Patrick Vieira believes that Crystal Palace’s 3-0 win against top-four chasing Arsenal showed that his side are “growing up”.
The Eagles opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Conor Gallagher’s deep free-kick hit the back of Joachim Andersen’s head and fell to the waiting Jean-Philippe Mateta.
The Frenchman reacted quickest and nodded the ball past Aaron Ramsdale to claim his fourth Premier League goal of the season.
The Eagles doubled their lead in the 24th minute when Andersen picked up his second assist of the evening with a pinpoint through ball to Jordan Ayew. The Ghanaian took one touch on the edge of the box and placed a left-footed effort around Ramsdale.
Vieira’s side wrapped up all three points in the 74th minute when Wilfried Zaha was brought down by Martin Odegaard inside the penalty area. The Ivorian converted the spot-kick and put the game out of sight.
“It was a really good performance,” said the French manager.
“From the first minute, we wanted to put pressure on them and not allow them too much time on the ball, and we did that well.
“It was a really good game, and we played well, and we managed to win. But we know as well that it is difficult to be consistent in performances – that is where we need to grow as a team and repeat those kinds of performances. That is the most difficult thing to do in football.”
Palace climbed into the top 10 of the Premier League and are unbeaten in their last seven in all competitions.
“There is more belief in the team – players understanding each other better and are starting to really know each other,” said Vieira. “There is a clear idea about how we want to play the game, and we scored those goals in the really important moments in the game.
“The way we managed the game showed that we are growing up as a team as well.”
PICTURES: ROB AVIS