Patrick Vieira expressed his disappointment after Crystal Palace failed to hang on to a lead, conceding a late goal to draw 2-2 at The Emirates on Monday night.

He nearly enjoyed a dream return to Arsenal but Alexandre Lacazette’s 96th minute equaliser crushed his dream as Palace failed to get a second win of the campaign.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring in the seventh minute but Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard struck in the second-half to give the Eagles a deserved lead.

A run of 10 points from a possible 12 had eased an early season crisis at Arsenal after their worst start for 67 years.

“It was so close but we have been saying that a little bit too often.

“I am really disappointed because the way the team came back in the second half, they deserved to win the game,” said Vieira after the match.

The stalemate moves Arsenal up to 12th, but the performance did little to suggest they will trouble the contenders for places in next season’s Champions League come the end of the season.

That upward curve looked set to continue early on as Aubameyang was in the right place to turn home the rebound after Vicente Guaita parried Nicolas Pepe’s shot.

But despite the loss of Wilfried Zaha due to illness, Palace went on to boss the first-half to continue their impressive start to life under Vieira.

A three-time Premier League winner as Arsenal captain, Vieira has been overlooked by his former club for coaching roles.

But the Frenchman has lost just two of his opening eight league matches in charge of Palace, which came away to Chelsea and Liverpool.

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