We mounted a superb comeback from three goals down to claim a point in a thrilling encounter with West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts took complete control of the game in the opening half-hour, scoring through Jesse Lingard, Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek.
But a Soucek own goal before the interval gave us hope, and then another own goal, this time by Craig Dawson, and an Alex Lacazette header sealed an unlikely point.
Having made a desperately-slow start to the game, we were punished when the Hammers took the lead as Michael Antonio found Lingard and the on-loan Manchester United midfielder arrowed a shot into the top corner.
It should have acted as a wake-up call, but instead, less than two minutes later, the hosts doubled their advantage as a quickly-taken free kick caught us off guard and Bowen beat Bernd Leno at his near post.
We just could not get a foothold in the game at this point as David Moyes’ side stayed firmly on the front foot – and they extended their advantage just after the half-hour mark when Soucek deflected in Antonio’s header.
Mikel Arteta looked deeply unhappy with his side, but finally they woke up and responded when Lacazette’s swivel and shot inside the box deflected off Soucek and into the roof of the net.
Bukayo Saka had a golden chance to make it 3-2 soon afterwards when played in by Lacazette but his shot was too close to former Gunner Lukasz Fabianski.
The England international then had a close-range effort blocked just before half time, and after the interval we stepped it up even further as Lacazette almost instantly had a lob cleared off the line.
Just after the hour mark our dominance had its reward when, after our own quickly-taken free kick, Martin Odegaard found Calum Chambers and his whipped in cross was deflected into his own goal by Craig Dawson.
The comeback was on, and the influential Odegaard soon saw a shot blocked in the area while down at the other end Chambers had to clear one off the line as Lingard looked set to claim his second.
Antonio then had a golden chance for the hosts when Said Benrahma fizzed it across goal for him, but he directed his shot on to the post from three yards out.
We made the hosts’ pay when, with nine minutes remaining, Nicolas Pepe dug out a fine cross to the back post for Lacazette to head in from close range.
The comeback was complete – but could we go on and even claim an unlikely three points now?
Pepe had two half chances during a thrilling finale to the match, while at the other end Leno made a smart save to deny Declan Rice – but in the end, we had to settle for a point from an unforgettable clash in east London.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
We now head into the international break, but will be back in action on Sunday, April 4 with a trip to Anfield to take on the champions, Liverpool.
We then host Slavia Prague in the first leg of our Europa League quarter-final, before hitting the road again to face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
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