‘s Selhurst Park farewell ended with a disappointing defeat by Arsenal on Wednesday night.
Substitute Gabriel Martinelli and the impressive Nicolas Pepe both struck in second-half stoppage time to condemn the former England boss to defeat in the last home match of his four years as Crystal Palace manager.
Pepe had opened the scoring in the first half with a lovely cushioned volley after good link-up play between Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney, only for Christian Benteke to cancel out that goal after the interval by diving to head home Andros Townsend’s free-kick.
Palace looked arguably the more likely team to go on and win the match at 1-1, only for a late show to keep the visitors hopes of European qualification alive and secure their fourth successive Premier League win – the first time they have achieved that feat under the management of Mikel Arteta.
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Arteta sings Pepe’s praises
Arteta was also full of praise for Arsenal’s much-improved record signing Nicolas Pepe, whose goal tally for the season now stands at 14 after tonight’s brace…
“I am very encouraged and positive for two reasons,” he said.
“One, because he has come a long way in terms of consistency and what he’s producing in games. Not in the Premier League, but what he’s done in Europe this season.
“And the second one because he’s changed his mindset. He wants to look at every mindset, he wants to look at every post-match reflection that we do with him.
“Individually he wants to work and he wants to be the best. When that happens and he has the talent that he has, I think it’s a really good mixture.”
Palace players show their support for the injured Eberi Eze as he begins the long road to recovery from a serious Achilles injury…
Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal are using the pain of their Europa League semi-final exit at the hands of former boss Unai Emery and Villarreal as motivation behind their late push to qualify for Europe next season…
“After you have to win the football matches to prove that you have reacted as a team,” said Arteta.
“But the reaction, and the pain in that dressing room, it still hurts. And I think that is what we are using in the final games to show everybody, and show ourselves, that we could have done better but we are not going to give up.
“And we want to challenge to the last day to give ourselves the chance to be back in Europe, and they have the opportunity again to go.”
Here’s that emotional post-match Hodgson farewell to Palace fans in full…
After presentations for both Hodgson and long-time assistant Ray Lewington from Palace chairman Steve Parish, Hodgson is now given a microphone to address the 6,5000 home fans at Selhurst Park.
A late show by the Gunners keeps their top-six hopes alive and spoils Roy Hodgson’s Selhurst Park farewell.
There will be a presentation for Hodgson after the full-time whistle…
Crystal Palace 1-3 Arsenal
GOAL! Crystal Palace 1-3 Arsenal | Nicolas Pepe 95′
95 mins: And that will most definitely be that!
It’s a lovely, weaving run into the box from Pepe, who coolly slots his second goal of the night low beyond Guaita.
Not the farewell Hodgson was hoping for.
Simon Collings at Selhurst Park
Arsenal are ahead and Selhurst has gone very quiet. Hodgson’s night has taken a turn.