Crystal Palace vs Arsenal: Gabriel Martinelli and Marc Guehi own goal enough for Mikel Arteta's team
Arsenal took maximum points on the opening night of the Premier League with a goal in each half enough to sweep aside Crystal Palace 2-0.
Expectation and excitement levels have grown around the Emirates after an impressive pre-season and Mikel Arteta's side delivered on the opening night with Gabriel Martinelli and a Marc Guehi own goal enough for the points. New signings Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko both played their part with the Brazil striker a constant threat through the middle and Zinchenko providing the assist for Martinelli's headed first-half goal. Palace improved as the game wore on and Aaron Ramsdale was called upon to make two top saves before some tricky work from Bukayo Saka led to Guehi heading past his own goalkeeper with six minutes left. "We are top of the league," sang the away end at full-time.
How Gunners delivered on opening night…
Arsenal wasted no time in stamping their authority on the game, which quietened down the raucous home crowd. Martinelli blazed an early chance wide after some superb solo dribbling from Jesus, who looked like he had been playing in an Arsenal shirt all his life. The opening goal did come when a clever corner routine completely perplexed the Palace defence and Zinchenko was left free to head back across goal which led to Martinelli bundling the ball home. Much like last season, Arsenal decided to sit on a lead which allowed Palace to grow into the game. Ramsdale had to be alert to divert Odsonne Edouard's close-range header away from goal from what was Palace's first attempt on goal just before the break. Ramsdale was called into action again on 52 minutes when denying Eberechi Eze on the angle after the former QPR man was found by a clever pass from Wilfried Zaha. Palace had good flow and maintained their attacks in search of an equaliser but the greater threat came from the away side as Jesus' persistent work off the ball almost led to Martin Odegaard - captain for the first time - fluffing his lines inside the box. With Arsenal defending their box with great resolution, Saka grabbed the game by the scruff and made the game safe with some outstanding wing play. His cross was clumsily headed home by Guehi and allowed the Arsenal fans to relax for the remaining six minutes. They can certainly be excited for what could be on the cards this season as the club look to improve on their fifth-placed finish last term.
Crystal Palace have a 10-day break now until their next fixture on Monday 15 August against Liverpool at Anfield.
Meanwhile, Arsenal play their first home game of the season next Saturday when Leicester visit The Emirates.
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