Chelsea finished strongly to win 3-1 at Crystal Palace, with Conor Gallagher punishing his former side at Selhurst Park.

The depleted hosts, who had lost the influential Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze and Marc Guehi to injury, took the lead via a Jefferson Lerma screamer – his maiden Eagles goal.

Gallagher equalised almost immediately after a delayed start to the second half, firing home his first of the Premier League season in the 47th minute.

Just as it seemed the relegation-threatened hosts were close to securing a valuable point, Gallagher struck in his second on the stroke of normal time, moments before Enzo Fernandez ensured Chelsea would end the evening in the top half of the table.

It was difficult to predict what kind of reception Palace would receive after the 4-1 loss at rivals Brighton, after which some players and fans in the away end exchanged heated words, and the frequent appearance of protest banners in recent weeks.

And though several were raised ahead of kick-off – “supporters ignored and taken for granted”  among them – the overall mood was perhaps less sour than boss Roy Hodgson, who had pleaded with supporters to back his diminished side, might have expected.

His players responded with an encouraging start, despite the visitors enjoying the lion’s share of possession, pouncing on loose balls with promising drives into Chelsea’s final third.

Palace took the lead at the half-hour mark, shortly after Jean-Philippe Mateta had missed a chance to fire the hosts ahead,  when Lerma managed to liberate himself from a quartet of tumbling and battling bodies and patiently took a few paces forward before blasting the ball high into the net from 25 yards out.

Former Eagles loanee Gallagher, who scored the winner in the October 2022 edition of this fixture, fired wide of Dean Henderson’s left post before the break, by which the Blues had completed 420 passes but not registered a shot on target.

The second period got off to a delayed start after referee Michael Oliver experienced technical issues, the stadium singing and laughing along as Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds (Everything’s Gonna Be Alright)’ was pointedly played in the pause.

It proved to be an ironic choice when Gallagher side-footed Malo Gusto’s delivery past Henderson in the 47th minute and the away end immediately began taunting the home support with their own version of the famous reggae refrain, including an emphatic “Chelsea”.

Although a livelier and more disciplined Blues side had emerged for the second half, the hosts were not without their chances. Thiago Silva slid to deny Mateta and Daniel Munoz, in his first home start, tested goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic from a tight angle.

Ben Chilwell cringed after blasting a good chance over the crossbar, close enough to lure Henderson into a leap as Chelsea continued to apply pressure.

With just under 15 minutes remaining in normal time, Matheus Franca forced Petrovic into a good diving save, before Cole Palmer was denied by Henderson soon after.

Palace survived another Chelsea set piece and, with less than 10 minutes to go, were able to crowd substitute Raheem Sterling, nearly set up for a dangerous chance from Palmer’s cross.

Both sides pushed for more and, just as it seemed like Palace had clung on for a vital point, Palmer picked out Gallagher who, in a deja-vu moment for the home support, swept Chelsea into a 90th-minute lead.

Any hope of a late Eagles reply was dashed in added time when Fernandez took his time before firing into the top left corner. Palmer again provided the assist.

Roy Hodgson vowed to carry on fighting as Crystal Palace manager despite some of the club’s fans turning on him during the 4-1 Premier League defeat at Brighton.

Hodgson cut a forlorn figure on the touchline as goals from Lewis Dunk, Jack Hinshelwood, Facundo Buonanotte and Joao Pedro once again left his future under scrutiny.

Palace sacked their previous manager, Patrick Vieira, following a 1-0 defeat in this fixture last season so Hodgson, on a run of just four wins from 17 matches, could be on thin ice.

The 76-year-old knew it was not going to be his day when Michael Olise, on as a substitute, lasted just eight minutes before suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury.

That led to chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ from the away end with the Brighton fans, never shy to revel in their rivals’ misfortune, responding with ‘Super Roy Hodgson’.

“Wonderful, wasn’t it?” quipped Hodgson. “Is it nice? No it isn’t. Yes, my years of management have given the me resilience me to cope with that, absolutely, and taunts from away supporters are part and parcel of our lives.

“At the moment our fans aren’t very happy with everything that is happening at the club and they are making their feelings known as well.

“But I signed up to be the manager and coach of this football club and I’ve got the strength, resilience and determination to see things through. I’m certainly not going to be cowed by that type of thing.”

Hodgson is hamstrung by the absence of Eberechi Eze through injury but his decision to risk his other star man, Olise, when his side were 3-0 down raised eyebrows.

“I was told he couldn’t start the game, everyone was quite comfortable with that,” added Hodgson.

“But they told me, and he told me, he was fine to be on the bench and to play in the second half. Unfortunately I don’t have a crystal ball and I wasn’t to know that would lead to a recurrence of his injury.”

A late goal from Jean-Philippe Mateta could not spark a Palace revival and the loss of captain Marc Guehi to a first-half knee injury just compounded a thoroughly rotten day.

