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Mustafi Arsenal

Emery refuses to criticise Mustafi despite Crystal Palace performance

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has refused to criticise Shkodran Mustafi after defender endured a difficult afternoon during the 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace.

The German has been a much-maligned figure at the Emirates and produced another error-prone display on Sunday, with the 27-year-old at fault for two Crystal Palace goals.

Mustafi lost Christian Benteke to allow the Belgian a free header for Palace’s opener, before allowing Wilfried Zaha to score the visitor’s second by inexplicably leaving Benteke’s flick-on for goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

Despite the former Valencia defender’s calamitous display, Arsenal boss Emery refused to single out the centre-back for criticism.

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“Sometimes he can play very well. I prefer to speak about the consistency in the season,” Emery said in his post-match press conference.

“We are, every player, helping, playing with a big performance. Today also when you can defend. Against Benteke and Zaha you can suffer more.

“If today we were better in the set pieces maybe we could win this match.

“In all the season I think he has been consistent.”

Read also: Emery admits ‘big frustration’ as Arsenal top four hopes hit by Palace defeat