind alley and picked out Giroud with a pass that was nothing short of exquisite.
GOAL! Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal (Giroud 87) From about six yards out, Olivier Giroud runs on to a beautifully lofted pass from Aaron Ramsey and sends an unstoppable bullet header past Julian Speroni.
85 min: "Re Arteta's red," writes John Foster. "I always thought the laws didn't mention anything about a foul by the last man being an automatic red. Isn't the whole "last man" shtick just a shorthand way of saying that a foul that denies a clear goalscoring opportunity is an automatic red? And if so, doesn't that make the decision look even harsher on Arteta?"
I'm not sure how you can say that decision was harsh - on the evidence of what I've seen, he denied Chamakh a clear goalscoring opportunity. If he hadn't brought him down, Chamakh would have been clear through on goal with only Szczesny to beat. Even taking the presence of Chamakh into account, if that isn't a clear goalscoring opportunity, what is?
81 min: Nacho Monreal jinks his way down the inside left and tries to unleash a shot from a tight angle. He appears to have his ankle clipped by Jedinak, but if it was a foul, referee Chris Foy didn't spot it.
80 min: Into the final 10 minutes, as 10-man Arsenal attempt to protect their slender lead, as Crystal Palace rain kitchen sinks down upon them.
77 min: Crystal Palace substitution: Barry Bannan off, Dwight Gayle on. Crystal Palace really deserve an equaliser here.
74 min: Wow! Wojiech Szczesny pulls off two splendid saves in quick succession. The first is from a long-range screamer from Joel Ward, which the Polish goalkeeper tips on to the crossbar and out for a corner. The second save comes when Arsenal only half-clear from the ensuing corner, allowing Mile Jedinak to try his luck from distance. The surface-to-air shot is a powerful one that's swerving away from the goalkeeper, who palms it out for another corner with a strong right hand.
72 min: Jimmy Kebe comes on for Crystal Palace, with Adlene Guediora making way. Nacho Monreal and Jack Wilshere come on for Arsenal, with Santi Cazorla and Serge Gnabry going off.
69 min: Arteta was sent off on the back of a short period of dominance by Crystal Palace, who are playing with renewed vigour since the dimissal of the Arsenal captain. He tackled Chamakh just inside the Arsenal half, which is why many will consider his decision harsh. As Michael Owen points out, it doesn't matter if he was 50 yards from goal or 10 yards from goal, Arteta was the last defender and prevented Chamakh from making up ground he'd have covered in a few seconds if left unimpeded.
66 min: It could and will be argued that Chris Foy was very harsh on Arteta there. Chamakh was a long way from goal and had loads to do, but Arteta was the last defender and seemed to bring the Palace striker to ground, denying him a clear goalscoring opportunity. On BT Sport, former referee Mark Halsey says he would only have given a yellow for the challenge, while Michael Owen, a card-carrying member of the strikers' union, says Foy made the correct decision.
Red card! Chris Foy waves his red card in the direction of Mikel Arteta, who dragged down Marouane Chamakh as the Crystal Palace centre-forward tried to sprint through on a counter-attack.
60 min: Yannick Bolasie, who's looked impressive since coming on, tries to pick out Joel Ward with a low cross-field pass thaqt travels faster than a speeding bullet. The ball hits a divot and goes out of play, before Ward can control it. Well, that'll be the right-back's story when he watches the replay later.
59 min: After a couple of minutes of sustained Crystal Palace, Barry Banna gifts possession to Olivier Giroud with an awful pass Arsenal gallop up the field on the counter-attack. Mile Jedinak saves Palace's bacon with an excellent covering tackle to rob Giroud of possession.
58 min: Crystal Palace substitution: having signalled to the bench that he's picked up a knock and can't continue, Jerome Thomas makes way for Yannick Bolasie. That's a like for like substitution.
56 min: Dean Moxey gallops down the left wing and ferrets his way in behind the Arsenal defence. He tries to aim a cross towards Marouane Chamakh, but succeeds only in gifting the ball to Arsenal goalkeeper Wojiech Szczesny.
53 min: An overlapping run down the right touchline from Bacary Sagna, who picks up the ball and sends an inch-perfect cross towards the forehead of Olivier Giroud at the near post. The French striker makes meaty contact, but sends the ball flashing wide from five or six yards out. He should have scored there.
50 min: Another nervy moment for Palace. While trying to defend a through-ball into the penalty area, an attempted clearance by Damien Delaney ricochets off Serge Gnabry and is deflected narrowly wide. That could have gone anywhere.
48 min: After all their hard work in the first half, that was a silly penalty to concede. Guedioura was sliding in to try to block a cross from Gnabry and caught the Arsenal substitute with his trailing leg. Chris Foy didn't hesitate before blowing his whistle and pointing to the penalty spot.
