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

Date published: Monday 18th October 2021 10:08 - Rob McCarthy

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring Arsenal equaliser v Palace

Alexandre Lacazette scored a last-gasp equaliser as Patrick Vieira was denied a winning return to Arsenal in a 2-2 draw for Crystal Palace at The Emirates.

The home side took an early lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the Eagles hit back and were on the brink of victory thanks to goals from strike duo Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard.

However, with the clock ticking down in stoppage-time, Ben White’s effort from a corner was cleared off the line but only as far as Lacazette to sweep home, leaving Vieira crestfallen on the sidelines.

Wilfried Zaha was missing from the Palace side as Gunners legend Vieira returned to Arsenal with the Eagles.

Vieira made just one change from the 2-2 draw with Leicester ahead of the international break. Benteke replaced Zaha, who was reportedly feeling unwell following his return from international duty.

Arsenal also made one alteration from their stalemate at Brighton. Club-record signing Nicolas Pepe returned to the starting line-up in place of Albert Sambi Lokonga.

The home side started brightly and opened the scoring in the eighth minute through captain Aubameyang, who was alert to tap home at the back post after Vicente Guaita had palmed away a curling Pepe strike.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Palace

Aubameyang’s early effort separated the sides at the interval as Palace grew into the contest and ended the half on top. Indeed, the Eagles almost went in level, only for Aaron Ramsdale to pull of a stunning stop to deny Conor Gallagher.

Palace started the second half in similar fashion and deservedly drew level in the 50th minute.

Partey errors costs Arsenal

Thomas Partey was caught in possession and could only pass into the path of Benteke, who finished coolly past Ramsdale to level.

Arteta introduced Lacazette off the bench for the disappointing Martin Odegaard with 23 minutes to go.

That change almost paid dividends immediately as the Frenchman saw a curling effort tipped round the post by Guaita.

However, Palace went straight up the other end and took the lead after Lokonga lost the ball cheaply on halfway.

Gallagher broke forward and released substitute Michael Olise, who in turn found Edouard. The former Celtic attacked the area before unleashing a thunderbolt past Ramsdale in off the bar.

Fan favourite Gabriel Martinelli replaced Partey with 10 minutes to go, as the Gunners chased an equaliser.

The Gunners were unfortunate not to draw level with three minutes to go when Tierney was free at the par post. However, this superb strike cannoned back off the crossbar.

But the late drama was not finished as Lacazette was alert to sweep home from close range after White’s shot had been cleared off the line.

 

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