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Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace – 5 talking points as Gunners snatch late point

Arsenal’s recent run of fine form appears to be slowly coming to a halt as they were held to a second successive draw at the Emirates against a Patrick Vieira-led Crystal Palace

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Arsenal’s recent run of fine appears to have come to an abrupt halt after they were held to a late 2-2 draw by Crystal Palace at the Emirates.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ensured the Gunners started the tie in the best possible fashion, only to fall apart in the second-half.

Goals from Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard were enough to ensure Patrick Vieira took points off of his former side upon his return.

For Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, it marked yet another unimpressive home display – despite Alexandre Lacazette’s late leveller.

Here are the game’s main talking points from Crystal Palace draw away at Arsenal.

A tactical tale of two former captains



Crystal Palace’s Patrick Vieira and Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta embrace before kick-off




Two men that have both donned the Arsenal shirt and captain’s armband to varying degrees of success, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was nothing but complimentary of his counterpart in the opposite dug-out before kick-off.

“He is an Arsenal legend and I hope he gets the reception he deserves for what he did for the club” was the message from the Spaniard – it was duly followed by the Emirates faithful, who belted out a chorus of Vieira’s chant early on.









Tonight’s clash marked Vieira’s third return to the club where he became one of the best midfielder’s on the continent – his first as a manager.

Once Mike Dean had blown the first whistle, both bosses prowled their technical areas – Arteta in particular seemingly marshalling his players every move.

It was Vieir who should have won the battle however – inspiring his side to a hard-fought point against a side that undoubtedly still means to much to him.

Aaron Ramsdale suffers first shaky moment



Aaron Ramsdale was a commanding presence yet again in goal for Arsenal but will not want to see Palace’s second again




The Arsenal faithful may have thought that any question marks over Aaron Ramsdale – and there were plenty upon his arrival, can now be put to bed from an Arsenal faithful witnessing a goalkeeper arguably in the best form of his career.

Ramsdale’s raw ability has been enough of a positive for the Emirates faithful, but the character shown by the England international between the sticks is something the Gunners have been without in recent years.

For all of Bernd Leno’s shot-stopping prowess, Ramsdale has made more of an impression in five league games than the German international has in three seasons.







Ramsdale’s stunning distribution was on display yet again – however, though he made a couple of impressive stops, he will not need reminding of how he should have prevented Palace’s second.

The Arsenal keeper appeared to try and anticipate where Edouard’s strike was going, only to get it wrong and end up picking the ball out of the net.

McArthur lucky not to see red



James McArthur escaped a yellow card for this challenge on Emile Smith Rowe




Palace midfielder James McArthur can consider himself lucky he managed to last the first 45 minutes without seeing two yellow cards after two cynical fouls in quick succession.

The Scottish international was the pantomime villain of the evening in North London after he subjected academy duo Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka to some over-zealous physical treatment.

The first foul came after Smith Rowe’s skill allowed him to breeze past Tyrick Mitchell at right-back, only to be scythed down in his tracks by McArthur – yet Mike Dean kept his cards in his pocket.

Just minutes later, McArthur volleyed Saka in the back of the leg after the whistle had already gone for an Edouard handball, prompting angry responses from a number of Gunners stars as their young superstar lay stricken on the floor.

The frustration around the ground was not aided by the fact Saka himself had received a caution just minutes earlier for an innocuous tackle.

McArthur did receive a yellow for his brutal kick on Saka, but plenty of the Arsenal faithful would have expected that to be his second caution of the evening.

The return of Nicolas Pepe



Nicolas Pepe was one of Arsenal’s better players on a frustrating night




There has been very little for Arsenal fans to get excited about over the course of the last year or so, but Bukayo Saka has certainly been a cause for optimism.

His versatility came into play this evening, as he was deployed on the left-side of midfield to accommodate the presence of club-record signing Nicolas Pepe.

In previous fixtures, it has been a decision that has backfired – Saka struggling to have an impact from the less familiar flank.

However, it produced a number of positives this evening – Pepe’s trademark, a curling left-footed effort, brought about the first goal.

His effort was saved by Vincente Guaita, but Aubameyag responded fastest to convert the rebound.

In what was a night to forget for the Gunners, Pepe provided much needed pressure and effort – something that can not be said for his teammates.

Conor Gallagher continues fine form



Conor Gallagher came close to scoring an incredible volley against Arsenal
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Image:

REUTERS)




Football fans are often told to never fall in love with a loan player, but the Selhurst Park faithful must be finding it particularly difficult in the case of Conor Gallagher.

In the latter years under Roy Hodgson, the Eagles were seemingly void of any kind of flair – something Gallagher has in abundance, with the energy to match.

A constant presence throughout, Gallagher typified everything positive about this new era at Palace – young and exciting.

The 21-year-old offers his side something they have lacked in recent years – goal threat, though a third of the season evaded him this evening, he tested the palms of Aaron Ramsdale early and looked lively when other Eagles waned.

Gallagher came so very close to a spectacular equaliser on the stroke of half-time, connecting with a headed clearance perfectly on the volley only to be denied by a spectacular save from Ramsdale.

Palace made a number of shrewd signings in the summer, but securing Gallagher from parent club Chelsea on a permanent basis would arguably be the smartest of the lot.


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