GOAL! Crystal Palace 0-1 Arsenal (Arteta 46) Adlene Guedioura needlessly slides in and takes the feet from under Serge Gnabry on the right-hand side of the Palace penalty area to concede a penalty, which Mikel Arteta dispatches. The Spaniard sends the ball curling away from Julian Speroni and practically into the side-netting.
Second half: Palace get the second half started. Neither manager has made a change at half-time.
Contentious decision dept: On BT Sport the pundits are examining the Damien Delaney tackle on Serge Gnabry towards the end of the first half. Having seen it three or four times, David James thinks it was "definitely" a penalty, while Owen Hargreaves and Steve McManaman aren't so sure. Unless the referee is 100% certain it was inside the penalty area, he can't give it, seems to be the general concensus.
Half-time email: "As a Gooner I feel compelled to mention that unlike other managers, Arsene always allows his loan players to play against Arsenal [harrumph/sniff]," writes Leo.
Half-time: The teams troup off for their half-time cuppa, with the warm applause of the Palace fans ringing in the ears of their players. They've been superb in a game most right-thinking people expected them to lose by a cricket score. They survived an early Arsenal onslaught with some excellent defending, before gradually finding their feet and eventually dominating the final 15 minutes of the half.
45 min: Arsenal try to unpick the Palace defence, with Ramsey passing to Giroud on the edge of the penalty area and sprinting ahead to pick up the return pass. Adlene Guedioura intercepts with a decidedly agricultural challenge. Good defending.
45 min: "I thought Chamakh couldn't play because he was on loan, or has Machiavelli Wenger generously allowed him to knowing his presence will allow Arsenal to play with no defenders at all?" writes Henry. It was indeed reported on a certain Football Podcast not a million miles from here, that Chamakh couldn't play today because he was on loan from Arsenal. This was incorrect - he actually signed for Palace on a permanent basis. He's been busy today, as a matter of fact, putting himsdelf about, making a nuisance of himself, winning free-kicks and failing to convert half-decent chances.
41 min: From the left touchline, Mile Jedinak sends a splendid cross into the Arsenal penalty area from deep. It's on a plate for the unmarked Marouane Chamakh, who mistimes his leap horribly and fails to even make contact with the ball. That's woeful from Chamakh, who's been reasonably impressive so far this afternoon.
39 min: With a desperate lunge, Damien Delaney trips Serge Gnabry inches outside the Palace penalty area on the right hand side. Good officiating means the visibly relieved defender concedes a free-kick rather than a penalty. Nothing comes of it.
36 min: Another free-kick for Palace, from which they win a corner when the ball is turned wide by Aaron Ramsey. Bannan whips the ball into the mixer, where Damien Delaney heads wide at the far post. This is splendid play from Palace, who are getting more and more confident with every minute they go without conceding.
35 min: Palace are almost punished for their impertinence when Arsenal unpick their defence, with Santi Cazorla sitting Dean Moxey on the seat of his pants with some nifty footwork, before sending a diagonal ball flashing across the six yard box. Olivier Giroud doesn't make contact - if he had, Arsenal would be one up.
33 min: ANother free-kick from Palace, in much the same position as the last. Barry Bannan sends the ball towards the far post again, where Mile Jedinak wins the header again, attempting to steer the ball across the face of goal. Arsenal clear as far as the incoming Bannan, who sends a sweet curler from distance the wrong side of the left upright. Damien Delaney was this much away from being in a position to divert the ball home.
29 min: Another shot on target from Crystal Palace, this time from Adlene Guedioura, who shoots straight at Szczesny. Palace are getting into this game now, hustling and harrying assorted Arsenal players off the ball whenever possible. That chance came about when three Palace players converged on Mesut Ozil as he tried to settle on the ball, robbed him of possession and set up the shot for Guedioura.
27 min: Crystal Palace win a free-kick about 50 yards from the Arsenal goal. The ball's launched into the penalty area towards the far post, where Mile Jedinak heads across goal. Per Mertesacker heads clear, but the ball ends up with Marouane Chamakh who shoots from just outside the D on the edge of the penalty area and brings a save out of Wojciech Szczesny. That's Palace's first shot on target, which I suspect might be one more than Arsenal have managed thus far.
25 min: This is Jerome Thomas's first start for Crystal Palace this season and he's been quite impressive on the rare occasions his team have the ball. They're starting to have slightly more of the play, having survived the early buffeting. Their fans are in fine voice - no singing section required at Selhurst Park.
21 min: Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni wins a free-kick on the edge of his six-yard box after being fouled as he dashed off his line to flap at a looping ball. It was spinning high in the air and caught in the wind. With a couple of Arsenal players contesting the dropping ball with him, it was nervous time for the Palace goalkeeper.
20 min: Ha-ha! It seems that Crystal Palace chance I attributed to Masrouane Chamakh, was in fact squandered by Barry Bannan, who headed over from a Jerome Thomas cross. An easy mistake to make - Bannan and Chamakh look ... nothing like each other whatsoever.
