Patrick Vieira did not feel any sympathy for denting Arsenal’s Champions League ambition after his Crystal Palace side won 3-0 at Selhurst Park on Monday night.
The Eagles scored two first-half goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew.
Wilfried Zaha sealed the three points and scored Palace’s third when he converted a spot-kick in the 74th minute past Aaron Ramsdale.
The South Londoners are unbeaten this season against Vieira’s former club, where he spent nine years as a player and won three Premier League titles.
When asked if he felt sorry for possibly denting the north Londoners’ Champions League hopes, Vieira said: “No, our main focus was to win the game.
“Our gameplan is always the same. If we play Arsenal or Manchester City, what we want is to try to win football matches.”
Danish centre-back Joachim Andersen recorded two assists during the first half – setting up Mateta for the first with the back of his head and playing a pinpoint pass through the middle of the pitch for Jordan Ayew to latch on to.
Vieira said: “We know how good he is on the ball. He allows us to have those players in between the line, he can find players between the lines, or he can play the long ball into the channels.
“He is technically comfortable, and he is a good defender as well. We talk a lot about him on the ball, but the way he reads the game allowed him to defend well for us.”
Cheikhou Kouyate limped off when he was replaced by Luka Milivojevic in the 80th minute.
“He’s fine – he gave everything on the field,” said Vieira.
“We had a couple of guys coming back from international [duty], so it was good that we had two more days to prepare [for this game] compared to some other teams.”
PICTURE: ROB AVIS