Football: Arsenal held to 2-2 draw by Crystal Palace at home

Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe (left) in action with Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt during their English Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium in London on Oct 27, 2019.
Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe (left) in action with Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt during their English Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium in London on Oct 27, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Arsenal were held to an eventful 2-2 draw by Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (Oct 27) as VAR denied the home side what would have been a late winner from Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Arsenal took a 2-0 lead within nine minutes when centre backs Sokratis and David Luiz got on the scoresheet just 106 seconds apart from two corner kicks delivered by Nicolas Pepe.

Referee Martin Atkinson then booked Wilfried Zaha for what he perceived to be a dive in the box from a Calum Chambers challenge but VAR intervened and ruled it a penalty, which was put away by midfielder Luka Milivojevic.

Palace started the second half the stronger of the two sides and seven minutes after the restart, Jordan Ayew levelled the score with a header at the far post from a James McArthur cross.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery then withdrew Granit Xhaka, who was booed by the home support and the incensed skipper took off his shirt and stormed down the tunnel.

Sokratis managed to pounce yet again on a corner kick late in the game to make it 3-2 but VAR overruled the goal for a foul in the buildup from Chambers, leaving both sides to share the points.