Arsenal match-winner Aaron Ramsey praises resilient Crystal Palace

Ramsey Palace
Aaron Ramsey. Photo: PA

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey admitted managerless Crystal Palace proved a tough nut to crack after his stoppage-time goal snatched a 2-1 victory at Emirates Stadium.

Palace were still reeling from the shock departure of boss Tony Pulis, who left the job on Thursday night following reported disagreements with co-chairman Steve Parish over the club's transfer policy.

Keith Millen was put in charge for Saturday's trip to Arsenal and watched debutant Brede Hangeland give his side a 35th-minute lead which was cancelled out by Laurent Koscielny before half-time.

However, a show of gritty determination in the second half appeared to have earned Palace a draw until Jason Puncheon's late dismissal paved the way for Ramsey's winner.

And the Wales international admitted the Gunners had struggled to get to grips with a resilient opponent.

"It was very difficult. They came out and defended really well and were very tough to break down," Ramsey told Sky Sports.

"They lost their manager earlier in the week but you'd never have known that the way they played. But that's irrelevant. The result is what we were looking for and we got the three points."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also felt Palace deserved praise for a gutsy display.

He said: "Credit to Palace, they fought hard. They were physically strong and well organised.

"We still lack a little bit a change of pace, but they gave us big problems in defence. (But) we keep going, that's one of our strengths, and it paid off today."

Ramsey now wants the Gunners to build on the opening win and deliver on the promise they showed last season, during which they led the Premier League table for a time before falling back after costly defeats to their main title rivals.

He said: "You saw last season we picked up a number of points against the teams outside the top four. Our main target this year is to improve our away form against the bigger teams.

"That's what let us down last season. If we had picked up a few points against the top four teams last season we would maybe have been champions. But that's the biggest thing we need to improve on."