Substitute Alexandre Lacazette struck with the last kick of the game to give Arsenal a rollercoaster 2-2 home draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Monday after the visitor had fought back from a goal down.

Superb second-half goals from Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard had turned the match on its head after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal an early lead but Palace was denied a win as Lacazette netted at the death.

The French striker, who came on as a second half substitute, was delighted after his goal denied Palace manager Patrick Vieira, Arsenal’s former title-winning captain, a win in his first game in charge against the Gunners.

“The main thing was to avoid a loss,” Lacazette told Sky Sports. “We wanted to win, we started well but then we stopped playing. I think this is something we have to work on in the future.

“We showed we have character. Even when we are down we don’t give up.”

Aubameyang tapped in an eighth-minute rebound from close range after visiting goalkeeper Vicente Guaita parried a Nicolas Pepe shot but falling behind only spurred the visitor into action at the Emirates Stadium.

Benteke levelled in the 50th minute as he unleashed a scorcher into the bottom corner from 15 metres and after both sides missed chances in end-to-end action, Edouard struck with an effort of the highest quality.

The French forward, who joined Palace from Celtic during the close-season, capped a flowing breakaway move in the 73rd with a fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area which crashed in off the underside of the bar.

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Palace seemed home and dry after Arsenal left back Kieran Tierney blasted a shot from a tight angle into the woodwork but was punished for some sloppy defending deep into stoppage time.

A long throw-in produced a corner for Arsenal and after Palace failed to clear it and an ensuing goal-mouth scramble, Lacazette kept his wits and drilled in the equaliser past Guaita from close range.

Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher was thoroughly disappointed.

“Honestly, it’s so horrible,” he said. It feels worse than a defeat, if that’s possible. Nothing is worse than thinking that you’ve got the three points and have it taken away from you.”

Vieira, who won three league titles and four FA cups with Arsenal as a player, said Palace needed to stop conceding late goals in order to turn draws into wins.

“It was so close but we have been saying that a little bit too often,” he told Sky Sports. “We have to learn from the games we played previously. I am really disappointed because the way the team came back in the second half, they deserved to win.

“I am frustrated for them, they were brave and showed character. We have to put our sleeves up and put our bodies on the line. We were really unlucky today, it is the way it is but I believe there is more to come.

“The players were really frustrated because we threw away two points. To concede a goal like that is really difficult to accept but these games will make us stronger.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta criticised his players for switching off after taking the lead.

“We started the game very well but after the goal we didn’t manage it enough,” he told the BBC. “We didn’t have composure or control. The game was stretched. You have uncertainty, you have to defend deep.

“We gave the ball away two times for the two goals. It (the dip in performance) was for a long period which is worrying. We gave cheap goals away.

“The most positive thing is we kept going. They kept believing until the end and that’s how we managed to get a point.”

The result stretched Arsenal’s unbeaten league run to five games and left it 12th in the standings on 11 points from eight games while Palace is 14th three points behind it.

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