Crystal Palace 1-1 Arsenal: 3 Reasons Why Gunners were held to a draw at Selhurst Park | Premier League 2019-20
Crystal Palace hosted Arsenal at Selhurst Park as they aimed to stop Arsenal's newfound resurgence under new manager Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard got the biggest scalp of his career as a top-flight manager last weekend, as the Gunners registered a stunning 2-0 victory against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.
The fixture against the Eagles was seen as a litmus test for the North London side, as fans were eager to see if Arsenal's recent form was a sign of things to come or just another false dawn. Arteta opted to name an unchanged XI from their previous Premier League encounter, the first time they've done so since January 2019.
In what was an entertaining London derby, Crystal Palace came from behind to register a deserved 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park, with goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Jordan Ayew either side of half time.
The away side broke the deadlock in the 12th minute courtesy of some intricate linkup play between Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang, who slotted the ball past the onrushing Vicenze Guaita between the sticks with relative ease. Arsenal controlled the first half, in stark contrast to their FA Cup encounter against Leeds United but Roy Hodgson's side hit back shortly after the interval.
The Gunners weren't alert to a quick free-kick from the Eagles and Ayew's strike deflected restored parity for the hosts. The Gunners' midfield was compounded later in the second half, as Aubameyang received his marching orders upon consultation with a VAR, as he was sent off for what was adjudged to be violent conduct.
On that note, let's look at three reasons why the Gunners were held to yet another draw away from home.
1. Aubameyang scores on the road again
Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been one of the bright sparks in an otherwise lacklustre Premier League campaign for the Gunners. In what has been a season of change and transition for the North London outfit, the Gabonese international has been deadly in front of goal and popped up with another crucial strike in the first half.
In what was a tale of two halves for the former Borussia Dortmund man, he was sent off for violent conduct upon consultation with the VAR. Under Arteta, Arsenal have had a resurgence of sorts but they haven't been able to produce the goods consistently over the course of the game, and today's game was further evidence to that fact.
Aubameyang scored away from home yet again and the Gunners frontman has scored 9 of the club's 12 Premier League away goals this season, a startling example of his importance to the team. Arsenal will be without their captain for 3 games after his red card and it remains to be seen if they decide to appeal the decision, in the hope of having it overturned.
2. Arsenal's recurring theme of polarizing between two halves of football continues
Once again, Arsenal proved that football is indeed a game of two halves, as they failed to build on their strong performance before the half time whistle. Going into the interval, the Gunners had a 1-0 lead to protect as Aubayemang had scored the solitary goal of the game at that point, but they failed to produce the goods in the second half as Crystal Palace gained control of the game and registered a well-deserved point.
In what has been a recurring theme under Mikel Arteta, Arsenal failed to deliver the goods consistently over the course of the 90 minutes, as they were made to pay for their defensive frailties and lack of concentration. In their FA Cup encounter against Leeds United, Arsenal came out all guns blazing after the interval and registered a 2-1 victory against the Championship side, after a lacklustre first-half showing.
Conversely, the Gunners fell flat in the second half this time around, as Palace pegged back after the interval and scored a deserved equalizer. While it could be argued that Arsenal do not possess the personnel to adopt Arteta's brand of football, their recurring theme of polarizing over two halves of football is sure to be a talking point for the Gunners.
3. Crystal Palace continue to frustrate the big sides
In recent seasons, Crystal Palace have developed a reputation of producing the goods against the so-called bigger sides in the Premier League, as their brand of football coupled with their fighting spirit frustrated Arsenal for the second time this season. The Gunners raced to an early lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but failed to build on their strong showing before the interval, as the Eagles struck back to registered a deserved draw.
Despite falling to defeats against Liverpool and Manchester City earlier this season, Roy Hodgson's side gave two of the leading sides in the Premier League a run for their money and produced the standout moment of their season at Old Trafford, as they scored a stoppage-time goal against Manchester United to register a 2-1 victory.
The Eagles produced a gritty performance after the interval and controlled the game in midfield, as Arsenal were run ragged in the centre of the park. The home side also capitalized on a lack of concentration from the Gunners, as their quick free-kick lead to Jordan Ayew's equalizer.
Crystal Palace produced the goods against one of the Premier League's top sides and the spotlight will be on them once again, as they take on Manchester City next weekend.