Crystal Palace hold Arsenal as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sees red at Selhurst Park

TOM DUTTON
Evening Standard
REUTERS
REUTERS

Arsenal failed to make the most of their fast start as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was sent off after an intervention from VAR in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

The Gunners, who were aiming to win their third game on the spin for the first time since September, were in front inside 15 when Aubameyang finished well after a swift break from the visitors.

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Palace warmed to the task, though, and they were level shortly after the interval when Jordan Ayew's deflected strike looped up over Bernd Leno before Aubameyang was given his marching orders.

The Gabon international went in studs up on Max Meyer on the halfway line and was initially given a yellow card by on-field referee Paul Tierney before the powers that be at Stockley Park advised that his punishment had been too lenient.

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(REUTERS)

Mikel Arteta had named the same side which secured an impressive 2-0 victory over Manchester United in their last Premier League fixture and the returning Aubameyang, who was rested for Monday's FA Cup win over Leeds, caused Palace plenty of trouble in the early stages.

Palace shuffled their back four for the eleventh straight game and they were pulled apart by a sharp Arsenal manoeuvre inside 20 minutes as the Gunners made their early possession count.

David Luiz played an incisive pass from the halfway line which ended in Alexandre Lacazette finding his strike partner to slide low past Vicente Guaita.

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(REUTERS)

Palace offered nothing in the first quarter of the contest but grew into the contest without truly testing Leno before the break.

But home fans, who unfurled a banner in protest against VAR in the first period, did not have to wait long for something to cheer about after the break as Meyer's low cross found it's way to Ayew, whose effort flicked off Luiz and up over Leno.

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crystal-palace-arsenal-110120p.jpg

(AFP via Getty Images)

Tomkins then saw a header cleared off the line by Sokratis as Palace pushed for a winner against 10 men following AUbameyang's foul. Arsenal, though, could have won it themselves but for Guiata's fine double save to deny Pepe at the other end.

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