In a dour Premier League scoreless draw at home to Crystal Palace on Thursday, Arsenal’s winning streak came to an end.
To arrest a troubling slump, the Gunners had won their last four matches in the league and cup, but their performances were still not as convincing as results would indicate.
Last time out in the FA Cup, Mikel Arteta’s men needed extra time to beat Newcastle United and lacked any creativity against Palace as the powerful Kieran Tierney sat out with muscle tightness.
Indeed, after July 1, Arsenal were eventually lucky to retain a first home Premier League clean sheet as they remained 11th.
It soon became apparent that Tierney, their excellent left-back, whose right-footed deputy Ainsley Maitland-Niles did not have the same balance on that side, would miss the hosts.
Therefore, home chances were few and far between prior to the break and Palace came close to breaking the deadlock twice instead.
Eberechi Eze’s free-kick was met by James Tomkins but nodded against the crossbar, then Bernd Leno was forced to use the full length of his frame to hit the header and claw clear of Christian Benteke.
After the break, there was modest progress, but visiting goalkeeper Vicente Guaita was largely untroubled, seeing Rob Keeping head wide as Palace stretched their unbeaten streak to five league games against Arsenal.