Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores and gets sent off as Arsenal draw at Crystal Palace

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores and gets sent off as Arsenal draw at Crystal Palace
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores and gets sent off as Arsenal draw at Crystal Palace

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went from hero to villain at Selhurst Park on Saturday after scoring and getting sent off as Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Crystal Palace.

Aubameyang struck in the 12th minute, steering a low shot past goalkeeper Vicente Guaita after he was put through by Alexandre Lacazette, with Arsenal dominating an uneventful first half at Selhurst Park.

Jordan Ayew levelled in the 54th minute with a heavily deflected shot which left keeper Bernd Leno stranded after it came off defender David Luiz, as the visitors failed to clear a tame-looking low cross from the right.

Aubameyang was shown a straight red card midway through the second half after a VAR check, following a rash tackle on Max Meyer which forced the Palace forward to limp off injured.

"I haven’t seen it, but I think it was a harsh challenge," Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told BT Sport. "There was no intention, but I think he mistimed it."

Palace, who gained the upper hand in the closing stages with their numerical advantage, missed their best chance to grab a winner when Sokratis Papastathopoulos cleared a James Tomkins header off the line in the 78th minute.

They were let of the hook three minutes later at the other end as Guaita tipped Nicolas Pepe's fierce low shot on to the post and then smothered Lacazette's close-range follow up.

"The first 35 minutes is exactly what I want our Arsenal team to play like," Arteta said. "We were dominant in the right positions and created chances. After that we started to give free-kicks and give balls away.

"In the first 15 minutes of the second half, credit to them because they pushed. They started to put men up front and we struggled. We switched off completely for the goal and that’s unacceptable.

"I don’t think we let our concentration slip. To control Palace for 90 minutes here is impossible. They put balls in the box and you have to defend the situation."

The draw keeps ninth-placed Crystal Palace one place above Arsenal in the table, and Palace defender Gary Cahill believes his side could have won the game after receiving the numerical advantage.

"It's a good point but we're a bit frustrated at the same time," he told the BBC. "We tried to push and tried to get the win. In the first 20 minutes we found it very difficult.

"Credit to the lads. We managed to get to grips with it and got the press right in the end. We were 1-0 down at that time but we worked really hard for each other. Jordan scored a really fantastic goal – he’s been excellent for us this season.

"It was a tough battle. I thought the sending off was a sending off. It was probably just a forward’s tackle. It was competitive, but there was quality out there."

Arsenal defender Sokratis, meanwhile, rued his team's misfortune in a game he felt they should have won.

"If we watch the game again, we are disappointed because we played much better than them and had the chances to win the game," he said. "The first 35 minutes we played very good and did what our manager asked.

In the next 10 minutes and first 10 minutes of the second half, we lost the mentality and structure."

Updated: January 11, 2020 07:22 PM

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