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Published: 17:56 | 17/4/16

Bolasie ends Arsenal's title challenge

Gunners now 13 points behind Leicester

Yannick Bolasie ended Arsenal’s title hopes and put a dent in their top four hopes as he helped Crystal Palace to a hard fought 1-1 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates.

The Gunners, who looked dis-interested throughout, took the lead on the stroke of half time, but they never really looked like killing the game off and Palace grabbed the equaliser eight minutes from time to all but secure their Premier League survival.

Arsenal settled into their rhythm early as they dominated possession against a Palace side who looked to have an eye on their FA Cup final against Watford next Sunday.

The visitors looked content to sit deep and let Arsenal play in front of them and this is exactly what the home side did as they struggled to create any meaningful chances until the 40th minute, and that was from a dead ball.

The Gunners won a free kick on the edge of the box, Alexis Sanchez stepped up but his effort was deflected just past the post by the head of Scott Dann in the wall.

This near miss finally seemed to inject some impetus into the Arsenal attack and they threatened again a minute before the break when Sanchez slipped in Ozil who burst into the area but his effort was tipped around the post by Wayne Hennessy.

However, there was nothing Hennessy could do right on the stroke of half time when Sanchez broke the deadlock.

Danny Welbeck collected the ball from goal and produced a pin-point cross onto the head of the Chilean who beat the onrushing keeper to the ball and headed into an empty net to make it 1-0 at the break.

The second half followed much the same pattern as the first with Arsenal in control, without really looking threatening.

They did almost double their advantage after 57 minutes when Mesut Ozil clipped a free-kick around the Palace wall but just past the post.

Arsenal continued to labour in attack and they were almost punished for their lackluster display with 15 minutes remaining when, from a corner, Pape Souare rose highest and saw his header brilliantly tipped over the bar by Petr Cech.

Cech, though, was powerless to stop the Palace equaliser 8 minutes from time. Yannick Bolasie collected the ball 25 yards from goal and hit a powerful strike that took the keeper by surprise and nestled in the bottom corner to make it 1-1.

It was Palace who looked the more likely to claim all three points in the dying minutes and they really should have scored when Wilfired Zaha pounced on a Laurent Koscielny mistake, but he was denied by a superb challenge by Gabriel as the game ended 1-1.

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