Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on January 20, 2024 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson.
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Hodgson admits Crystal Palace ‘in a relegation battle’ after Arsenal demolition

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson admits his side are in a relegation battle after losing 5-0 to Arsenal on Saturday. 

The Gunners dominated at set pieces in the first half, with Gabriel Magalhães twice heading home from corners, although his second was officially marked down as a Dean Henderson own goal.

Leandro Trossard grabbed a third just before the hour mark, while substitute Gabriel Martinelli scored a stoppage time brace to complete a miserable afternoon for Palace at the Emirates.

“The worst thing is that three of the goals all came from corner kicks, two from theirs and one from one of ours and they started a very quick counter and 3-0 down you are up against it,” Hodgson told BBC Match of the Day.

“I decided to give some of the younger players a chance on the basis we played in midweek and some of the players had worked very hard, but 3-0 down against a rampant Arsenal it was asking for trouble and asking for the two quite simple goals at the end.

“The fact is two of our major attacking players are not here at the moment, Eze is just coming back from injury. Our attacking potential is a bit less at the moment than it would be normally but I don’t think we created anywhere near enough chances.

“Arsenal were very good. Whatever we would have done and whatever team we put on the field we would still have been struggling to contain them as they do have so much talent and are very well drilled.”

Palace now find themselves just five points above the relegation zone in the table having won just twice in the Premier League over the past two-and-a-half months.

“It is a struggle,” Hodgson said. “There’s no doubt we have to keep looking over our shoulder and we are in a relegation battle, no question about that. I believe the team and club and the group of players we have are more than good enough to get us away from the relegation zone. Of course at the start of the season we had hoped we would build on the end of last season.”

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