Crystal Palace produced a superb rearguard display to keep in-form Arsenal at bay at The Emirates Stadium, holding The Gunners to a 0-0 draw – and many Palace fans applauded the display of stand-in defender Cheikhou Kouyate.
The Gunners came into the match having produced four straight wins, beating Chelsea, West Brom and Brighton in the Premier League while finally overcoming Newcastle United in the FA Cup during extra-time.
Only one goal was conceded during those four matches, while Palace had won just one of their last six Premier League games – though that win came in their last game, a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United at Selhurst Park.
The two sides fought out an entertaining 0-0, in which both teams had chances to find the back of the net. Palace did come within an inch of breaking the deadlock in the first half, James Tomkins nodding against the bar.
But neither side could make the breakthrough, with the defences on top. Kouyate, a £9.5million (Goal) signing from West Ham in the summer of 2018, partnered another ex-Hammer James Tomkins at centre-back.
He was rock solid throughout, despite coming up against an in-form Alexandre Lacazette who had scored three goals in his last two Premier League games. Many Palace fans raved about their African star.
Cheikou Kouyate is now a monstrous CB!!!!
— Omoarebu• (@Omoarebu_) January 14, 2021
Kouyate and Tomkins tonight
— Kevin (@kevintasteph) January 14, 2021
Kouyaté Has Been Solid For Palace 👏
— ♠Moshood♠™ (@More_should) January 14, 2021
Kouyate underrated legend
— bailey (@bailey18737270) January 14, 2021
— siiviwe. (@siviczykowski) January 14, 2021
To be fair to them. Kouyate and Tomkins were brilliant
— Glen Kightley (@Glen_Kightley) January 14, 2021
Tomkins and Kouyate were proper sound tonight btw
— Tom (@PalaceTom11) January 14, 2021