After four wins in a row, Arsenal were found wanting against Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium, scarcely threatening a breakthrough.
The Gunners had won their past four matches in the league and cup to arrest an alarming slump, but their performances have still not been quite as convincing as results would suggest.
Mikel Arteta’s men needed extra time to defeat Newcastle United last time out in the FA Cup and lacked any sort of imagination against Palace as the influential Kieran Tierney sat out with muscle tightness.
Indeed, Arsenal were ultimately fortunate to preserve a first home Premier League clean sheet since July 1 as they stayed 11th.
It quickly became clear the hosts would miss Tierney, their outstanding left-back, whose right-footed deputy Ainsley Maitland-Niles did not provide the same balance on that flank.
Home chances were therefore few and far between before the break and Palace instead twice came close to breaking the deadlock.
James Tomkins met Eberechi Eze’s free-kick but nodded against the crossbar, then Bernd Leno was required to use the full length of his frame to reach Christian Benteke’s header and claw clear.
There was marginal improvement after the break, yet visiting goalkeeper Vicente Guaita was largely untroubled, watching Rob Holding head wide as Palace extended their unbeaten run against Arsenal to five league matches.