Arsenal could not sustain their 11 matches winning streak across all competitions as they played out a 2-2 Premier League draw against Crystal Palace on the road on Sunday. The game was open-sided with both teams producing plenty of chances but it was the hosts who opened the scoring with Luka Milivojevic scoring from the penalty spot before the break.
Thereafter, the visitors stepped up to the plate with goals from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before the hour mark and the former’s strike undoubtedly produced the highlight moment owing to the perfection of his free-kick. However, Xhaka soon turned from hero to zero after conceding a penalty for a foul on Wilfried Zaha, which was once more converted by Milivojevic to level the scores seven minutes from time.
Two things we learned:
Arsenal’s defensive woes seem endless: The Gunners may have gone through an extended unbeaten run since August but their defensive performances in many of those matches have been far from impressive. Against Palace, a couple of poor tackles resorted into penalties but the former against Shkodran Mustafi was particularly disappointing, given he fouled Cheikhou Kouyate, who had his back facing towards goal. Surely, the Gunners need to produce a better showing against Liverpool in their next league meeting or else, they could have a tough time contending the threat from the attacking trident of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Arsenal continue to excel in the second half: Arsenal have surprisingly not led in a single Premier League game in the first period and the same happened against Crystal Palace. However, this time around, they could not salvage a victory from their comeback, although they continued the trend of scoring a flurry of goals in the second half of matches. Including the Palace clash, the Gunners have now bagged 18 out of their 24 league goals following the half-time interval and this could be a cause of concern for Emery in the future, should the fortunes not favour the team in the same pattern.
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