BY MATT WOOSNAM
Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic admitted he felt significant pressure before stepping up to score two penalties to earn his side a 2-2 draw at home to Arsenal.
The Serb’s double ensured a well-deserved point which had threatened to go begging after the Gunners came from behind to take the lead, but Milivojevic held his nerve to slot home and 83rd minute spot-kick having previously converted in first-half stoppage time.
He had failed from the same situation on Merseyside a week ago as Palace fell to a late defeat at Everton, but there was no repeat as his double salvo secured an important result.
“I’m very happy after this game,” he told Palace TV. “It’s not easy when you miss and straight away in the next game you have more penalties. I have the confidence to take and I’m sure I’m going to score. I just have to decide where I’m going to go, where I’m going to shoot. I put pace [onto the ball] and thankfully I scored.
“Before the game, I decide [which direction to shoot]. The second one I had to decide just before the penalty. It was hard to take because it was in the 83rd or 84th minute, we were very tired because we pushed a lot after [it became] 2-1 to them. I shot very accurately… we deserved at least one point.
“When you feel a lot of pressure, but when you score that pressure goes down. You know that the people are very happy after the goal, me and my team-mates are all playing for our supporter.
“We try to do the best for this club so when you score you have to go to your supporters to celebrate. That’s the right thing to do.”
Milivojevic also believed that the point was deserved, and was particularly pleased having felt that in previous games the Eagles had not been rewarded with points for their performances.
“Since the beginning of the season we have played many good games but still dropped points or lost the game. Today we deserved at least a point because we had many chances, twice we hit the bar.
“We created a lot, especially after 2-1… it is not easy when you are losing, you are losing energy. You have to push and try harder, especially against a top side such as Arsenal. We scored the second and after that we tried again to get the third one. That shows how strong we are as a team.”