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Unai Emery defends Mustafi amid costly errors

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Unai Emery has backed Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi despite his costly errors in their loss to Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal’s top-four hopes suffered a major setback when a well-tutored Roy Hodgson side claimed a rare 3-2 win at the Emirates thanks to some woeful defending from the Gunners backline.

The German defender gifted Wilfried Zaha a goal as he made no attempt to deal with a long ball over the top with the game locked at 1-1.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 21: Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal whilst Shkodran Mustafi of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on April 21, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Crystal Palace went on to clinch a 3-2 win to secure their safety in the top flight at the same time damaging Arsenal’s Champions League ambitions.

The loss completed a twist in the race for Champions League positions with Spurs and United equally losing with Chelsea in action against Burnley on Monday night.

When asked about Mustafi’s performance, Emery told Sky: “He can play very well. I prefer to speak about the consistency in the season.

“We are helping every player to play with a big performance. Today also when you can defend against [Christian] Benteke and Zaha you can suffer more.

“Over the season I think he has been consistent.”

Arsenal will be in action in midweek against Wolves as they bid to rescue their top-four ambitions.