Premier League • England

Arteta names the main thing Arsenal were missing after snatching late draw

Rob McCarthy
Mikel Arteta Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Mikel Arteta felt his Arsenal side lacked the necessary composure to manage the game after they gained a late point in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at The Emirates.

Alexandre Lacazette struck with the last kick of the game as the Gunners earned a point against Palace and prevented Patrick Vieira winning on his return to the club.

The Frenchman won three Premier League titles and captained the Gunners during their unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ campaign and his name rang around the Emirates Stadium before and after a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put Arsenal ahead early on but from then on Palace were the better side as Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard struck in the second half to seemingly win the game – only for substitute Lacazette to level at the death.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Arteta said: “A strange game. We started really well, we were dominant and we scored the goal. After that we lacked composure to manage the game. We didn’t have a sequence of passes and then the team was stretched.

“After half time we changed a couple of things and we got better but we gave the ball away in areas you can’t and after that we gave a mountain to climb.

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Arsenal showed character

“Credit they didn’t give up, we had some big chances and then got the goal in the end.

“My perception was we were trying to protect something instead of going for the second one. We were not comfortable.”

On Lacazette’s performance when he came on, Arteta added: “We are with him every day and that is what he does, he fights for every ball and he transmitted some belief and energy to the crowd when he came on.

“The positive I know the group is never going to give up. The team kept trying and in the end we got the reward.”

REPORT: Last-gasp Lacazette strike ruins Vieira’s Arsenal return as Palace denied Emirates win