Crystal Palace conceded an agonising Arsenal equaliser in the final seconds of a boisterous match at the Emirates that finished in a 2-2 draw.
Alexandre Lacazette, on as a second-half substitute, claimed a point with the final kick of the game when Palace failed to clear a goalmouth scramble in the dying moments.
A reinvigorated Arsenal had opened the scoring when the reinstated Nicolas Pepe curled a lovely strike that Vicente Guaita could only palm into the path of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
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But Crystal Palace grew into the game and rallied around their totemic Belgian striker. He won almost every ball that popped into the Monday night lights, but it was a powerful right foot finish after excellent work winning the ball back from Jordan Ayew.
Edouard scored to take the lead after another period of pressing won the ball back, his strike finishing off a lovely counterattack.
But it was Arsenal who can breathe a sigh of relief. They had started strongly but sank into the Arsenal of the early season when Palace, lead by James McCarthur, began to hassle and dominate Thomas Partey in midfield.
Vieira was serenaded on his return to the club where he made himself a legend but he will leave the stadium far from thrilled to have conceded with the final whistle seconds away.
It’s another set of points dropped for a team that is still learning what their manager wants them to do in terms of rapid pressing and quick transitions. But the pattern is worrying for Vieira and he’ll be desperate to turn this hard running into hard-earned points.
Mikel Arteta will be the happier of the two former Arsenal captains with the result, making it to a fifth game unbeaten, but a disjointed attack and porous underbelly again threatened to cost him. He’ll have the forgotten man, Lacazette, to thank for sparing him the dejection of a home loss.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)
Benteke was dominant at the Emirates but was overshadowed by the impact of Lacazette and his last-gasp winner.
Up until that point, the Belgian’s aerial dominance and assured finish had put Palace in the driving seat. But when Lacazette came on, the game changed. He whipped up the crowd, along with strike partner Aubameyang, with some neat touches and driving runs.
It was fitting that a player, seemingly out in the cold, would deliver when Arteta needed it most.
TALKING POINT - Palace need points to prove progress
This was a fifth draw of the season for Patrick Vieira’s new-look side and it again showed that while the team are thrilling they are struggling to convert their performances into the things that matter in the league.
They often had the beating of Arsenal in midfield, but it never looked controlled, challenges and surging runs were never paired with moments of clarity from their holding midfielders.
Vieira is still searching for balance but he will find his team can’t run forever and a string of passes may just have eaten up the final seconds in which they tend to concede all too often.
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira celebrates
Image credit: Getty Images
Arsenal: Ramsdale 6, White 7, Gabriel 6, Tomiyasu 8, Tierney 7, Partey 7, Odegaard 6, Smith Rowe 7, Pepe 7, Saka 7, Aubameyang 8… Subs: Lacazette 8, Sambi Lokonga 6, Martinelli 6.
Crystal Palace: Guaita 6, Gueye 5, Andersen 5, Ward 6, Mitchell 6, McArthur 4, Milivojevic 5, Gallagher 6, Ayew 6, Benteke 7, Edouard 5… Subs: Tomkins 6, Olise 6, Kouyate 5.
90’+4 IT'S ALL OVER. Vieira is on his knees after conceding a late, late, late equaliser.
90'+4 WOW! Arsenal score with probably last kick of the game. A bouncing ball is not dealt with and Lacazette slams it home.
89' SO CLOSE! Lacazette dips one shoulder, then the other and finds space in the Palace box. His shot whistles over after a slight deflection.
86' Arsenal hit the bar from a thunderous strike from Kieran Tierney. The bar still shaking, Arsenal players starting to think it may not be their night.
73' GOAL! And down the other end. Palace steal the ball in midfield and Edouard finishes a flowing counterattack with venom in his boots. The shot was very central though.
71' SO CLOSE. Lacazette almost repays his manager with a lovely effort that is tipped just wide.
49' PALACE ARE LEVEL! Partey loses the ball in midfield after being pressed by Ayew. The ball lands at the feet of a lively Benteke who finishes with aplomb. The chances are starting to fall Palace's way.
47' CLOSE! Partey goes for goal and almost snatches the top corner with a whipping drive from 30 yards. Guaita was nowhere and scrambling hard.
45'+3 CLOSE! The half closes with one mighty strike from Gallagher and an even better save from Ramsdale. That was headed for the toppest of top bins.
43' YELLOW CARD. All is well with the world as McCarthur receives his yellow card for a bit of a punt on Saka.
7' GOAL. Odegaard takes a corner that flies over everyone but the ball comes back with interest and Guaita tips the shot onto the post. The keeper is desperately unlucky as he can not beat the onrushing Aubameyang who finishes crisply.
Five of Alexandre Lacazette's last six Premier League goals for Arsenal at the Emirates have come in London derbies, including each of his last four.
Arsenal made two errors leading to goals in a Premier League game for the first time since April 2019 vs Wolves and for the first time at the Emirates since December 2017 vs Man Utd.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored half of Arsenal’s goals this season.
Crystal Palace concede, on average, 1.33 goals per game in the second half when playing away from home.
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