Arsenal open EPL with 2-0 win over Crystal Palace

Arsenal’s new signings made an immediate impact on the opening day of the English Premier League with a 2-0 win over hosts Crystal Palace on Friday.

Left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko scored the first goal in the first half, striker Gabriel Jesus created many chances and defender William Saliba put in a near-perfect performance in his first start for Arsenal.

The Gunners had to endure a nervous second half, but Bukayo Saka’s attempted cross in the 85th minute was deflected into an own goal by Palace defender Marc Guehi.

Arsenal took the lead from a well-functioning corner in the 20th minute, with Zinchenko encountering a long delivery into the area and across the goal to Gabriel Martinelli.

Martinelli should have scored in the opening minutes, but after Jesús dribbled into the box, the ball strayed into the Brazilian’s path and the shot smacked over the outside of the far post.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said: “I think the way the game started and the way we played the first half hour was great. We should have scored another goal or two. We missed some chances. But (if ) If you want to win here, you have to dig.”

Zinchenko and Jesus both joined in the off-season from Manchester City, while Saliba joined in 2019 but spent the last three seasons on loan in his native France. The centre-back made a calm and confident debut in the league, making key interventions and blocks as Palace chased the equalizer.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Saliba said. “I am very happy to start with a clean sheet and a win.”

Arsenal also needed two good saves from goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to keep their lead.

Ramsdale first reacted quickly with a close-range header from Odone Edouard in the 42nd minute, then went low to block a shot from Eberecki Eze in the 54th minute.

“Aaron did incredibly well and he won the game for us,” Arteta said.

For Arsenal, who kicked off their campaign on Friday night, they lost 2-0 to promoted Brentford and had a much better start to the season than last year, when they also lost their next two games. Arsenal open EPL with 2-0 win over Crystal Palace

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