Last-gasp strike rescues point for Arsenal against Crystal Palace

Arsenal substitute Alexandre Lacazette scored a dramatic late equaliser against Crystal Palace to seal a 2-2 draw in the English Premier League.

The visitors led deep into injury time at Emirates Stadium on Monday (Tuesday AEDT) but Lacazette turned home a rebound in the fifth minute of added time before celebrating with fans.

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates his late equaliser at Emirates Stadium.Credit:Getty

Palace coach Patrick Vieira’s return to Arsenal, where he brought so much glory as captain, ended in pain, with the Frenchman crouching down and pounding the turf.

Palace came from behind to score twice in the second half after Arsenal took the lead through captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the eighth minute.

Vieira wouldn’t have been impressed by the Arsenal defensive midfielders playing in his former position, Thomas Partey and substitute Albert Sambi Lokonga, whose mistakes led to both Palace goals.

Christian Benteke and Thomas Partey battle for the ball.Credit:Getty

Partey first lost possession cheaply in the 50th minute when striker Jordan Ayew stripped him of the ball. Palace striker Christian Benteke collected and cut inside before smashing past goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Then it was Lokonga’s turn to lose the ball, which eventually made its way to Odsonne Edouard. The Palace forward calmly stroked the ball home.

The result leaves Arsenal in 12th on the table, and Palace 14th.

Meanwhile, UEFA has ordered England to play one men’s national team game in an empty stadium as punishment for the chaos around Wembley Stadium at the European Championship final in July.

The stadium closure will apply for a Nations League fixture in June. A second empty-stadium game was deferred for a two-year probationary period.

Thousands of English fans tried to break through barriers to get into Wembley, which was hosting the Euro 2020 final against Italy at about two-thirds capacity due to limits applied during the COVID-19 pandemic.

England’s Football Association was also fined €100,000 ($118,000) for fan violence and other incidents in and around the stadium, including disturbances during the Italian national anthem before the final.

England, in their first major tournament final for 55 years, lost to Italy in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw.

The opponent for England’s empty-stadium game will be known when UEFA makes the Nations League draw on December 16.


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