Arsenal travelled to Crystal Palace looking for a twelfth win in a row, instead, they were halted in their tracks in the 2-2 draw as a late Luka Milivojevic penalty salvaged a draw.
A resilient Crystal Palace side, fortunate to be awarded two penalties which captain Milivojevic converted, halted Arsenal’s winning run in all competition. The Gunners remain unbeaten in twelve games and will look to continue the run for as long as possible.
A lacklustre first half where Arsenal failed to dominate proceedings at Selhurst Park further worsened when the home side was awarded a late penalty. Shkodran Mustafi’s lunge in the box resulted in Milivojevic sending Bernd Leno in the wrong direction and give Crystal Palace the lead before the break.
It was the first time all season that Arsenal headed into half-time trailing their opponents. The Gunners, who for much of the season have been branded as a second-half team duly maintained their reputation. Granit Xhaka’s thunderous free kick on the 51st minute and a controversial Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal meant on 56th minute, Arsenal were in the lead.
However, Arsenal maintained momentum for the rest of the game, until Granit Xhaka’s challenge on Wilfried Zaha was adjudged for a second Crystal palace penalty, which Milivojevic converted again, making the score 2-2 and ending Arsenal’s incredible winning run of 11-games in all competition.
Here’s how Arsenal players rated against Crystal Palace
Bernd Leno: 7/10
A good performance from the German keeper. Commanded his area well and was on the spot to catch all crosses thrown in. As for the goals, he could not be blamed for allowing either of the penalties to go in. Overall, he has done nothing so far to convince Emery to bring back Cech between the posts, at least in the Premier League.
Hector Bellerin: 7/10
Bellerin played only in the first half and was substituted at halftime. An injury is mooted for the change, but otherwise, Bellerin gave a strong performance in the half. He was good with defending, played his part in the attack and also missed a superb chance from an Ozil ball. If his injury is serious, it’s going to be a blow for Arsenal before their game against Liverpool at the weekend.
Shkodran Mustafi: 5/10
It is strange how Mustafi can create a moment of brilliance and then the next allow that penalty challenge to happen. Performances like these warrant for a change of personnel at the back. However, he would be disappointed with the overall performance.
Rob Holding: 6/10
Did nothing wrong to suggest there is a need to replace him. His partner was the erratic centre-half against Palace, but Holding was more assured and calm on the ball. Although, when he was without the ball, he seemed to be out of ideas, luckily was not punished on any occasion.
Granit Xhaka: 7.5/10
The odds were stacked against him to face chin music and commit mistakes in the unfamiliar left-back role. Surprisingly enough, Xhaka was a steady presence there and barring the late conceding of the second penalty he did not do anything out of order.
Add that to the thunderous strike from the free-kick to get Arsenal level and the corner kick he took that secured Aubameyang’s goal, Xhaka had a resounding performance.
Lucas Torreira: 7.5/10
Torreira was often isolated due to Guendouzi’s untimely movements, yet the Uruguayan seemed to have total control of his playing area. He’s slowly becoming Arsenal’s main man in midfield and if we look at the summer window, this is exactly why Emery wanted to sign Ever Banega. However, Torreira to perform even better, he needs Xhaka besides him.
Matteo Guendouzi: 7/10
Guendouzi was a menace with tackles, winning six of them to lead all players. He’s kind of a loose cannon, who has bad positional habits, and this is something that makes everyone wonder if he was a better choice than Ramsey to start there. His bad positions led to Torreira‘s isolation during many occasions, which could have caused problems for Arsenal.
Alex Iwobi: 4/10
A contrasting game by his standards this season. Against Palace, Iwobi lost the ball nine times, but he was the face of Arsenal’s overall lacklustre attack. The hope is he would get back into form against Liverpool but overall was disappointing.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 7/10
Seventh goal of the season in the Premier League for Aubameyang, which makes him the joint top scorer with Eden Hazard. Got the crucial second goal, in controversial circumstances, but he’d have taken all three points than that goal to his name in the end. A decent performance, but the feeling is he could be much more lethal in a central role than as a wide forward.
Mesut Ozil: 5.5/10
A total contrast to his performance against Leicester the last time out. The only thing Ozil will be remembered during this game is for the display of frustration after being substituted. He did create a golden chance for Bellerin to score, which he should have, but barring that nothing of significance.
Alexandre Lacazette: 4.5/10
He has not scored in the last three games in all competition and there is a feeling he could be set to repeat the goal drought of last season. But expect Lacazette to come through in what might look like a difficult period, mainly against Liverpool where Arsenal would need him desperately. Allegedly touched the ball, to deflect it on to Aubameyang’s path for the second Arsenal goal.
Stephan Lichtsteiner: 6/10
If he was judged for the lack of performance in a left back position in the past two games, then the match against Palace was a blueprint for what he is capable of. Was a total pest for the opposition players, got forward well and overall controlled his side of the pitch well.
Danny Welbeck: 6/10
He showed Aubameyang what needed to be done, with all the pace and burst to burn. Was an energetic introduction on the pitch, but could not add further goals to kill the match off.
Aaron Ramsey: 5/10
No effect after coming on late, but had some decent moments before the final whistle.