17 min: Nice play for Mesut Ozil who picks up the ball on the inside right channel, skips in behind the Palace defence and pulls the ball back to Olivier Giroud. Close, but no cigar.
15 min: Palace fans are finally given a reason to be cheerful when their team strings a few passes together and get a header on goal. It's high over the bar by, I think, Marouane Chamakh.
13 min: Sagna and Gnabry combine down the right again, with the full back galloping down the line on the overlap before attempting to drill a low cross into the penalty area. Arsenal appeal for a penalty when the ball hits the hand of Damien Delaney, who had slid to ground on the edge of the six-yard box. None is forthcoming. Good decision.
12 min: Aaron Ramsey has moved into the centre of midfield to take up the berth vacated by Mathiu Flamini, while the substitute Gnabry is on the right wing. Ozil and Sagna combine down the right wing, the ball's played forward to Gnabry but his attempted cross is intercepted and Palace clear.
8 min: Possession stats after eight minutes: Crystal Palace 15%-85% Arsenal. Palace are defending stoutly and Julian Speroni hasn't had to make a save yet, but you can't see them holding out for the entire match. The levels of concentration required for backs-to-the-wall defending against this Arsenal team for 90 minutes must be immense.
8 min: Arsenal substitution: That was a short afternoon's work for Mathiu Flamini. He limps off and is replaced by German Under 21 international Serge Gnabry.
7 min: Mathiu Flamini is struggling with an injury of some description - he appears to have twanged something in his groin.
5 min: Just five minutes gone, but Arsenal's dominance has been total. Crystal Palace are on the back foot, pinned back deep inside their own half and defending in numbers. It's going to be a long afternoon for the home side.
3 min: Bacary Sagna sends in a marvellous cross from the right flank and Olivier Giroud leaps to head the ball over the bar from about eight or nine yards.
2 min: Arsenal go forward, with Aaron Ramsey pinging the ball wide to Mesut Ozil on the left wing. He works the ball into the penalty area and Jerome Thomas clears.
1 min: Arsenal kick off, playing from right to left. They're lining up with two defensive midfielders, Mile Jedinak and Kagisho Dikgacoi in front of the back four and behind a bank of three comprised of Barry Bannan, Adlene Guedioura and Jerome Thomas. Marouane Chamakh will plough a lone furrow up front against his former side.
Not long now ...
The teams are in the tunnel, with Mikel Arteta leading out the visitors, while Mile Jedinak does the honours for Palace. Crystal Palace wear their customary home strip of red and blue halves, blue shorts and blue socks. Arsenal's players are wearing their away kit of yellow shirts, blue shorts and white socks.
Kick-off is 10 minutes away and as Palace's players return to the dressing room after their warm-up, the flapping of the corner flag they pass en route suggests there's a strong wind blowing in South London this afternoon. Between the elements and Palace's packed midfield, I suspect this might not be the most aesthetically pleasing of football spectacles.
Exactly 150 yeas ago today
On October 26, 1863, the FA was set up by Mr Ebeneezer Morley, a London solicitor who had formed Barnes FC the previous year. Assorted captains, secretaries and other representatives of a dozen London and suburban clubs met “for the purpose of forming an Association with the object of establishing a definite code of rules for the regulation of the game” and it is believed many of these estimable gentlemen remain on assorted FA committees and sub-committees to this day. Arsenal's players are doing their bit to celebrate this momentous occasion by wearing t-shirts giving birthday wishes during their warm-up.
Crystal Palace v Arsenal line-ups
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Delaney, Gabbidon, Moxey, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Bannan, Guedioura, Thomas, Chamakh.
Subs: Mariappa, Bolasie, O'Keefe, Puncheon, Gayle, Kebe, Price.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Giroud.
Subs: Vermaelen, Rosicky, Wilshere, Monreal, Fabianski, Bendtner, Gnabry.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)
Team news ...
Keith Millen has made six changes from the Crystal Palace side that lost against Fulham on Monday night. He's picked a defensive side with two holding midfielders and is clearly hoping to hold out for a scoreless draw and perhaps nick all three points with a goal on the break. Good luck with that, Keith.
For Arsenal, Jack Wilshere is sidelined after bruising his ankle against Dortmund, while Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are still out. Mathieu Flamini returns after sitting out Arsenal's defeat against Dortmund with concussion. I'll bring you the full line-ups just as soon as they appear on the news wires.
Match preview ...
Good afternoon everybody. In the wake of Ian Holloway's departure from Crystal Palace, his former assistant Keith Millen steps in as caretaker manager for today's match against Arsenal. The Eagles have lost five on the spin, while Arsenal arrive at Selhurst Park having lost one in a row, against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. That was their first defeat in 13 matches since their opening day reverse at the hands of Aston Villa, mind, so it's no surprise that they're white-hot favourites to take all three points today.