Arsenal 2-2 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace fought back from a two-goal deficit to earn a point in a 2-2 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery made three changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Sheffield United in the Premier League on Monday.
Kieran Tierney was handed his first Premier League start, while Alexandre Lacazette, who started in Thursday’s Europa League win against Vitoria Guimaraes, was given the nod, along with Dani Ceballos. Sead Kolasinac and Bukayo Saka dropped to the bench, while Joe Willock missed out.
Roy Hodgson made just one change to the Crystal Palace side defeated 2-0 by Manchester City last weekend, as Andros Townsend started ahead of Jeffrey Schlupp.
James McArthur had the first effort on target in the game, but his header from an Townsend cross failed to trouble Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal.
The Gunners then responded emphatically as they scored two goals in as many minutes to take a firm grip on the game.
Palace failed to clear a corner and Granit Xhaka headed the ball down into the path of Sokratis who coolly finished inside the near post in the seventh minute.
The Greek’s fellow central defender David Luiz then got in on the act as he turned the ball in at the far post after Lacazette flicked on Nicolas Pepe’s corner.
It was almost three on 11 minutes but Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey did well to tip Lacazette’s effort wide after the Frenchman was teed up by Tierney, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dragged a shot just wide.
Palace were handed a way back into the game on the half-hour thanks to the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Wilfried Zaha went down in the area under a challenge from Calum Chambers and was initially booked by referee Martin Atkinson.
However, VAR correctly spotted that the Ivory Coast international was fouled and, after Zaha’s booking was overturned, Palace skipper Luka Milivojevic stepped up to send Leno the wrong way with the subsequent penalty on 32 minutes.
Pepe had a great chance to restore Arsenal’s two-goal cushion a minute before the break but the £72million man put his shot wide of the upright when he had time to pick his spot.
He was almost made to pay for his profligacy in stoppage time when Leno had to be alert to palm away a fierce strike from Patrick van Aanholt.
Palace were deservedly level eight minutes after the restart when McArthur floated a cross over the Arsenal backline and Jordan Ayew was on hand to head past Leno.
The hosts did gradually find their feet and had a couple of half chances through Chambers, Matteo Guendouzi and Lacazette, before Pepe hit a 25-yard free-kick wide.
Arsenal thought they had got the third goal that their play warranted on 83 minutes when Sokratis rifled in a right-foot shot inside the box only for VAR to rule it out because of a push by Chambers in the build-up.
Palace almost snatched the win in stoppage time, but Zaha watched as his effort flashed just wide of the far corner with Leno at full stretch.
The point keeps Arsenal in fifth on 16 points, while Palace remain one place and a point behind them.