Selhurst Park: Crystal Palace (Milivojevic 46′ Pen, 83′ Pen) 2-2 Arsenal (Xhaka 51′, Aubameyang 56′)
Luka Milivojevic scored 2 spot kicks to get his side a deserved draw against a tame Arsenal side, who never looked comfortable with the ball – which was unusual for Unai Emery’s men – as Arsenal’s winning streak finally reached its end.
In the first half, none of Arsenal’s players really clicked. The lightning-quick pace of Wilfried Zaha made them very uncomfortable, as he was able to exploit the space behind the Gunners’ backline. He almost scored on the 14th minute with a really good shot after cutting inside, only to hit the near post. Townsend also came really close to giving Palace the lead on the 15th minute, when he took a shot that went just wide, near the six-yard box, after a good link-up play from his team.
Palace finally got what they truly deserved in the stoppage time of the first half, when Mustafi fouled Kouyate in the area. Luka Milivojevic took and scored from the spot kick as he sent Leno the wrong way.
In the second half – much like the previous games of the season – Arsenal played a lot better than in the first half. They were quick in cutting out Crystal Palace’s passing lanes and made sure that they were using the length of the pitch. The moment finally came as Xhaka took an incredible, thunderous free kick that went straight into the far corner to level the score.
Minutes later, Aubameyang scored through a surprising finish from a really tight angle to give his side the lead for the first time in the match. During the build-up to that goal, it looked like Lacazette handled the ball and for that matter, the goal might not have been counted had there been VAR.
The Eagles got what they truly deserved as Xhaka made a silly challenge on Zaha on the 82nd minute. Milivojevic scored from the spot once more
and made the scoreline 2-2, back to how it started.
Arsenal had the ball for the majority of the game, but Crystal Palace were clearly the better side, as they had more shots, more shots on target and more chances created.
This wasn’t a performance expected from an Arsenal side who were so dominant in the eleven-match winning streak that Crystal Palace had broken in this contest. They didn’t do much with the ball as we thought they would and ultimately paid the price as they lost two important points. Yes, it’s only the start of the season and everything can change, but the competition this term is as fierce as it gets, and Arsenal definitely do not want to drop any more points after this game.
Well, you know what they say: This is football.