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Arsenal had all of the technicians but none of the control in scrappy draw


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rsenal drew with Crystal Palace to extend their unbeaten run to six games, but this was a game that would have damaged confidence rather than improved it.

Crystal Palace should have claimed all three points and, despite starting poorly, they were by far the better team at Emirates Stadium.

They were compact and organised, countering fast and slickly when they could. Arsenal, in contrast, were slow and sloppy.

The fact both of Palace’s goals came from Arsenal being caught in possession sums up the Gunners’ night and how they faded poorly after a bright start.

When Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring after eight minutes, the Emirates was bouncing and you felt like Mikel Arteta’s could steamroll Palace.

But they took their foot off the gas and by the end of the first-half goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was making fine saves to keep Arsenal ahead. Across the 90 minutes he was probably Arsenal’s best player – and that tells its own story.

The biggest concern for Arsenal is that they never really controlled the game, despite tinkering and changing their midfield options.

They started with a trio of Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey. Albert Sambi Lokonga was then thrown on at half-time and by the end it was all over the shop as the Gunners pushed for a late equaliser.

They got it, with Alexandre Lacazette scoring with virtually the last kick of the game to cancel out Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard’s strikes.

It meant Palace left the Emirates with a point, something Patrick Vieira probably would have taken before kick-off. By full-time, though, he had every right to feel robbed of what could have been a landmark win for him.

Lacazette excels off bench

REUTERS

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