It was all going so well for Arsenal at Selhurst Park. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil combined sublimely to give them an early lead and the Gunners also looked better defensively, pressing with an intensity and coordination that was missing during Unai Emery's time in charge.
And then - well - Aubameyang did something naughty, very naughty in fact, lunging in on Crystal Palace's Max Meyer and planting his studs on the German's ankle.
Aubameyang initially received a yellow card for his indiscretion, a decision that social media was not happy with.
Aubameyang out here snapping ankles only a yellow for that??!!! Shocking! #CRYARS— Todd Wade (@MyNamesTodd) January 11, 2020
Aubameyang got a yellow card for this tackle. Shouldn’t this be a red card? pic.twitter.com/Eh72rq7Kl4— 퐀퐅퐂 퐀퐉퐀퐗 (@TheEuropeanLad) January 11, 2020
YELLOW CARD:— Portion Of Sport (@PortionOfSport_) January 11, 2020
Aubameyang booked for a really nasty challenge on Meyer.#CRYARS 礪1-1
However, VAR came to the rescue in the end though, upgrading Aubameyang's punishment to a red card, much to many people's delight.
It was the striker's first immediate dismissal of his career.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has received a straight red card for the first time in his career.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 11, 2020
VAR upgrades the yellow. pic.twitter.com/cVCKjPIWpf
—Aubameyang booked for challenge on Max Meyer— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 11, 2020
—Yellow card taken back
—Aubameyang sent off pic.twitter.com/us2Xqz0QPU
VAR OVERTURNS THE YELLOW CARD!— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) January 11, 2020
Aubameyang SENT OFF!
Aubameyang sent off after initial yellow card decision upgraded to a red. Bad tackle on Max Meyer.— James Olley (@JamesOlley) January 11, 2020
Not everyone was happy though, with some segments of social media feeling that a red card was too harsh a punishment.
Craig Pawson failed to send Jorginho off for a second yellow when Arsenal played Chelsea. As a punishment, he was made fourth official for his next game. Now he’s overturned Aubameyang’s yellow to a red.The Premier League needs rid of his incompetence. #CRYARS pic.twitter.com/12oFGEZ2YP— Adam Keys (@_AdamKeys) January 11, 2020
"Intensity and point of contact" the reason given as to why VAR upgraded Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's yellow card to a red card.— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) January 11, 2020
He definitely caught Max Meyer high above his ankle, but was there enough force behind the challenge? #AFC #CRYARS pic.twitter.com/i0EVMPgxSC
Ankle roll looked horrible on replay, but first instinct in stadium was that tackle merited a yellow.— Duncan Wright (@dwright75) January 11, 2020
Not quite convinced Aubameyang deserved red, the roll was the wincing part, not the lunge.
Crystal Palace fans then had a bit of an embarrassing moment, as Twitter was all too prepared to point out.
The Eagles fans protested against VAR before the game, but were seen celebrating when the technology overturned the decision.
Well, they do say football fans are fickle?
The Palace fans, who have been protesting against VAR today, are now cheering as Aubameyang's original yellow card for a foul on Meyer is upgraded to a red. It was a poor tackle, loud gasps around the stadium when its replayed on the big screen. pic.twitter.com/cxUwLBNMqi— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) January 11, 2020
VAR overturns Aubameyang’s yellow card to instead send him off...— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) January 11, 2020
Bet the Palace fans have taken this banner down now pic.twitter.com/e0rMGthBtY
There was at least one good thing to come out of this unsavoury incident - an incredible stat.
Aubameyang's sending off made him the first Gunners player to be sent off and score in the same game since October 2013. And the last? Current Gunners boss Mikel Arteta of course. And who was it against? Crystal Palace. You couldn't make it up.
The dismissal, much to Arsenal fans' dismay, will keep their skipper out of their London derby against Chelsea later this month. Unless the decision gets overturned... which it obviously won't.
3 - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the third Arsenal player to score and be sent off in the same Premier League match, and the first since Mikel Arteta vs Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in October 2013. Repeat. #CRYARS pic.twitter.com/2Gbh7Z8JpY— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 11, 2020
Just realised Aubameyang misses Chelsea game with that.— Tom Overend (@tovers98) January 11, 2020
Aubameyang misses the Chelsea game if it isn't appealed.— (@OlIyCFC) January 11, 2020