Patrick Vieira’s return to Arsenal ended in late heartbreak as his Crystal Palace were denied all three points by a 95th minute equaliser from substitute Alexandre Lacazette.
Palace looked to have held on for all three points after turning the game on its head in the second-half; goals from Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard put them 2-1 up after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early opener, before Lacazette’s last-minute intervention rescued a point.
The home side were looking for another fast start after their first-half blitz in their last home game against Tottenham, and were ahead after just eight minutes when Nicolas Pepe’s curling shot rebounded straight to Aubameyang who dispatched from a tight angle.
The visitors then had the better of the chances, as Benteke and Edouard missed good opportunities to equalise before Aaron Ramsdale saved brilliantly from Conor Gallagher on the stroke of half-time.
It didn’t take long for Palace to equalise as Jordan Ayew pounced on a mistake from Thomas Partey and fed Benteke, who dispatched with ease after 50 minutes.
Ramsdale then tipped over a shot from Ayew but probably should have done better for Palace’s second goal; more poor concentration this time from Lokonga saw him robbed of the ball in midfield and Edouard punished the substitute with a drive that beat Ramsdale via the underside of the bar.
Lacazette’s introduction just before Palace’s second goal gave the home side energy and drive, and his flick on nearly led to the equaliser when Kieran Tierney’s strike cannoned off the bar late on.
The Frenchman did find the equaliser, though, as he smashed home a last-gap leveller after Ben White’s strike was saved by Vicente Guaita to deny Patrick Vieira and Crystal Palace a famous win.
(Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
October 18, 2021 at 5:26 PM EDT
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has been speaking to Sky Sports after his side's 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
"It was so close but we have been saying that a little bit too often. We have to learn from the games we played previously. I am really disappointed because the way the team came back in the second half, they deserved to win the game.
"I am frustrated for them, they were brave and showed character and to concede a goal like that I am disappointed for my players.
"We conceded those goals on set pieces on the second phases and we need to work on that. We have to put our sleeves up and put our bodies on the line. We were really unlucky today, it is the way it is but I believe there is more to come from the team to challenge even better."
October 18, 2021 at 5:24 PM EDT
Handy habit to have!
5/6 – Five of Alexandre Lacazette's last six Premier League goals for Arsenal at the Emirates stadium have come in London derbies, including each of his last four. Leveller. #ARSCRY pic.twitter.com/daOwpMBTEK
October 18, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
Arsenal's late hero Alexandre Lacazette has been speaking to Sky Sports. Here's what he said:
"At the end we could draw. The main thing was to avoid the loss. We wanted to win, we started well but then stopped playing. I think this is something we have to work on in the future.
"It was my first goal of the season. I know I need to work hard to get some minutes and I try to enjoy as much as I can when I am on the pitch.
"When the fans are with us it gives us players energy. We need to give them what they want.
"We showed we have character. Even when we are down we don't give up."
October 18, 2021 at 5:17 PM EDT
Back and forth all evening at the Emirates!
Alexandre Lacazette rescues a point for Arsenal against Crystal Palace in stoppage time.
Lacazette rescues a point for Arsenal with the last kick of the game!
October 18, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT
90+5 mins – Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace: But they won't get them!!!
A corner is cleared and launched back in — it causes chaos and Ben White strikes through bodies.
His effort is saved brilliantly by Guaita but straight to Lacazette who smashes in the rebound!!!
Patrick Vieira can't believe it!
October 18, 2021 at 4:53 PM EDT
90+3 mins – Arsenal 1-2 Crystal Palace: Gallagher is tripped by Tomiyasu who catches the Palace midfielder on the head with his knee as he falls.
Will definitely sting.
Palace are close to all three points here…
October 18, 2021 at 4:50 PM EDT
90 mins – Arsenal 1-2 Crystal Palace: Lacazette dances past a few trailing legs but screws his left-footed shot over!
Four minutes added/
One more chance for the home side?
October 18, 2021 at 4:49 PM EDT
88 mins – Arsenal 1-2 Crystal Palace: A cross is curled towards Pepe, who controls and goes down in the box with Mitchell in close proximity.
October 18, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
87 mins – Arsenal 1-2 Crystal Palace: It so nearly was the equaliser!!!
Lacazette flicks on a cross to Tierney at the back post and he composes himself before hammering a bullet of a strike that cannons off the underside of the bar!
October 18, 2021 at 4:45 PM EDT
86 mins – Arsenal 1-2 Crystal Palace: Martinelli runs inside Olise and bends one towards Aubameyang. but his cross is far too long and it bounces behind.
Can Arsenal find the equaliser or will Palace hold on?
October 18, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT
83 mins – Arsenal 1-2 Crystal Palace: Patrick Vieira looks to see out what would be a brilliant win at the Emirates as centre-back James Tomkins takes the place of Edouard.
A warm reception from the travelling support for the striker.
October 18, 2021 at 4:41 PM EDT
81 mins – Arsenal 1-2 Crystal Palace: An injury break sees Arsenal make their final change as Gabriel Martinelli replaces Partey, who hasn't been at his best.
October 18, 2021 at 4:38 PM EDT
76 mins – Arsenal 1-2 Crystal Palace: The groans from the home fans grow louder as Pepe can only strike the wall with a free-kick.
Gallagher's pull back on Tomiyasu then goes unpunished, further irking the Emirates crowd.
October 18, 2021 at 4:33 PM EDT
73 mins – Arsenal 1-2 Crystal Palace: Palace have turned it around!!!
It's another Arsenal mistake as Lokonga dawdles in midfield and is robbed as Olise and Gallagher swarm in.
Olise then feeds Edouard, whose strike towards the middle of the goal clips the underside of the bar and drops in!
What a turnaround from Patrick Vieira's side!!!
Straight from an Arsenal corner, Crystal Palace take the lead!
Aubameyang picks out a perfect through ball to Lacazette and he curls one towards the bottom corner, but fingertips from Guaita keep it out!
October 18, 2021 at 4:31 PM EDT
71 mins – Arsenal 1-1 Crystal Palace: Lacazette and Aubameyang look to combine immediately with Guaita can deal with it.
Gallagher then floats one over the bar down the other end.
Palace make a change as Michael Olise comes on for Ayew.
October 18, 2021 at 4:29 PM EDT
68 mins – Arsenal 1-1 Crystal Palace: The home fans find their voice as Lacazette helps Arsenal win a couple of corners.
Pepe's delivery is poor though and nothing comes of them.
October 18, 2021 at 4:27 PM EDT
67 mins – Arsenal 1-1 Crystal Palace: Both teams look to the bench as the match ticks towards the last 20 minutes.
Alexandre Lacazette is on for Odegaard and Cheikhou Kouyate is on for Milivojevic.
October 18, 2021 at 4:26 PM EDT
64 mins – Arsenal 1-1 Crystal Palace: Partey cuts inside Ayew and tries to bend one like before — this one has the distance but not the bend as it flies wide.
He had better options.