Then goalkeeper Dean Henderson and defender Joachim Andersen had a heated exchange with some supporters at the final whistle.

“They are realistic enough to know the fans aren’t going to be happy to see their team lose 4-1 and I think the players did the right thing,” insisted Hodgson.

“No one is less happy than ourselves. At least they went over to thank the fans and let them know we are grateful for their support. If people react, so be it.”

It was Brighton’s biggest win over their fierce rivals since 1956 and the perfect response to the midweek 4-0 defeat at Luton.

Boss Roberto De Zerbi said: “We are very happy because in a derby we made our fans happy, but I’m not surprised with the reaction we showed.

“Our win started on Tuesday after the Luton game. I’m really pleased with the result, the reaction, the energy.”

Roy Hodgson cut a forlorn figure as Crystal Palace slumped to a dispiriting 4-1 defeat at their fierce rivals Brighton in the Premier League.

Goals from Lewis Dunk, Jack Hinshelwood, Facundo Buonanotte and Joao Pedro once again left the future of the veteran Eagles boss under scrutiny.

Palace sacked their previous manager, Patrick Vieira, following a 1-0 defeat in this fixture last season so Hodgson, on a run of just four wins from 17 matches, could be on thin ice.

The 76-year-old is hamstrung by the absence of Eberechi Eze through injury while his other key man, Michael Olise, was only deemed fit enough for the bench.

Yet when Olise was sent on, at half-time, his side were already 3-0 down, and the winger lasted just eight minutes before pulling up again.

A late goal from Jean-Philippe Mateta could not mask the flaws in Hodgson’s ailing side, and the loss of captain Marc Guehi to a first-half knee injury just compounded a thoroughly rotten day for the Eagles.

If Brighton were suffering a hangover from their 4-0 midweek drubbing at Luton, they were over it in double quick time.

With their first attack and just two minutes in, Tariq Lamptey forced a corner down the left, Pascal Gross swung the ball in and Dunk gave Joachim Andersen a gentle shove as he rose above him to glance into the net.

Palace were perpetually living dangerously at the back and when a Pedro cross found Buonanotte, the shortest player on the pitch planted a header straight at Dean Henderson.

Their cause was not helped by the knee injury suffered by Guehi, who looked distraught when he limped off midway through the first half to be replaced by deadline-day signing Adam Wharton.

Guehi’s absence was keenly felt when 18-year-old Hinshelwood, not exactly the height of a basketball player himself, nipped in to head home a cross from Lamptey.

Just 86 seconds later it was three after debutant Wharton was dispossessed by Gross, who strolled forward before slipping in Buonanotte to score.

Dismayed Palace fans unfurled their anti-board banner, which first got an airing during the 5-0 hammering at Arsenal a fortnight ago.

It was easy to see where their frustrations lie. They had to wait until first-half stoppage time for their side’s first shot in anger, a long-range effort from Jefferson Lerma which was deflected wide.

When Olise, who was presumably not remotely fit, limped off, chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ emanated from the away end. The Brighton fans, never shy to revel in their rivals’ misfortune, responded with ‘Super Roy Hodgson’.

A brief, belated Palace flurry saw Mateta head home a cross from Andersen, but any hopes of a comeback were dashed when Pedro played a one-two with Danny Welbeck and slotted home to finish the Eagles off.

Crystal Palace’s swoop for midfielder Adam Wharton from Blackburn looked to be the biggest Premier League move of deadline day as the transfer window closed with a flurry of late loan deals.

The Eagles – fighting to stay clear of being dragged into a relegation battle – are said to have paid an initial fee of £18million, which could potentially see a further £4m in add-ons for the talented 19-year-old.

Wharton, who has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract, feels Crystal Palace is the right place for him to further his ambitions.

“The way they have brought players from the Championship and developed them into world-class players in the Premier League is something that stood out to me,” Wharton said on the club’s website. “It is a big reason why I wanted to come here.”

Burnley, who sit second bottom of the table, completed a loan deal for Montpellier defender Maxime Esteve until the end of the season and then also announced the arrival of right-back Lorenz Assignon on loan from Rennes.

Centre-back Esteve, 21, had watched the Clarets’ 3-1 defeat at Manchester City on Wednesday night before completing the formalities of his deal ahead of the transfer deadline.

There were plenty of loan deals announced late in the window.

Sheffield United confirmed Mason Holgate’s arrival until the end of the season from Everton after ending his spell at Southampton six months early having only made seven appearances.

Chelsea’s 19-year-old Brazilian midfielder Andrey Santos has joined French club Strasbourg on loan until the end of the season, having spent the first half of the campaign at Nottingham Forest.

Earlier, Forest had signed 18-year-old striker Rodrigo Ribeiro on loan from Sporting Lisbon and there were more late deals at the City Ground, with veteran goalkeeper Matz Sels arriving from Strasbourg.

