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Report: Eagles suffer late heartbreak at Arsenal

2
Aubameyang 8'
Lacazette 90+5'
2
Benteke 50'
Édouard 73'

A 94th-minute goal from Alexandre Lacazette saw Arsenal rescue a draw at the Emirates, after second-half strikes from Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard saw Palace overturn a first-half deficit and be set to take all three points back to south London.

  • Aubameyang gives Arsenal the lead early on, tapping in a rebound from close range.

  • Gallagher has Palace’s first effort on goal, straight at Ramsdale.

  • Benteke spins on the edge of the area, but his low drive is pushed away.

  • Edouard fires over the bar from 12-yards out.

  • HT: Arsenal 1-0 Palace

  • Palace level early in the second-half through Benteke, after excellent pressing from Ayew.

  • Ayew stings the palms of Ramsdale from just outside the box.

  • Guaita tips Lacazette's effort past the post.

  • Edouard completes the turnaround, with an effort off the crossbar.

  • Lacazette equalises with virtually the last kick of the game.

  • FT: Arsenal 2-2 Palace

The reception that greeted Patrick Vieira upon his emergence at the Emirates belied the fondness with which Arsenal still held one of their greatest sons – but fixed on the face of the Palace manager was a steely determination that would be reflected in his team’s performance as the night wore on

Arsenal started the better side, pressing the visitors off the ball and moving forwards quickly on it. Their fast start soon bore fruit, Palace forced to turn the ball behind as the pressure grew.

The resulting corner was too deep, but rescued by Nicolas Pepe. Exchanging passes with Martin Ødegaard, he nipped in behind and curled a shot goalwards from a tight angle. Vicente Guaita showed great agility to make the save, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the quickest to react and knocked in the rebound.

The goal forced Palace into action, and from kick-off they knocked the ball around with a newfound intensity. Odsonne Edouard broke forwards and picked out Christian Benteke, who took on two defenders in an effort to work a shooting opportunity, but was blocked off before he could pull the trigger.

Arsenal continued to threaten, and Emile Smith Rowe forced Guaita into a smart save from distance when Pepe was free to his left hand side. But as the half wore on, Palace were seeing more of the ball than the hosts.

Buoyed on by a vocal home support, Conor Gallagher forced his way into space on the right, exchanging passes with Benteke before firing into the arms of Aaron Ramsdale.

Benteke was the next to test the Arsenal goalkeeper. Picked out by James McArthur on the edge of the box, the Belgian spun away from his marker and found space to shoot, a left-footed drive that Ramsdale collected at the second time of asking.

Tyrick Mitchell was finding space to advance for the first time, and his quick reactions saw him nip the ball away from Tomiyasu’s foot and enter the Arsenal penalty area. His cross was just behind Edouard however, whose shot on the turn was always heading over the top.

As the first-half entered added time, Palace won the ball back in midfield once more through Edouard, who found Ayew on the right. Ayew did well to fire across goal, but Tomiyasu was strong enough to hold off Benteke at the far post.

Then, in the final action before the break, a Palace corner was cleared as far as Gallagher. The midfielder unleashed a fearsome first-time volley, which was dipping into the top corner but for a stunning Ramsdale save.

It saw the Gunners go in at half-time a goal to the good, and gave Mikel Arteta the chance to shuffle his pack, introducing Albert Lokonga in place of Bukayo Saka.

However, the visitors came out for the restart with the same energy and drive that had caused Arsenal problems early on, and soon they were level.

Sprinting to close down Thomas Partey in midfield, Ayew nipped in and guided the ball towards Benteke. Still with plenty to do, the he skipped away from the attentions of Gabriel and fired low past Ramsdale to send the travelling fans into delirium.

Arsenal were struggling to maintain possession, and this time Edouard attacked down the right. Some neat footwork couldn’t force a shooting opportunity, but the ball fell to Ayew just outside the box who stung the palms of Ramsdale.

The introduction of Lacazette midway through the second-half rejuvenated Arsenal’s attack, and it was he who came closest to restoring their lead. Latching onto a neat through ball, he curled an effort first-time towards the bottom corner, but Guaita was equal to it and tipped it round the post.

But Palace refused to be cowed, and kept breaking forwards – and soon enough it paid dividends. Winning the ball in midfield, Gallagher and the newly found Olise exchanged passes, the latter finding Edouard who had drifted across to the right.

His progress slowed by two defenders as he burst into the area, he dug out a shot which soared over a despairing Ramsdale, cannoning off the crossbar and in. It was no more than the Eagles deserved, and suddenly the gameplan changed – Palace had a lead to protect.

The Arsenal pressure late on was unending, as Vieira’s men fended off wave after wave of attack. In space at the far post, Kieran Tierney brought the ball down six-yards out. Much like Edouard before him, his effort left the crossbar quivering, but this time the ball bounced on the line and away.

In the end though, it was heartbreak for Palace and Vieira, as a 94th-minute Arsenal corner bobbled around the penalty area before being turned home by Lacazette.

It was cruel on Palace, who deserved more, but it meant it was just a point for the Eagles in north London.

Palace: Guaita (GK), Ward, Guehi, Andersen, Mitchell, Milivojevic (Kouyate, 67), McArthur, Gallagher, Benteke, Edouard (Tomkins, 82), Ayew (Olise, 71).

Subs not used: Butland (GK), Hughes, Mateta, Schlupp, Clyne.

Arsenal: Ramsdale (GK), Tierney, White, Partey (Martinelli, 80), Gabriel, Saka (Lokonga, HT), Ødegaard (Lacazette, 67), Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Tomiyasu, Pepe.

Subs not used: Leno (GK), Maitland-Niles, Holding, Soares, Tavares, Elneny.