Arsenal suffered through a nervy final minutes as they edged Crystal Palace 3-2 at Selhurst Park in Arsene Wenger’s 810th Premier League game in charge of the Gunners.
On the day he equalled Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson’s feat, Wenger oversaw a game which the Gunners dominated, but at the same time, revealed chinks in their armour as well.
Defender Shkodran Mustafi scored the breakthrough in the 25th minute, calmly finishing after Julian Speroni had parried Alexandre Lacazette’s shot into his own path and despite having a monopoly of possession, the Gunners were unable to find a second goal.
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Speroni would make amends for the first goal by brilliant saving Mesut Ozil’s shot in a one-on-one, while Lacazette would flash a shot just wide of the near-post after creating space for himself on the edge of the box. Roy Hodgson’s men survived till the interval and came out in the second-half the stronger of the two sides.
And they would make Arsenal pay for switching off, with winger Wilfried Zaha beating Calum Chambers on the left flank and squaring the ball for Andros Townsend to stroke home in the 49th minute.
Hogdson responded by sending on James McArthur on but a quick-fire double from Alexis Sanchez gave the Gunners a 3-1 lead.
First, the Chilean winger scored via a snap-shot from inside the box in the 62nd minute and four minutes later, he would deftly finish after Jack Wilshere’s raking ball over the defence had found him clear on goal.
Palace had no option but to throw the kitchen sink at them but Arsenal held on and seemed to have seen the game out until James Tomkins rose high to head home Townsend’s corner a minute from time.
The fourth official raised the board to signal four added minutes, but there was to be no fairytale ending for the hosts as Arsenal held on to draw level with fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the league table.
Arsenal next travel to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday and will look to build on their win when they take on the struggling Baggies.
Palace will feel disappointed that they were unable to secure a draw but there’s no time to mope for league leaders Manchester City come visiting on Sunday and the Eagles will be fired up as they seek to disrupt the winning streak of Pep Guardiola’s men.