Bournemouth have signed Turkey forward Enes Unal on loan from Getafe for the rest of the season and Tottenham forward Alejo Veliz has completed a loan move to Sevilla.

Forest also confirmed Orel Mangala had completed a loan move to Lyon, who have the option to make the deal permanent in the summer.

Spanish side Villarreal reached an agreement to take Bertrand Traore for the rest of the campaign after he was allowed to leave Aston Villa on a free transfer.

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank was delighted as striker Ivan Toney stayed at the club, having been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea during the January window.

Despite the 11pm deadline, more transfers could be completed provided clubs have lodged a ‘deal sheet’ to allow extra time to tie up the formalities.

Fulham have been chasing a loan deal for Chelsea striker Armando Broja.

PA understands West Ham’s Pablo Fornals – who was set to be named on the bench against Bournemouth – has permission to discuss a £7million move to Real Betis.

However, Said Benrahma’s proposed move to Lyon broke down, despite the player having travelled to France for a medical.

“West Ham United can confirm that the deadline day deal for Said Benrahma to join Olympique Lyonnais was not concluded ahead of the deadline, with a deal unable to be completed before 11pm,” a spokesman for the Premier League club said.

Like Forest, Aston Villa and Newcastle had also completed early deals to strengthen their squads.

Morgan Rogers swapped Middlesbrough for Villa Park in a reported £8million switch and Newcastle brought in teenage midfielder Alfie Harrison from Manchester City.

Villa later announced Australia goalkeeper Joe Gauci would be joining from Adelaide United following the Asian Cup, while Brighton midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud has joined Stuttgart on loan.

In the Sky Bet Championship, promotion-chasing Ipswich signed Wales forward Kieffer Moore on loan from Bournemouth.

Norwich have signed Dutch forward Sydney van Hooijdonk – son of former Celtic and Nottingham Forest forward Pierre – on loan from Serie A club Bologna, with an option to make the deal permanent.

West Brom brought Celtic winger Mikey Johnston to The Hawthorns, versatile Manchester City player Josh Wilson-Esbrand signed for Cardiff until the end of the season and Liverpool defender Billy Koumetio linked up with Blackburn on loan.

QPR strengthened their midfield in a bid to beat the drop with the loan signings of Isaac Hayden from Newcastle and Joe Hodge from Wolves.

Sheffield Wednesday completed the loan signing of forward Ian Poveda from Leeds and Cristian Pedersen from Swansea.

Defender Connor Roberts heads to Elland Road from Burnley and Stoke signed Netherlands Under-21 winger Million Manhoef from Vitesse Arnhem.

Earlier, midfielder Alex Pritchard completed a move from Sunderland to Birmingham, where he will be reunited with former Black Cats boss Tony Mowbray.

Sunderland signed winger Romaine Mundle from Standard Liege and then brought in Callum Styles from Barnsley on loan ahead of the deadline.

Hull’s busy transfer window continued with the signing of Turkey midfielder Abdulkadir Omur from Trabzonspor and Burnley winger Anass Zaroury on loan.

Swansea brought in Poland international Przemyslaw Placheta after his contract at Norwich was cancelled along with signing young forward Charles Sagoe Jr on a six-month loan from Arsenal.

Crystal Palace swooped for midfielder Adam Wharton in a reported £22million switch from Blackburn to make the biggest Premier League move of transfer deadline day.

The Eagles – fighting to stay clear of being dragged into a relegation battle – are said to have paid a fee of £18million, which could potentially see a further £4m in add-ons for the talented 19-year-old.

Wharton, who has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract, feels Crystal Palace is the right place for him to further his ambitions.

“The way they have brought players from the Championship and developed them into world-class players in the Premier League is something that stood out to me,” Wharton said on the club’s website. “It is a big reason why I wanted to come here.”

Burnley, who sit second bottom of the table, have completed a loan deal for Montpellier defender Maxime Esteve until the end of the season.

The 21-year-old centre-back watched Burnley’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester City on Wednesday night before completing the formalities of his deal ahead of Thursday night’s deadline.


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“I am really happy and ever since I first heard about the move I wanted to move here,” Esteve said.


“I have followed the Premier League since being a young child and had only pictured myself ever being here, so I am really excited,” he said.

Plenty more deals look set to be done ahead of the 11pm cut-off, with Fulham chasing a loan deal for Chelsea striker Armando Broja.

PA understands West Ham’s Pablo Fornals has permission to discuss a £7million move to Real Betis, while Said Benrahma is in France undergoing a medical at Lyon.

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank, though, says that Ivan Toney will not be leaving the club.

England striker Toney has been linked with Premier League rivals such as Arsenal and Chelsea in the January window.

The 27-year-old has scored 34 goals in 68 top-flight games for the Bees and Frank insists Toney will stay put after a month of speculation.

“This will be breaking news, OK – but Ivan will stay,” Frank said at his press conference previewing Monday’s clash with Manchester City.

Earlier, top-flight clubs Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Newcastle all completed deals to strengthen their squads.

Forest signed 18-year-old striker Rodrigo Ribeiro on loan from Sporting Lisbon until the end of the season, Morgan Rogers swapped Middlesbrough for Villa Park in a reported £8million switch and Newcastle brought in teenage midfielder Alfie Harrison from Manchester City.

Brighton midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud has joined Stuttgart on loan.

Ribeiro’s move to Forest could become permanent, and he told the club’s YouTube channel: “I promise to work every day and to keep going with the work and help the team.”

In the Sky Bet Championship, promotion-chasing Ipswich signed Wales forward Kieffer Moore on loan from Bournemouth.

West Brom brought Celtic winger Mikey Johnston to The Hawthorns, versatile Manchester City player Josh Wilson-Esbrand signed for Cardiff until the end of the season and Liverpool defender Billy Koumetio linked up with Blackburn on loan.

Earlier, midfielder Alex Pritchard completed a move from Sunderland to Birmingham.

The 30-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract to reunite with former Black Cats boss Tony Mowbray.

Sunderland reacted quickly to fill the gap in their squad, signing winger Romaine Mundle from Standard Liege.

Hull have signed Turkey midfielder Abdulkadir Omur from Trabzonspor, while Swansea brought in young forward Charles Sagoe Jr on a six-month loan from Arsenal.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder admitted there was little his side could do to stop influential Crystal Palace duo Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze after the pair lifted the hosts to a 3-2 victory at Selhurst Park.

A frenetic first 30 minutes in south London started in stunning fashion with Ben Brereton Diaz’s opener inside the first 21 seconds, cancelled out by Eze via Olise’s assist.

James McAtee quickly restored United’s lead but the sides were square at the break after Olise once again teed up Eze before he got himself on the scoresheet with the 67th-minute game-winner.

Wilder, whose side remain bottom of the Premier League, said: “We got pushed back, those two players decided a pretty tight game.

“The quality that those two players have, you’re up against minimum £50million for both of those players. You have to deal with that, that’s what the Premier League is about.

“Could have done with Olise having just a few more days off but that’s the challenges you’re up against. You want to play against the best players, and when they find those bits and moments that we’re trying to find it makes it a difficult evening.

“We do prep and we do structure and we have a game plan but I think what happens is that those boys can destroy your game plan through individual brilliance.

“You can have all the plan in the world, but those boys find a way.”

Despite injuries severely hampering their appearances together, Olise’s seventh assist for Eze moved him into joint-first with Andros Townsend and James McArthur for the most times a Palace player has assisted a single team-mate.

The victory eased pressure on Palace boss Roy Hodgson after the Eagles’ 5-0 dismantling at the hands of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, where fans in the away end raised banners protesting against the direction of their club.

Yet there were worrying scenes at Selhurst Park, with both Olise and Eze removed in the second half after they received treatment on the pitch.

The 76-year-old said he was more concerned about Eze than Olise, who had returned to his line-up for the first time in 2024 after sitting out since Palace’s Brentford victory in late December, having also missed a significant spell to start the season with a separate hamstring issue.

Hodgson said the pair “haven’t been fully assessed” but “both of them were pretty upbeat after the game, and with any luck” available to face bitter rivals Brighton on Saturday.

The Palace boss said the win and presence of the two influential players did “wonders” for his side’s confidence and added: “Hopefully we put the black mark of last week, the heavy defeat, behind us.

“I think people, if they’re looking at the team now, should be doing so with a large degree of optimism. This team and this group of players are capable of lifting Crystal Palace up into a higher position than we find ourselves in.”

Michael Olise marked his return to Crystal Palace’s starting line-up by scoring the winner in their 3-2 Premier League comeback victory over Sheffield United to ease pressure on Eagles boss Roy Hodgson.

Villarreal loanee Ben Brereton Diaz stunned the home support into silence when he netted the opener inside 21 seconds at Selhurst Park before Olise teed up Eberechi Eze for the equaliser.

James McAtee restored the Blades’ lead before Olise once again set up Eze, who squared things up inside the first half-hour of a frenetic first period to complete his brace, before Olise ensured his side would walk away with all three points after the break.

Anel Ahmedhodzic came close to salvaging a point when he clipped the crossbar late in the second half, but the Premier League bottom side ultimately walked away with nothing to show.

Hodgson’s side came into the contest having won just once in their last 10 league contests, the Palace boss brushing aside suggestions that it was a “must win”, partially pointing once again to the lengthy list of absentees in the first half of the campaign.

His ranks on Tuesday were boosted by the return of Olise, recovered from his second hamstring injury of the season and starting alongside Eze for just the fifth league contest this campaign.

