Patrick Vieira almost enjoyed a dream comeback to Arsenal, but Alexandre Lacazette’s 96th-minute equalizer saved a 2-2 draw for the Gunners against Crystal Palace on Monday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike in the seventh minute gave the hosts a perfect start.
But a five-game unbeaten game that had turned the mood around in the Emirates looked set to be shattered as Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard struck in the second half to give the Eagles a deserved lead.
Vieira’s men did not hold out, however, because with a few seconds to spare Lacazette rushed home from a corner.
A share of the loot takes Arsenal to 12th place, but the performance didn’t suggest they will bother contenders for next season’s Champions League places at the end of the season.
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A run of 10 out of 12 possible points had eased an early season crisis at Arsenal after their worst start in 67 years.
This upward curve looked set to continue from the start as Aubameyang was in the right place to score the rebound after Vicente Guaita parried Nicolas Pepe’s shot.
But despite losing Wilfried Zaha to illness, Palace continued to lead the first half to continue his impressive start to life under Vieira.
A three-time Premier League winner as Arsenal captain, the Frenchman has been overlooked by his former club for coaching roles.
But Vieira has lost just two of his first eight league games at the helm of Palace, which has moved on to Chelsea and Liverpool.
Palace fired a warning just before half-time as only a nice save from Aaron Ramsdale prevented Connor Gallagher from leveling in the first-half stoppage time.
The visitors were rewarded after the break, but Arsenal orchestrated their own fall for both goals.
Thomas Partey was stripped of possession in his own half for the equalizer as Jordan Ayew played for Beneteke to finish calmly in the lower corner.
Albert Sambi Lokonga was the culprit for Palace’s second goal as he gave the ball away and Edouard scored at home his third goal since a summer stint beyond Ramsdale.
Edward’s former Celtic teammate Kieran Tierney was inches from an equalizer as he shot from below the bar.
But there was still late drama to get deep into stoppage time as Lacazette swept another rebound after Guaita saved Benjamin White’s deflected effort.