A 2-2 draw at Palace was what Arsenal just about deserved

The team sheet at Selhurst Park was surprising.

In a 4-2-3-1 formation, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi were paired together for the first time in centrefield.

The Uruguayan is 22 and the kid is only 19, and as I was wondering if that would work, a Zaha shot hit the outside of the post, then Patrick van Aanholt missed a chance, and co-commentator Alan Smith reminded us of how many chances Arsenal had been conceding in the first half of games they had won.

Palace were playing at 100mph and their appetite was huge and Arsenal looked wonky and unbalanced, a stuttering team.

In 44 Mustafi lunged for a ball he was never gonna get and Kouyate, knowing he can’t reach it either, throws himself between the ball and the defender and takes the hit.

A penalty is given and Luka Milivojevic rolls it in for 1-0.

Remarkably, that was Crystal Palace’s first goal at home in the Premier League this season

When Arsenal won a free kick on the right side of the box, Xhaka fired a thunderous free-kick that went in off the far post.

1-1 after 51 minutes and plenty is time left for Arsenal to secure their 12th consecutive victory.

But Palace did not play in Lisbon, or anywhere else, on Thursday night.

Five minutes later, after Lacazette had blatantly handled the ball, Aubameyang stabbed in to make it 1-2. The ball was fractionally over the line. Thank heaven for goal-line technology.

The best time to score is just after you’ve scored and on this evidence that’s also the best time to handle the ball and get away with it.

After that the match got very scrappy, Ozil was hooked, Lichtsteiner was booked, Welbeck came on for the German, and Ramsey replaced Auba,.

Then Zaha fell over Xhaka’s leg and a penalty was given by ref Martin Atkinson and Milosevic smashed in for 2-2

The team did not play well, Emery was going nuts on the touchline and he knew his side did not deserve to win.

Arsenal are fourth this morning.

But they’ll have to sign a good left back in January and they’ll have to defend much better than this to have a chance of Champions League football next season.

Tottenham play Man City at Wembley tonight.

Hugo Lloris is a big character for them but he’s been playing badly and making the wrong kind of news and I don’t really want to see Citeh hammer Spurs 5-0.

Unai Emery’s Arsenal are improving fast. But not in the first half hour