Arsenal snatched a 3-1 win away to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Wednesday thanks to stoppage-time goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe, keeping up their slim hopes of playing European football next season.
Arsenal’s record signing Pepe gave the visitors the lead against the run of the play 10 minutes before halftime, stabbing home a Kieran Tierney cross after the fullback had been released by a slick backheel from Bukayo Saka.
Palace levelled in the second half when Christian Benteke headed home an Andros Townsend free kick shortly after the hour mark to give the home fans a moment to savour in their first game back this year and their second since the coronavirus pandemic disrupted live sport in March 2020.
Palace looked the most likely side to go on and take all three points and Wilfried Zaha had a great chance to snatch a late winner but could not dribble past keeper Bernd Leno and Arsenal had the ball in the net moments later with a scrappy finish from substitute Martinelli.
Pepe then clinched a fourth consecutive league win for Arsenal by slotting low into the net with practically the last kick of the game after bursting through the hosts’ defence.
Arsenal remain ninth in the standings although the win took them on to 58 points with one game left, giving them a chance of making the new UEFA Conference League next season.
Palace, who were playing their final home game under coach Roy Hodgson, are 13th on 44 points.