Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace: Lacazette denies Vieira winning Gunners return
Alexandre Lacazette struck a stoppage-time equaliser as Arsenal rescued a point in their 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.
The Gunners made the ideal start at Emirates Stadium, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finding the net for a third successive home match to give them an early lead.
However, Palace hit after the break as Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard completed the turnaround on Patrick Vieira's return to his former club.
But with virtually the last kick of the game, substitute Lacazette fired home a dramatic leveller to stretch the hosts' unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions.
Arsenal were aiming for a fourth straight home victory and they took the lead after just eight minutes on Monday.
After an initial corner was overhit, Vicente Guaita did well to push away Nicolas Pepe's curling shot, but Aubameyang was in the right place to volley the rebound into an empty net from close range.
Seeking a first away win in seven attempts under Vieira, who won three Premier League titles as a Gunner, Palace looked to respond before the break.
Benteke drilled a low effort straight at Aaron Ramsdale, who also demonstrated brilliant reflexes to tip Conor Gallagher's stoppage-time volley wide.
But there was no denying Benteke five minutes after the break. Thomas Partey was caught in possession by Jordan Ayew, and former the Liverpool striker skipped away from a challenge before firing home his first goal of the season.
Arsenal were ruthlessly punished again moments after Guaita brilliantly denied Lacazette, the ball stolen from Albert Sambi Lokonga as Gallagher led a devastating counter before Michael Olise set up Edouard, who beat Ramsdale off the underside of the crossbar.
However, Palace were denied in the fifth minute of stoppage time, when Lacazette pounced for a dramatic equaliser after Guaita parried Ben White’s initial strike directly into his path.
What does it mean? Gunners preserve unbeaten run… just
Although they missed the chance to move into the top half of the Premier League table, Arsenal are now unbeaten in six matches following Lacazette’s dramatic equaliser.
Meanwhile, Palace have now won just one of their nine matches under Vieira, although they are unbeaten in four in the league at the Emirates.
Lacazette makes his mark
Substitute Lacazette demonstrated tremendous reflexes by reacting quickest to fire home and rescue Arsenal.
Though only introduced in the 67th minute, he had three shots on goal and made two key passes – both leading tallies for the Gunners.
He may have been in the right place to open the scoring, but it was a quiet match for the Gunners skipper otherwise.
Indeed, he amassed just 25 touches and 11 successful passes – the lowest tallies of any Arsenal player that completed the full 90 minutes – while also losing possession on eight occasions.
Key Opta Facts
- Arsenal have lost just one of their past six Premier League home games (W4 D1) after losing three of the five before that (W1 D1).
- The Gunners 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 Manchester United.
- Since making his Arsenal debut in February 2018, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 91 goals in 156 club appearances - the only Premier League players to score more in all competitions during this period are Mohamed Salah (109) and Harry Kane (99).
- Five of Alexandre Lacazette's previous six Premier League goals for Arsenal at the Emirates have come in London derbies, including each of his past four.
- Kieran Tierney made his 50th Premier League appearance for Arsenal – in doing so, he became the first Scottish player to reach 50 league games for the Gunners since Charlie Nicholas in October 1984.
Arsenal are back in action at the Emirates against Aston Villa on Friday, while Palace host Newcastle United at Selhurst Park the following day.