Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 1
Ayew 54, Aubameyang 12

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was shown a straight red card on 67 minutes after an unfortunate lunge on Max Meyer. Following VAR intervention, the Gabon striker who was initially shown a yellow card for the clumsy offence, saw that changed to a red after the revue. Aubameyang had given the Gunners a first half lead having slotted past Vincente Guaita following an interchange from Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette. Arsenal had been untroubled in a first half which they dominated, but were unable to add to their tally. Crystal Palace had been content to sit back and soak up the pressure, and it was just before the break when they had their first effort on goal through Cheikhou Kouyate.

Bernd Leno claimed his effort at the second time of asking. Mikel Arteta had asked for more from his players, with his philosophy of defending from the front and putting pressure on the ball when you lose it being carried out diligently by Lacazette especially. In very windy conditions at Selhurst Park, Arsenal looked comfortable with Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira adding to their midfield combination. Given that Xhaka had his infamous falling out with the Arsenal fans at the Emirates in October during the 2-2 draw with Palace, and some suggesting that he’d never play for Arsenal again, the turnaround seems all the more remarkable.

Arteta replaced Torreira with Matteo Guendouzi at half time, a decision he later revealed was due to the Uruguayan not feeling well. Palace’s leveller was another unfortunate deflection. Jordan Ayew’s shot came off David Luiz to loop over the wrong footed Leno to make the score 1-1. Following Aubameyang’s dismissal, Arsenal had to concentrate as a raucous Selhurst Park crowd roared their side to make their numerical advantage count.

But Arsenal could have re-taken the lead when Luiz glanced a header just over the bar from Pepe’s corner. Arsenal’s £72m summer signing thought he had put his side back in the lead when his powerful shot beat Guaita but came back off his upright. Lacazette almost capitalised from the rebound, but the Palace keeper spread himself low to smother the ball.

It was frustrating for Arteta to see his side take the lead but ultimately unable to take the three points. Being reduced to ten men and not having your star striker would always be a tough ask, but getting a point when recent Arsenal sides might have come away with less does indeed mark improvement over the few weeks the Spaniard has been in charge.

“I was pleased with how we started the game, with the way we dominated the first half. We saw things that we’d worked on in training and the way they executed them was good. But obviously after the break we knew they were going to push, they had more bodies forward, they put us under pressure more. We started to give bad free-kicks away and that’s something that we have to avoid. Then we switched off for the goal. We completely switched off and allowed them to put the cross in. We turned and conceded the deflection, and I was very disappointed with that. After that, I must say that we reacted really well again after conceding the goal. After Auba’s red card, we reacted even better in my opinion,” said Arteta.

Having had a chance to review Aubameyang’s red card, Arteta apologised for the tackle on Meyer, and stressed that there was no bad intention from his striker.

“I just watched it and it looked nasty, to be fair. Knowing Auba, there’s no intention to make such a tackle. Hopefully he hasn’t been injured and we are sorry for that. The decision was made and we have to accept it.”

Arteta praised his players response following Aubameyang’s red card, noting that they had good chances to win the game. The trick now is for him to rectify those lapses at the back which have come to cost his side a few times this season.

“At this level in the Premier League, if you switch off for two seconds, five seconds, you will concede a goal straight away. I’m going to have to find a way to try to avoid those situations. It happened today and it cost us two points.”

Arsenal next host Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday.