Crystal Palace analysis: Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend star as Eagles take huge step towards survival

GIUSEPPE MURO
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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.

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.

Giuseppe Muro was at Selhurst Park to assess the key talking points for Palace...

Palace take massive step towards survival

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Palace are now six points above the bottom three and the manner of this win against Arsenal suggests they are out of trouble.

Sam Allardyce has said they need 38 points to be sure of safety but is is hard to see the them getting dragged back into danger after they tore Arsenal apart at Selhurst Park.

Zaha proves his doubters wrong

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The argument that Wilfried Zaha has no end product is over.

Zaha has always been criticised for his final ball but the winger now has nine assists in the Premier League this season after setting up goals for Andros Towsend and Yohan Cabaye against Arsenal.

Zaha was outstanding yet again and Palace need to tie the 24-year-old down to a new contract to ward off interest in him.

Townsend stepping up for Eagles

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The winger initially struggled at Palace and admitted recently he had not been playing like a player who signed for £13million.

But Townsend has been a big part of their recent revival under Allardyce.

The former Tottenham man scored a crucial goal against Arsenal and his all-round performance was excellent.

Goalkeeping issues over?

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Wayne Hennessey is another player who has benefitted from the arrival of Allardyce.

The Palace goalkeeper has lost a stone in weight since Allardyce took over and is seeing obvious results from his work with new goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson.

Hennessey has kept five clean sheets in his last seven games and made a string of good saves to deny Arsenal and help Palace get a massive three points.

Cabaye stars in the middle

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Yohan Cabaye made a miracle return from injury. The midfielder was expected to miss the game after suffering a calf problem against Southampton last week but he started and was one of the best players on the pitch.

Cabaye capped a brilliant display with a fine goal to put Palace 2-0 up.

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