3 reasons why Arsenal drew at Crystal Palace, Premier League 2018-19
Finally, the winning run came to an end. Arsenal could have made it a record 12 wins in a row, had they held their nerves in the final moments of that game. But it was not meant to be, as the Gunners conceded a late penalty to drop two points at Crystal Palace, no thanks to Luca Milivojevic.
Milivojevic had put the host ahead via the penalty after a clumsy challenge by Shkodran Mustafi in the additional minute at the end of the first half. But as seen for the most part of the season, the Gunners rallied back in the second half to score two quick goals. Granit Xhaka delivered a sumptuous freekick from the right-hand side of Crystal Palace penalty to beat Wayne Hennessey in goal.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scored a controversial goal after Lacazette flicked the ball with his hand for the Gabonese striker to prod home from close range to give the Gunners the lead for the first time in the game.
The only positive going forward is that at least the Gunners are still on a 12- game unbeaten run in all competitions. Let's look at a couple of factors that led to gunners dropping maximum points for the first time since they lost at Chelsea.
#1 The absence of Arsenal's left fullbacks
Both Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac have been struggling with injuries lately which have caused the duo to miss out on a couple of games this season.
Arsenal lacked the ability to stretch the opposition defence, giving them width in their attacking play. With Monreal or Kolasinac as a natural left back, the gunners could have been more threatening going forward and defensively more assured. Crystal Palace capitalized on the absence of our left fullbacks and it paid off as Granit Xhaka who filled in at left back was the villain for his tackle on Wilfried Zaha that led to the second penalty conceded by Arsenal.
Xhaka later conceded that it was a clear penalty.
"It's difficult. I think it's a clear penalty," Xhaka told Sky Sports. "I touched him in the knee."The referee gave a penalty. That's football."
#2 Arsenal's slow start to games
Much has been said about the Gunners being the slow starters to games this season. You can of get the feeling that this will definitely come to haunt them sooner than later.
Arsenal's lethargic first-half display saw the Eagles create more chances in the first half and deservedly went into halftime with a lead. The gunners need to work on this as they cannot afford to adopt "second-half" resurgence against better teams in the premier league, considering the Gunners play Liverpool next in the Premier League on Saturday.
#3 The fear of losing their winning run
After they had taken the lead through Pierre Emerick Aubameyang in the second half, the Gunners seemed to drop off inviting the pressure from Crystal Palace.
It was the wave of attacks from the host that eventually led the gunners to cave in late on in the game. Alexandre Lacazette was guilty on some occasions as he failed to hold the play up for other players to link up when the pressure from the host mounted.
At one point, Unai Emery was seen encouraging Lacazette to work harder in retaining the ball.