Roy Hodgson says Arsenal's second goal was crucial in Crystal Palace win
Last Updated: 28/12/17 10:59pm
Roy Hodgson said Arsenal's second goal in their 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Thursday proved pivotal, but was pleased with his side's fighting spirit.
Having been on the back foot and fallen behind in the 25th minute, Palace levelled shortly after half-time through Andros Townsend.
Alexis Sanchez replied with a quickfire double to make it 3-1, and the hosts could only pull back a late consolation from James Tomkins.
"The second goal was difficult having worked so hard in the first half to try to contain them," Palace boss Hodgson told Sky Sports.
"To get to 1-1 and then go down 2-1 you knew it was going to be an uphill task, but I have to give the players a lot of credit because we conceded a third and many teams would have capitulated and we certainly didn't do that.
"We created a lot of chances in the second half, so the second goal was scant reward for the amount of play we had in their penalty area and the chances that came our way. In the end it was a good performance from the Arsenal and we have to accept that we were beaten by the better side on the night."
Defeat leaves Palace just a point above the relegation zone in the Premier League.
Asked what positives he can take from the result, Hodgson said: "There are not positives in defeat as such, but it was good that we didn't get beaten by more than one goal because goal difference is important, and it was important that we gave our fans something to cheer in the second half and showed that we are actually quite a good team and we do have some good quality footballers in our team as well.
"The second half was an even game and maybe we had slightly the better of the opportunities. We need to keep on fighting and doing the right things and it's good for me to know that even when the team is 3-1 down against a side of Arsenal's quality there is no question of resignation or not continuing to do the right things and work very hard. Maybe today if the game had been five or six minutes longer we could have gone close to getting the equaliser."
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