Arsenal’s winning streak ends after 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace

Two Luka Milivojevic penalties were enough to secure the Eagles a point, and bring the Gunners’ 11-game winning run to an end at Selhurst Park.

Arsenal fought back from one goal down only to be forced to settle for a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Conceding chances has been a major issue for The Gunners despite their hot streak prior to this encounter, and Crystal Palace could have gone 1-0 up on two occasions in the opening stages.

First, Wilfried Zaha hit the post after finding space on the left hand side, then Andros Townsend failed to convert a golden opportunity after an excellent passing move involving Patrick van Aanholt and Jordan Ayew.

Hector Bellerin had a busy first half thanks to Zaha, but had a scoring chance of his own. Ozil cut the ball back from the right hand side, but the Spanish full back took too long to set himself and his shot was blocked from close range.

It was the only chance of the half for Emery’s side whose 11 game winning streak looked under threat as the Eagles controlled much of the first half.

The home side’s control was eventually rewarded in the form of a penalty on the brink of half time. Shkodran Mustafi scythed down Cheikhou Kouyate amidst a goal mouth scramble.

Palace captain Milivojevic duly converted to send the home side into the break 1-0 to the good. Remarkably, this was Palace’s first goal at Selhurst Park all season. 

Just five minutes into the second half, Milivojevic was influential again, this time at the wrong end. The Palace captain gave away possession and then a cheap free kick as he brought down Lucas Torreira.

This allowed Arsenal’s makeshift left back Granit Xhaka to curl a venomous effort into the far top corner despite Wayne Hennessey’s best efforts, and equalise for the away side.

It didn’t take Arsenal long to turn the game on its head, and in controversial style. Xhaka was involved again as he played a corner into the box.

Alexandre Lacazette’s flick into scorer Pierre Emerick Aubameyang had more than a hint of handball about it, but went without detection from the officials, allowing Arsenal to take a 2-1 lead.

As the clock past the 70-minute mark, Palace began to put Arsenal under pressure, and that pressure told as Zaha’s tricky dribbling provoked a foul from Xhaka to earn Palace a second penalty. 

Milivojevic scored with what was almost a carbon copy of his first to earn his side a much needed point after a run of three straight defeats. 

The result leaves Palace three points above the drop ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge next Sunday, meanwhile Arsenal could drop out of the top four if Tottenham can earn themselves a victory against Man City on Monday night. 

Words: Charlie Bradley Subbing: Lee Pearson

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