Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace: Lacazette breaks Eagles hearts on Vieira return
lexandre Lacazette equalized in the 95th minute to undo a Crystal Palace turnaround at the Emirates Stadium.
Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard had put Patrick Vieira on the path to a fantastic victory on his return to the Gunners, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener.
But super-submarine Lacazette kept their original promise to complete a scorching goal and steal a point for Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal came out with an urgent pressing play and the desire to move the ball quickly – and it paid almost immediate dividends.
Nicolas Pepe and Takehiro Tomiyasu exchanged a delightful one-two at the edge of the area and the Ivorian unleashed a characteristic curling effort towards the far post. Alas, Vicente Guaita matched him with an athletic parade.
Gabonese striker Aubameyang, who waited and was ready, pulled out a straight boot to bring the ball home from a rather unorthodox position, requiring real skill to deflect the ball at home for a third goal in five games. Premier League.
Arsenal struggled to capitalize on the eighth-minute strike and Palace matched their manager’s reputation for physique and were allowed to venture freely as the hosts retreated.
Benteke had a smart attempt to turn and shoot with ease before Aaron Ramsdale was called in to stop the bigger warning sign with the last kick of the half. Conor Gallagher’s volley from outside the box would have been a goal for the contender of the season, if the goalkeeper hadn’t been up to it.
Not to be outdone, Thomas Partey aimed for 30 yards at the start of the second half but saw his effort roll up widely.
Moments later, Palace grabbed the leveler thanks to pressure from Jordan Ayew on Partey. The ball shot towards Benteke and the forward broke free of Gabriel Magalhaes before pushing his shot back past Ramsdale.
The Eagles completed their turnaround when they again found plenty of North London to stretch their legs. Gallagher and substitute Michael Olise released the ball in a skillful counterattack to get Edouard home via the crossbar.
Lacazette had given new impetus on the bench, but Arsenal struggled to start fast enough to catch Palace instantly. Kieran Tierney fired a shot on the crossbar when he really should have come in.
Still, Lacazette was the man after a 95th-minute corner failed to clear and he found a pocket of space to bury a leveler for the cheering and relieved home fans.