Patrick Vieira’s impressive return may give Arsenal future food for thought

Patrick Vieira was denied a winning return to Arsenal as Alexandre Lacazette’s stoppage time goal rescued a point against Crystal Palace but the Emirates hierarchy may keep an eye on the Frenchman

Patrick Vieira’s side were denied late on at the Emirates

Still class. Still the dominant force at Arsenal.

Still able to turn everything he touches here in England into footballing gold.

Patrick Vieira turned cheers into jeers here at the Emirates and optimism into naked anger. The legendary midfielder inspired his Crystal Palace to come from behind here with the kind of character that he boasted in abundance.

Alexandre Lacazette might have climbed off the bench to grab a point in the final minute of injury time but many of Arsenal’s fans left singing Vieira’s name.

In fact, whisper it quietly but if it all does go a bit Pete Tong for Arteta, you just wonder whether Arsenal’s Invincible might just have left an impression in the mind of a Josh Kroenke.`

Crystal Palace impressed for large periods against Arsenal

Vieira took advantage of the unwillingness to press and tackle that remains a remarkable feature of an Arsenal side light years away from the warriors with which he ruled the Premier League.

Arsenal may have scored early in the first half and threatened early in the second. But Palace were easily the better side.

The south Londoners, remember, were without the injured Wilfried Zaha. They had no right to be this good. Aren’t they normally a side that struggles without the many used to carrying them on his back? Not any more.

At times they were so dominant, in fact, that neutrals at home and some home fans in the stands were left wondering how they remained behind, courtesy of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s eighth minute goal, at the break.

Benteke hit the second, shortly after the break. Arteta’s £50m defender Ben White couldn’t lay a glove on Odsonne Edouard for his superb second.

The new Palace is taking shape very nicely under Vieira. The three-title winner has recruited well to leave supporters excited about the evolution of the team.

Those who doubted Vieira’s credentials for the Palace job will eat their words this season. Not given a chance to coach by Arsene Wenger, he credits Manchester City with helping him on to the managerial ladder. That support is bearing fruit.

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