Martin Keown believes Shkodran Mustafi was at fault for all three goals Arsenal conceded in their shock 3-2 defeat against Crystal Palace.
After keeping six clean sheets in their last seven matches, Mustafi’s presence in the starting XI heralded the return of familiar defensive failings which blew the race for the top four wide open.
Christian Benteke was given the freedom of the penalty area to head home his first goal in a year, while Mustafi was guilty of switching off and allowing Wilfried Zaha a clear run on goal shortly after Mesut Ozil’s trademark finish had put Arsenal level.
And to compound a woeful performance, the Germany international was guilty of being attracted to the ball and losing James McArthur for what would turn out to be the game’s decisive goal.
Commenting on Mustafi’s defending, former Arsenal star Keown said: ‘The first goal was just a simple free kick.
“All they are guilty of is dropping a bit too soon with Jenkinson going just too soon and him being a new player it catches them. But Mustafi loses Benteke who is his man.
‘For the second goal there’s no embarrassment to lose a ball against Benteke in the air. Mustafi’s in a good position and he just needs to drop off and deal with hit but he tries to out-strength Zaha.
‘He’s calling on his goalkeeper to come but there’s no pace on the ball. There needs to be better decision making, it’s costing his team. It’s avoidable. These are key moments.
‘The corner they concede from. Mustafi, I’m coming for him again, McArthur is his man, do your job when everyone is attacking the ball and stay with him.
‘Scott Dann flicks the ball on, Mustafi has lost his man and it’s an easy header for McArthur.’