Gunners' winning run halted at Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace 2 Arsenal 2
Penalties conceded by Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka ended Arsenal’s winning run as the Gunners fought out a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this afternoon.
Palace scored the only goal of a cagey first half when skipper Luka Milivojevic converted from the spot after Mustafi’s unnecessary lunge brought down Cheikhou Koutyate.
But once again the Gunners produced a fantastic second half response, scoring twice in five minutes to turn the game on its head.
First Xhaka cracked in a tremendous free kick from an acute angle on the right hand side of the box, then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang poked in at the far post – video evidence showing that the ball had crossed the line by just 9mm.
There was controversy in the build-up to the goal when Alexandre Lacazette appeared to handle the corner on its way to Aubameyang, but referee Martin Atkinson agreed with the Frenchman’s protestations that his flailing arm was a result of momentum when jumping.
But Palace pushed and pushed and ultimately got the goal their efforts deserved. Xhaka brought down the impressive Wilfried Zaha and Milivojevic smashed home his second penalty of the game.
The point moves Arsenal one ahead of Spurs in fourth place, who face champions Manchester City at Wembley tomorrow.
The Gunners are next in action on Wednesday when they take on League One Blackpool at the Emirates in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, before current Premier League leaders Liverpool visit N5 on Saturday evening.