Brereton Diaz opened the scoring following a delivery from Gustavo Hamer and the January signing patiently weaved his way forward from the left before sending his strike into the bottom-right corner, our of reach of the diving Dean Henderson.

The hosts had a handful of chances to reply before Olise added his third assist of the league campaign when his fine delivery from the edge of the area allowed Eze to flick the ball past Ivo Grbic for a 17th-minute equaliser.

United restored their lead three minutes later when McAtee’s effort from distance took a deflection off Marc Guehi, giving Henderson little chance as the ball spun out of his reach.

It was all square again before the half-hour mark, Eze this time taking his time after latching onto Olise’s delivery at the edge of the area, weaving his way to centre and curling a left-footed effort into the top corner.

The second half began with bad news for Chris Wilder, when Grbic’s head collided with Jean-Philippe Mateta as he came out to collect the ball and, following treatment, he was replaced by Wes Foderingham.

Palace, who had settled into the contest, took the lead for the first time in the 67th minute when Mateta’s cross bounced favourably in the direction of Olise, who made it 3-2 with a half-volley.

But those in the stands had barely finished celebrating before witnessing a worrying scene. Olise had gone down and, after consulting physios, was removed after 69 minutes in what Palace fans will pray was a precautionary measure.

A similar sentiment surely extended to Eze, who was pulled less than 10 minutes later following his own consultation.

The Blades came inches away from salvaging a point when Ahmedhodzic clipped the crossbar with a header, Henderson reacting quickly to deny Andre Brooks soon after and neither side could take advantage of 11 minutes of stoppage time.

Aberdeen have confirmed the signing of Killian Phillips on loan until the end of the season.

The 21-year-old midfielder joins the Dons from Crystal Palace after spending the first half of the season on loan with Wycombe in Sky Bet League One.

After beginning his career with Drogheda United, Phillips moved to Palace in January 2022 and made his senior debut in the Carabao Cup before going on loan to Shrewsbury last season.

Speaking about the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, Aberdeen boss Barry Robson said: “I’m pleased to bring Killian to the club as he’s a player we’ve admired for some time.

“He’s energetic, hardworking and his strength of character is matched by his technical ability.

“He’s proven this season already that he’s capable given the number of games he has amassed.

“He’s put in some big performances, including a man of the match display, scoring for Ireland Under-21s against Italy.

“He’s very good in both boxes and will add a real versatility to our midfield options.

“He has the right mentality to fit into our squad and we look forward to working with him in the second half of the season.”

Phillips could make his debut against Dundee in the cinch Premiership on Tuesday night.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson feels his players are still committed to the cause despite the crushing 5-0 defeat at Arsenal which revived concerns about the 76-year-old’s continued suitability to lead them.

Palace finally seemed to be emerging from a considerable injury crisis when the influential Michael Olise, who sat out a lengthy spell to start the season, sustained a second hamstring issue in their vital 3-1 victory over Brentford to close out 2023.

With Jordan Ayew on Ghana duty at the Africa Cup of Nations and the Emirates Stadium trip following on a midweek FA Cup third-round replay loss to Everton, Hodgson was once again forced to cope with diminished attacking options and a tired squad on an afternoon that provided few hopeful sparks for fans in the away end, some of whom raised banners protesting a perceived lack of direction at their club.

Hodgson said: “We were outplayed, in particular towards the end of the game, but up until that period I thought the players still showed that they are still committed and they were still wanting to do well for the club.

“First of all, they’ve got to stick very much with the work that they’ve been doing on the training field, that they stick together in terms of their attitude.

“To be honest, I didn’t think the attitude during the course of the game was particularly debatable. I didn’t see people losing hope or losing faith, we kept going, we were playing against a better team.

“The message has got to be, listen, there are no magic wands in football. It’s got to be done on the field of play.

“I think we’ve shown over the last year that we have capabilities in that respect, and I’m not prepared to suddenly dismiss those capabilities on the basis of losing 1-0 to Everton and Arsenal away from home.”

Substitute Gabriel Martinelli struck two near-identical goals past Dean Henderson in as many minutes of second-half stoppage time to consign the visitors to the crushing defeat.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta agreed the achievement would give the Brazilian a boost, revealing the 22-year-old had not felt 100 per cent in the build-up to Saturday’s contest before he doubled his Premier League goal tally for the season in a single afternoon.

Arteta said: “I think that is going to make him really good. Sometimes when you are in that period, and he had a little issue in the last few days in training so he wasn’t fully, fully fit, that changes momentum, it changes perception, it re-energises you. It’s everything.”

The Gunners, who were eliminated by Liverpool in their own third-round FA Cup clash, next travel to Nottingham Forest before facing Jurgen Klopp’s men again in a massive meeting for their title hopes.

Arteta added: “At the moment we are really short in numbers, so we really have to manage a few players, especially players that have played a lot of football.

