Unai Emery‘s problems mounted as Arsenal blew a two-goal lead amid VAR controversy and captain Granit Xhaka feuded with fans in Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.
Emery was already under pressure after Arsenal slumped to a shock defeat at Sheffield United on Monday and the Gunners boss has more fires to put out following his side’s dismal capitulation at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal were on course for victory after goals from Sokratis and David Luiz put them two up inside 10 minutes.
Palace pulled one back before half-time when Luka Milivojevic scored from the spot following a VAR intervention after referee Martin Atkinson had initially shown Wilfried Zaha a yellow card for diving in a tangle with Calum Chambers.
And Palace were level seven minutes after the break when Jordan Ayew headed in James McArthur‘s cross at the far post.
The game turned toxic just after the hour when Xhaka was substituted to roars of delight from Arsenal’s fans, the newly-appointed captain reacting angrily to jeers at his slow departure by waving and cupping his ear sarcastically to the home support, exchanging words before taking off his shirt and disappearing down the tunnel.
Arsenal’s frustration and misery was complete when another VAR intervention infuriated Emirates Stadium and denied the Gunners victory after Sokratis scored from close-range late on.
The match finished to a soundtrack of boos from Arsenal supporters who sang Mesut Ozil‘s name in a pointed reference to Emery’s decision to once again leave out the German star.
Fifth-placed Arsenal, four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, have won just two of their last eight Premier League games and there is a growing sense that all is not well with the club.