A woeful outing for Arsenal on Monday night in front of their home fans saw the Gunners scramble for a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace, now managed by an ex-Arsenal captain, Patrick Viera.
Mikel Arteta's men needed a late strike from substitute, Alexandre Lacazette to force a 2-2 draw despite having gone ahead early on in the game, robbing a Palace side, who were more deserving of the three points, much to the disappointment of their coach.
Arsenal had led through their captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 8th minute, after the Gabon international was at the far post to meet a cross from Nicolas Pepe, which was parried wide by Vincente Guaita, but only into the path of the striker.
After having shouts for a penalty waved off by the referee, Christian Benteke, who was deputising for the ill Wilfred Zaha got a good change at goal in the 28th minute but his effort was a comfortable one for Aaron Ramsdale to save.
There was controversy towards the end of the first period when James McArthur kicked Bukayo Saka in the belly of his chin from behind as the Arsenal players protested that it should have been a sending off. Clearly, the Palace midfielder saw Saka in front of him and there was no way he could have gotten to the ball without going through the young English man. The referee felt a yellow card was enough.
It was almost an equaliser from Conor Gallagher on the strike of half time as a corner kick into the Arsenal box was cleared to him at the edge of the box. He lets one fly towards the top corner, only denied by a diving save from Ramsdale.
The second period started with an enforced changed for Arsenal. Bukayo Saka, not recovering from that tackle by McArthur was replaced by Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Thomas Partey had an opportunity to open his Arsenal account in the 48th minute when his curling effort looked to be headed towards the corner, but it lacked the curve to come back towards goal.
Two minutes later, Palace drew level. The Ghanaian lost possession in a dangerous position, allowing Jordan Ayew play in Benteke, who beat Gabriel Maghalaes, before slotting past Ramsdale in goal.
Palace almost took the lead moments later as Arsenal were caught in possession in their own half, this time, Odsonne Edouard's effort was blocked and the rebound fell to Ayew just outside the box. The Ghana striker hit the target, forcing Ramsdale to push away for a corner.
Arsenal were presented with a glorious opportunity to regain their lead in the 71st minute as Aubameyang played Lacazette through on goal, who saw his effort tipped round the post by Guaita.
Few seconds later, the visitors would take the lead. Again, Arsenal were caught napping at the back as Palace won the ball off Lokonga. Gallagher played it out to Michael Olise who had just been introduced. The teenager finding Edoaurd, whose shot cannoned in off the crossbar to complete the comeback for the Eagles.
The hosts continued to press for an equaliser as time seemed to be running out and saw a great chance evade them in the 83rd minute. A cross from the right was not properly cleared by Palace, with the ball rolling to the far post where Kieran Tierney was waiting. The Scotland international takes a touch before releasing a bullet of a shot that comes off the inside of the ball, before Palace could clear.
With almost the last kick of the game in the 5th minute of additional time, Arsenal scrambled to share the spoils. The away side failed to clear another corner from Arsenal which allowed Ben White to hit one towards goal that was blocked, but only to find its way to Lacazette who dived in with a shot to throw the Emirates to a wild celebration of not victory, but relief of not losing all three points.
It was utterly another shameful display by Arsenal giving that they took the lead early on in the game and should have taken the game by the horn from there on. Sadly, they looked out of sort and were toothless thought out the game.
As usual, they failed to show enough character and allowed Crystal Palace grow into the game. The Eagles were far the better side for the entire duration and Patrick Viera must be bitting his finger real hard and wondering how his team had not left the Emirates stadium what would have been a memorable three points for him.
Questions continue to hang over Mikel Arteta's decision to not to give Alexandre Lacazette enough playing time this season. The Frenchman has not started any premier league game this season and his only start came in their 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon in the league cup.
Having seen how he paired with Aubameyang after coming on, perhaps, it might again give Arteta a rethink on using the former Lyon man. But, being the man he is known to be, Arteta may still strongheadedly refuse to use him, further deepening speculation of the 30-year old leaving next summer.