“We have good training blocks, one to train really hard and other ones to use for game preparation, so we’re going to have to try to maximise that space.”

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson deflected to the club’s decision-makers when asked if his side’s crushing 5-0 defeat at Arsenal could raise questions about his job security.

Substitute Gabriel Martinelli buried the Eagles with two goals inside two minutes of second-half stoppage time, adding to Gabriel and Leandro Trossard’s earlier efforts and a Dean Henderson own goal that all-but guaranteed the hosts victory before half-time.

As Palace defender Chris Richards nodded over a chance to claw back a late consolation, away supporters raised a banner reading “wasted potential on and off the pitch, weak decisions taking us backwards” while another protested “no shared vision, no structured plan”.

Hodgson, when asked if he felt he had unified support of his boyhood club’s board and those above, replied: “That’s a question for them, isn’t it? But if you’re asking me if I’ve ever felt a lack of support from them, then the answer is no.

“I think they’ve been good, but I mean now in [the] situation that you’re obviously discussing, in this scenario you’re envisaging, that’s going to be a question for them.”

He later added: “When a team isn’t doing as well as it should be doing, someone needs to be held responsible, and that’s the manager.”

The Eagles’ vital victory over Brentford to end 2023 and snap an eight-game winless streak seemed to subdue Hodgson’s critics, but Saturday’s result will no doubt loudly revive that chorus, particularly following on from their midweek third-round FA Cup replay loss to Everton in which the former England manager controversially substituted the influential Eberechi Eze.

While he and his players felt there were “infringements” ignored by referee Paul Tierney in the build-up to the opening pair of goals, Hodgson took the blame for Martinelli’s quickfire brace, admitting he had perhaps erred in removing some of his tiring starters in favour of “young lads, and it was too much to ask them to go on and deal with a rampant Arsenal”.

Hodgson understood the frustration from the disillusioned Palace fanbase, adding: “All I can say is I think they are totally entitled to their opinion in that respect. I do understand their frustration, even anger and disappointment, and things haven’t gone better.

“We can make our excuses which we’ve been doing because certain things have worked against us in this period of time, but the bottom line is that if we’re going to go forward and avoid relegation and do well, we need those fans with us. Hopefully we can do our best to keep them on board.”

Arsenal, meanwhile, avoided a fourth-straight defeat across all competitions and kept within striking distance of the Premier League title.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was particularly pleased with the way his side worked their set-pieces in their first top-flight meeting of 2024, saying: “Credit to all the coaches, to Nico [Jover, set-piece coach] for the amount of time and belief we put in.

“It’s got a huge impact. We’ve seen that as well in recent games that we’ve lost when we’ve conceded set-pieces, so the outcome is very different when you don’t concede and score.

“We wanted to start the second part of the season with a great performance, with a great result, and build that positivity and momentum again, and I think the boys did a good job today.”

Substitute Gabriel Martinelli scored a late double to consign Crystal Palace to a crushing 5-0 defeat at Arsenal which increases the pressure on Roy Hodgson.

Gabriel nodded in the opener for the Gunners, while Eagles keeper Dean Henderson was credited with an own goal and Leandro Trossard grabbed the third on an afternoon that rarely saw Hodgson’s side pose a threat.

Eberechi Eze marked a century of Premier League appearances after he was controversially replaced in the 64th minute of Wednesday’s FA Cup third-round replay loss to Everton and provided the occasional bright spark for the visitors.

It was hardly enough to please the away supporters, who raised banners protesting against the direction of their club before Martinelli buried their side moments later.

Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko returned to Mikel Arteta’s starting line-up for the Gunners, who were ahead seconds after the 10-minute mark when Gabriel leveraged the shoulders of Palace defender Chris Richards to rise highest and head home Declan Rice’s corner.

Palace were lucky to avoid falling further behind when a dangerous deflection off midfielder Jefferson Lerma flew towards the top left corner of his own net only to clip the woodwork.

That sigh of relief did little to relieve the overall pressure, Palace rarely finding themselves in the vicinity of the Gunners’ goal until the half hour, when Eze fired a free-kick from a dangerous position straight into a wall of red shirts.

David Raya was finally called into action when his own clearance only travelled as far as Lerma, who forced the Arsenal keeper into a low, diving save at his left post.

The Gunners doubled their advantage in the 37th minute when Gabriel nodded Bukayo Saka’s corner towards Henderson’s net and was initially awarded the goal, which stood after a VAR check but subsequently changed to an own goal for the Palace keeper.

There was a late attempt by Lerma, who had just been treated for what initially looked to be a head or neck injury, comfortably saved, while an onrushing Trossard failed to find the back of the net in first-half added time.

Palace had scored two or more goals in just five of their Premier League meetings going into this 21st encounter and desperately hoped to make it six after the break, when Henderson denied Rice and Raya safely handled Eze’s effort.

The chances kept coming for Arsenal, who were denied a possible penalty after a VAR consultation, and they were soon three goals to the good after Jesus’ pinpoint pass found Trossard, who weaved around Nathaniel Clyne and neatly finished to the top left.

Richards nodded over in added-time, in full view of supporters in the away end who raised a banner reading “wasted potential on and off the pitch, weak decisions taking us backwards”.

Moments later, substitute Martinelli fired in the hosts’ fourth, then a near-identical fifth.

Mikel Arteta has acknowledged Arsenal can ill-afford any more slip-ups in the Premier League title race.

Manchester City’s impressive win at Newcastle last weekend sent an ominous warning to the chasing pack, but Pep Guardiola’s holders are only second in the table behind Liverpool.

Arsenal battled to a 1-1 draw at Anfield before Christmas and yet trail Liverpool by five points after a poor festive period.

The Gunners welcome Crystal Palace to the Emirates on Saturday on a three-match losing streak in all competitions and Arteta insisted his young squad have to rediscover their consistency quickly.

“We better start to pick up points that is for sure, if we want it be up there, to start to have consistently three points on the board. We know that at this level, you cannot have more slip-ups at this level,” Arteta said.

“We want to cut that (lead) as quick as possible and every time you lose, the next most important thing is to win. We have not managed to do that and that is the reality and we have to face it.

“We have done a lot of things to try to do that and to produce as much as possible in the games and as little as possible from the opponent, which has happened, but in the end you have to win the games and that hasn’t happened.”

A 2-0 loss at home to Liverpool in the FA Cup third round at the start of this month provided a sense of groundhog day for Arsenal.

Arsenal squandered several opportunities, which had also been the chase in a defeat to West Ham at the end of December, before they were made to pay by Jurgen Klopp’s men.

Arteta has watched his team score only five times during a poor seven-match run where they have claimed one victory in all competitions.

He added: “You look at all the data and it is Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal, at the top, at the top, at the top. The reality is that we haven’t won enough matches.

“There is something underneath that, it is like an onion, the first layer, second layer. We have to go to the bottom of it to understand actually what is making us win or lose.

“It is the small details, the margins and then the boxes have played a big part of that.

“We have to change that. As a coach, you think yeah do that and that’s what will happen. It’s not. We have to find something else to win.

Since Arsenal’s third consecutive defeat, the squad have spent time in Dubai on a warm-weather training camp where family were allowed to join the players.

Arteta hailed it as a “phenomenal” time and one which had allowed his weary group to recharge their batteries.

The time in Dubai was also used to work on the club’s recent profligacy in front of goal, with the Arsenal boss hoping to see the fruits of such labour when Palace visit this weekend.

“When we have to make an action in the box, we have to be with no hesitation, no thinking and deliver the moment,” Arteta insisted.

“There were a few situations (against Liverpool) where we were taking extra touches and moments where we did not make the decision quick enough.”

Mikel Arteta insists Emile Smith Rowe is settled at Arsenal amid reported interest from West Ham.

Smith Rowe has endured a frustrating time since he hit 10 goals in the 2021-22 campaign, with groin surgery restricting his role in the club’s unsuccessful title challenge last season.

England international Smith Rowe has also struggled with a knee issue this term, but even when he has been fit the 23-year-old has been reduced to cameo appearances with only one Premier League start among 12 outings in all competitions.

West Ham have reportedly made an approach to sign Smith Rowe on loan but Arteta played down talk the academy graduate could leave this month ahead of Saturday’s visit of Crystal Palace.

Arteta said: “I’m really happy with Emile. He’s in the right trajectory.

“Now, he’s settled, he’s training really well and you know I’m not going to talk about individual situations.

“Emile is Emile. We know he’s got incredible qualities and we’re really happy to have him.

“What he needs now is chances to put all the desire and quality that he has on the pitch. In order to do that we have to give him minutes.”

Chances have been few and far between for Smith Rowe in recent weeks despite Arsenal struggling to match their consistency from the opening months of the season.

An FA Cup defeat to Liverpool on January 7 made it three losses in a row and one victory from their last seven matches, but the players have returned from a warm-weather training camp in Dubai “fully recharged” according to their manager.

“We are recharged, full of energy and super motivated so we want to attack the second half of the season with a lot of ambition and the understanding that the team is capable of big things. They are convinced of that,” Arteta added.

“It was a phenomenal camp. We recharged our batteries and the context of the environment, in the beautiful weather, helps. The togetherness and moments we shared together were great, so yeah we’re fully recharged.”

Goals have been an issue for Arsenal during this poor seven-match run with only five goals scored in that period, but Arteta reiterated they would not move for a striker in the January transfer window.

“No, because I love the players that we have,” he insisted.

Arteta was also coy over Arsenal’s list of absentees, with Oleksandr Zinchenko (foot) and Gabriel Jesus (knee) notable absentees for the defeat to Liverpool before Arsenal’s mid-season break.

