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Saturday 21 July 2018

Shkodran Mustafi: Arsenal adapted to take Palace win

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson hopes to end Manchester City's winning run in the Premier League
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson hopes to end Manchester City's winning run in the Premier League

Shkodran Mustafi felt Arsenal adapted well to the challenge posed by Crystal Palace and hailed their ability to switch their system.

The Gunners marked boss Arsene Wenger's record-equalling match as a Premier League manager by beating Palace 3-2 at Selhurst Park on Thursday.

The Frenchman equalled the 810-game record of Sir Alex Ferguson and thanks to a goal from Mustafi and two from Alexis Sanchez was able to get the points.

Germany international Mustafi scored his second Premier League goal of the season against Roy Hodgson's Eagles but feels Arsenal's versatility in defence was a key factor in their victory.

"It's always difficult when you come to places like this, when you have to adapt to different football," the central defender told the club's official website.

"Our idea of football is different because we use short-passing play, but when you come here you have to adapt to their game, especially when you don't have the ball.

"We did well. We conceded the first one, which was a little bit unlucky, and the second one we should have defended the corner a little bit better. Overall, we did well."

The German also hailed Arsenal's concentration regarding the change in their formation.

"It's important to be focused because when you play a back four and then switch to a back three, it's a different type of game," he said.

"You have to cover different areas and there are different areas where you can play the ball. It's important to be consistent and concentrated when you switch the system.

"On the other hand, it's a strength when you can play two systems because the opponent never knows how we're going to start or finish the game."

Andros Townsend cancelled out Mustafi's opener early in the second half before Sanchez scored a brace in four minutes, with James Tomkins' late goal for Palace not enough to change the result.

"I think everyone was disappointed at half-time about the performance, it wasn't good enough," Townsend told his club's official website.

"We sat off and gave them too much space, too much time on the ball, and a quality side like Arsenal will punish you and they did in the first half.

"At half-time the manager told us not to be afraid of them and to take the game to Arsenal and I think we did that in the second half. We gave a good account of ourselves but unfortunately we came up a little bit short."

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