Soccer-Arsenal's top-four hopes suffer major blow with 3-0 Palace loss


* Arsenal suffered humiliating 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace

* Forward Andros Townsend stroked home opener in the 17th minute

* Yohan Cabaye curled home a superb second goal after 63 minutes

* Luka Milivojevic added third with a penalty five minutes later

* Arsenal visit Middlesbrough next, Palace host Leicester City


April 10 (Reuters) - Arsenal's hopes of finishing in the Premier League top-four suffered a huge blow as they suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Crystal Palace on Monday.

Palace, winners of four of their previous five league games, started in confident fashion and opened the scoring when former Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend swept the ball home at the end of a smart passing move after 17 minutes.

Palace striker Christian Benteke then had a goal ruled out for offside before Yohan Cabaye's superb curled effort and Luka Milivojevic's penalty in five second-half minutes completed a miserable night for Arsene Wenger's struggling side.

Arsenal, who have finished in the top four in 20 consecutive seasons, have 54 points from 30 games -- seven points and two positions behind fourth-placed Manchester City, who have played a game more.

Crystal Palace stay 16th but now have 34 points from 31 matches, six more than Swansea City, who occupy the final relegation place in 18th and have played a game more. (Reporting by Tom Hayward; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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