“Individually, I am not going to tell you exactly how everyone is,” Arteta explained. “We are touch and go with a few. You will see.”

The Arsenal boss was more forthcoming about the progress of Jurrien Timber, who sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage in August but joined the squad for the training camp.

Arteta revealed: “At the moment he’s still very far from competing. That’s the realistic picture of it.

“Are we hopeful that he could have a realistic impact before the end of the season? If everything goes well, it looks like that might happen. At the moment though it’s too early to make that call.”

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson had no regrets about his decision to protect the likes of Eberechi Eze for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Arsenal after substituting his star player in their FA Cup exit at Everton.

Trailing 1-0 to Andre Gomes’ brilliant first-half free-kick, Hodgson took off Eze – their most dangerous player – Tyrick Mitchell and Nathaniel Clyne after 64 minutes, with Jefferson Lerma and Odsonne Edouard following seven minutes later.

Eze’s withdrawal brought chants of, “You don’t know what you’re doing” from visiting fans but Hodgson said the way they finished they game, forcing Everton back-up goalkeeper Joao Virginia into a couple of good late saves, proved there was nothing wrong with his decision.

Asked whether he understood supporters’ frustrations he said: “Absolutely. We had to think very carefully about it.

“I appreciate for the fans it is a long way to come. I would’ve been disappointed to see Eze come off as he is one of our best players but I would have been equally disappointed if he had played another 35 minutes, got injured and put himself out for Arsenal.

“In the last 30 minutes of the game we had three or four goal chances. I thought this was a day when we deserved better than a defeat.

“The major point for us is that we get home at 2am and at 12.30 we play Arsenal on Saturday so that was our problem.

“I was able to at least spare three of the very important players for the weekend after 60 minutes and another couple after 70 minutes.

“We should be in a slightly better position to confront Arsenal because that will be a vitally-important game.”

On a fifth failure to get beyond the third round in eight years, Hodgson added: “It’s our own fault.

“If we had wanted to progress in the cup serenely we would have won the game at home. We didn’t, we drew 0-0 which forced us into a replay.”

Gomes’ goal was his first at Goodison Park in almost five years but it required an impressive performance from Virginia for Everton to progress to a home tie against fellow Premier League strugglers Luton.

Boss Sean Dyche revealed Abdoulaye Doucoure, just back after missing five matches with a hamstring problem, will be sidelined again after injuring the hamstring in his other leg against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Match-winner Gomes played in Doucoure’s position against Palace, but Dyche admits it is not his natural position.

“We know Gomes has had a really up and down time with injuries,” he said.

“I said to him when he came back (in pre-season) I can see him being part of what we do as he was unsure at that time about whether he was going to be here or not.

“We know he can play and it is finding the right spot for him. I don’t think he is true number 10 but we know he can deal with the ball in there and he found his way into the game.”

On Virginia, who also did well in the original tie, Dyche added: “I think he has moved on a long way this season.

“He made clear decisions, made a good save in the first half (from Mitchell) and then the one at the end (from Jeffrey Schlupp) he gets across quick and makes a good save.”

A spectacular free-kick from Andre Gomes fired Everton into the fourth round of the FA Cup following a 1-0 replay win over Crystal Palace while Nottingham Forest needed extra time to see off League One Blackpool.

Gomes curled his shot over the wall and beyond Sam Johnstone three minutes before half-time for the only goal in more than three hours of football between the sides.

Palace were denied an equaliser at the death when Everton keeper Joao Virginia kept out an effort from substitute David Ozoh as the Toffees booked another all-Premier League tie at home to Luton.

Chris Wood scored an extra-time winner as Nottingham Forest overcame League One Blackpool 3-2.

The New Zealand striker tapped in a Ryan Yates cross to send the Premier League side through after a rip-roaring replay.

Andrew Omobamidele had marked his long-awaited Forest debut with the opening goal.

The Irish defender, who joined from Norwich for £11million almost five months ago, struck at the far post from a corner after 17 minutes.

Forest doubled their lead 50 seconds into the second half after Albie Morgan’s weak back-pass allowed Nicolas Dominguez to challenge Seasiders goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw and the ball broke for Danilo to stroke home.

Morgan made amends with a superb half-volley from the edge of the area to pull one back and Blackpool equalised with 11 minutes left when a looping cross from Andy Lyons was met with a far-post header by Kyle Joseph to send the tie into extra time.

Wood’s 107th-minute goal means Forest will travel to Bristol City in round four.

Norwich are heading to Liverpool after coming from behind to beat Bristol Rovers 3-1.

Luke McCormick volleyed League One Rovers ahead but Gabriel Sara hauled the Canaries level.

Adam Idah fired Norwich into the lead from the penalty spot and Kenny McLean wrapped up the victory three minutes from full time.

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