By 90Min
October 28, 2018

Arsenal's remarkable winning streak came to an end as they played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.

Goals from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were cancelled out by a couple of penalties from Luka Milivojevic, meaning the points were shared in front of a rapturous Selhurst Park crowd.

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

As expected, Arsenal controlled the opening exchanges, but it was the hosts who carved out the first clear opportunities in the match. First, Wilfired Zaha clattered the post before Andros Townsend fired his shot wide after a superbly intricate piece of buildup play just moments later.

The rest of the first half was fairly uneventful, but in the final moments Palace were awarded a penalty for a mistimed challenge from Shkodran Mustafi. Luka Milivojevic duly tucked the spot kick away, sending his side into the break with a 1-0 lead.

Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Unfortunately for Palace, just six minutes into the second half Arsenal found an equaliser courtesy of a stunning free-kick from Granit Xhaka. Things then went from bad to worse for the Seagulls as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the visitors ahead after peeling off to the back post to head home from close range from a corner.

As the game started to edge towards its conclusion, Palace were awarded their second penalty of the match when Xhaka brought down Zaha in the box. Milivojevic made no mistake from the spot once again, stroking home to draw his side level.

That proved to be the final action of the game, with both sides settling for a draw at the full-time whistle.


CRYSTAL PALACE


Key Talking Point


The fact that Palace had failed to score a single goal before today's game tells you everything you need to know about their season so far.

Tactically speaking, Palace were set up very well and seemed to be dealing with Arsenal's various attacking threats comfortably and a point was the very least they deserved based on the balance of play.

Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Roy Hodgson can take pride in his side's performance and they should be able to kick on from here - they simply need to find a few more goals from open play.


Player Ratings:


Starting XI: Hennessey (6); Wan-Bissaka (7), Sakho (6), Tomkins (6), Van Aanholt (6); Milivojevic (7), Kouyate (7), McArthur (6); Townsend (5), Zaha (8*), Ayew (5).


Substitutes: Meyer (7), Sorloth (6), Puncheon (N/A).


Star Man - You could make a case to suggest that he does a little too much at times, but Palace would be nowhere without their talisman Wilfried Zaha.

He looked sharp right from the off and regularly caused the Arsenal defence all sorts of problems down the left flank. This was perfectly exemplified by the late penalty he won, wrong footing Xhaka expertly to draw the foul. 

However, he can't do it all alone in the final third and his teammates are going to have to step up their game to give him some support going forward.



Worst Player - It was an afternoon to forget for Jordan Ayew, who was very ineffective up top for Palace.

His link-up play was sloppy and he arguably could have been sent off after he made a few very questionable challenges whilst on a booking. 



ARSENAL


Key Talking Point


Going off form guides alone, this one should have been an absolute canter for Arsenal.

However, the Gunners simply weren't at the races and in honesty they were lucky to even be coming away from Selhurst Park with a point.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

They were out-thought and out-fought far too often and they had to rely on two set-pieces to prevent them from slipping to defeat. They will have to make sure they up their game when they face off against Liverpool next weekend.


Player Ratings:


Starting XI: Leno (6); Bellerin (6), Mustafi (4), Holding (6), Xhaka (6); Torreira (7*), Guendouzi (5), Iwobi (6), Ozil (5); Aubameyang (6), Lacazette (6).


Substitutes: Lichtsteiner (5), Welbeck (6).


Star Man - If anyone can come away from the match with their held high, then it's Lucas Torreira, who was superb in the centre of the park for Arsenal.

He was constantly mopping up his teammates mistakes and was very conservative with the ball at his feet.

He looks to have nailed down a spot in the starting XI, so it's now down to him to continue improving week on week.



Worst Player - Shkodran Mustafi has received his fair share of criticism over the past few seasons and, in all fairness, that criticism is usually well deserved.


The German defender was as clumsy as ever and the penalty he conceded was very avoidable. That mistake could have easily cost his side dearly and it highlights the fact that Arsenal simply have to invest in a new central defender in January.




Looking Ahead


Crystal Palace will now begin their preparations for a trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea next Sunday.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will have to overcome a potential banana skin when they face Blackpool in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before they face Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.

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