Football: Arsenal pay the penalty as 11-game winning run ends in 2-2 draw at Palace

(From left) Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck, Crystal Palace midfielder Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Palace defender James Tomkins go up for a header during their English Premier League football match at Selhurst Park on Oct 28, 2018.
(From left) Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck, Crystal Palace midfielder Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Palace defender James Tomkins go up for a header during their English Premier League football match at Selhurst Park on Oct 28, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) – Arsenal’s 11-game winning run ended in a 2-2 Premier League draw at Crystal Palace on Sunday (Oct 28) as two penalties by Luka Milivojevic earned the hosts a battling point. 

Palace captain Milivojevic, who missed a penalty at Everton last week, converted one just before halftime, after Shkodran Mustafi tripped Cheikh Kouyate, the South London side’s first goal at home in five games this season. 

Granit Xhaka equalised with a fierce free kick early in the second half and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a controversial second for Arsenal five minutes later.  Milivojevic’s second penalty six minutes from time earned Palace a point to move Roy Hodgson’s team up to 14th. 

Arsenal, who had won 11 successive games in all competitions, stayed fourth but lost ground on London rivals Chelsea who crushed Burnley 4-0. 

“I didn’t have doubts, but you feel some pressure after last week when I missed,” Serbian international Milivojevic said.  “I got good power to both and shot both very well so I’m very happy.”

His manager Roy Hodgson was among those who felt Arsenal’s second goal should have been disallowed for handball by Alexandre Lacazette. 

“I’m not even happy to end up with one point especially when you see how clear the handball was,” he said.  “It was tough to concede an equaliser after working so hard for the 1-0 lead. 

 

“I thought the attitude of the players and the way we got in control of the game again after going behind, it was a very deserved equaliser. 

“I’m very happy with the performance. I’m just a bit sad it didn’t give us the three points.”

Arsenal manager Unai Emery did not seem too dismayed by a missed opportunity to join Chelsea in the top three. 

“I think the draw is not bad for us,” he said.  “Looking at the 90 minutes two teams deserved this result. 

“Our team was very competitive for 90 minutes and had a very good attitude. 

“I am disappointed with the result but our work is good.”

An end-to-end game burst into life after quarter of an hour.  Visiting goalkeeper Bernd Leno, preferred to Petr Cech, was beaten by Wilfried Zaha’s effort which hit the outside of the post, and Andros Townsend put his effort wide. 

Arsenal responded with opportunities for Lacazette and Hector Bellerin.  Mustafi survived an appeal for a penalty after Jordan Ayew went down but was penalised for his trip on Kouyate and Milivojevic gave the home side a halftime lead. 

Arsenal lost Bellerin for the second half, Stephan Lichtsteiner deputising, but they went ahead in a dominant quarter of an hour spell. 

Palace were unhappy with the second goal, however, claiming with justification that Lacazette handled before Aubameyang jabbed the ball just over the line. 

They shook off the frustration with substitute Max Meyer hitting a post and when Zaha, dangerous as ever, was tripped by Xhaka, Milivojevic did a captain’s job again to end a run of three defeats.