Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal opened the Premier League for the third consecutive year and with a London derby. In 2020 they beat Fulham (0-3), in 2021 they lost to Brentford (2-0) and today they beat Crystal Palace (0-2) but with much less brilliance than that shown in their five preparation friendlies.
The start of the game was an extension of the extraordinary pre-season starring Arsenal, which shut down Crystal Palace with an avalanche of attacking play led by Gabriel Jesus, who scored 7 of his team’s 20 goals in summer bowling.
Already in the 4th minute, the Brazilian invented a Messi-style internship between several rivals and after seeing his shot rejected, Gabriel Martinellí crossed excessively with everything in his favour.
Martinelli scores after assist from Zinchenko
The goal could be seen coming and it came in the 20th minute in a strategic action. Bukayo Saka took a corner from the right, debutant Oleksandr Zinchenko headed in from the left and Martinelli, also with his head, beat Valencian Vicente Guaita in the small area.
Arsenal continued to be far superior and Crystal Palace were left breathless until the last moments of the first half, but Odsonne Edouard had two good chances to level. Especially clear was the first in which the French striker, after a good header from central defender Joachim Andersen. forced Aaron Ramsdale to show off with his shot from close range.
Ramsdale saves Arsenal again
After the break the game changed. Arsenal began to feel tired at the start of the season and Palace found more space. Eberichi Eze already connected with Wilfried Zaha, who received only to the left in one of the rare times that Ben White left him, but could not overcome Ramsdale heads-up. The goalkeeper saved the ‘gunners’ again (52′).
The game was balanced without any chances until Palace turned upside down in the final stretch and caused Arsenal to suffer. But, in a very well-strung counterattack, a Saka cross was deflected by central defender Marc Guéhi towards his goal when he headed in (84′).
The own goal smiled at an Arsenal that sentenced the defeat of its legendary former player Patrick Vieira, Palace coach, and gives arguments to those who maintain that this season they will compete again for the places of honor in the Premier.