Arsenal started their 2022-23 Premier League campaign with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The visitors dominated the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead when a well-worked corner led to Gabriel Martinelli heading them in front. Later in the half Palace came back into it, with Odsonne Edouard forcing a fine save out of Aaron Ramsdale.
Eberechi Eze forced another good save from Ramsdale early in the second half, but despite more possession Palace couldn’t force an equaliser and a late own goal by Marc Guehi secured all three points for Arsenal.
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Palace now travel to face Liverpool at Anfield a week on Monday, while Arsenal are at home to Leicester a week on Saturday.
The City boys in London. They flagged a little in the second half, but Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko showed enough touches of quality tonight to give Arsenal fans hope of qualifying for the Champions League at the end of the season and end their absence from the competition.
In the first 25 minutes of the match both players were prominent as Arsenal dominated a Palace team that had blown them away by three goals here in April. Arsenal then held out impressively before seeing out the victory, and these are promising signs for the season ahead.
Maybe the equation is this simple: if you want to be a title-challenging side, you by title-winning calibre players. Arsenal won’t reach the stratospheric heights of Manchester City and Liverpool this season, but Jesus and Zinchenko look to be an immediate upgrade that will at least send them in that direction.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – GABRIEL JESUS (ARSENAL)
Last season, Arsenal’s top scorer in all competitions was Bukayo Saka with 12 goals. Although Jesus didn’t score tonight he was hungry, decisive and at times electric as Arsenal threatened to overwhelm Palace in the first half. If he keeps this up goals, and all the benefits that will bring to Arsenal, will follow.
Crystal Palace: Guaita 6; Clyne 6, Guehi 6, Andersen 7, Mitchell 5; Eze 6, Doucoure 7, Schlupp 6; Ayew 7, Edouard 6, Zaha 7
Subs: Milivojevic 6, Mateta 6, Hughes 6, Ebiowei 6
Arsenal: Ramsdale 7; White 5, Saliba 7, Gabriel 7, Zinchenko 7; Saka 7, Partey 6, Xhaka 5, Martinelli 7; Odegaard 6; Jesus 8
Subs: Tierney 6, Nketiah 6, Lokonga 6
20’ GOAL! CRYSTAL PALACE 0 ARSENAL 1 (MARTINELLI 20) Arsenal are in front! The corner is lobbed over to the back post where Zinchenko is in acres. He heads it back across goal and into the six-yard box, where Martinelli nods it home!
42’ EXCELLENT SAVE! From the free kick Andersen wins a header at the back post, and sends it into the six yard box. Edouard, all alone, dives and heads at goal only to be denied by a fine one-handed stop from Ramsdale.
52’ HUGE CHANCE! Out of nothing Zaha releases Eze, clean through in the left of the area with White sleeping. Eze opens his body up and shoots low for the far corner, but doesn't catch it at all and Ramsdale saves.
59’CHANCE! Jesus wins a ball he has no right to down he inside right channel. He finds Odegaard wide open in the area. For some reason Odegaard elects to play another pass rather than shoot, Palace intercept and a golden chance goes begging. Why oh why didn't Odegaard shoot?
70’ CHANCE! White slides a superb pass through to Saka, right in behind Mitchell. Saka cuts in but he's on his own, and blazes high and wide from a tight angle.
85 GOAL! CRYSTAL PALACE 0 ARSENAL 2 (GUEHI O.G. 85) We're done, surely. Arsenal break forward, and find Saka on the right of the area. He jinks past Mitchell and fires in a cross, which Guehi can only turn into the far corner of his own net.
- Arsenal’s victory was their 50th under Mikel Arteta in 98 games, only four more games than it took Arsene Wenger to reach the same amount.
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