Gabriel Martinelli the Star as Arsenal Beat Crystal Palace in Season Opener
Arsenal defeated Crystal Palace 2-0 on the season opener, exorcising the ghosts of last season’s surrender that cost them a spot in UCL thanks to Gabriel Martinelli’s first-half goal.
While all eyes were on Gabriel Jesus, Martinelli, another member of Arsenal’s Brazilian contingent, had a golden opportunity to give the Gunners an early advantage but missed it from close range.
Oleksandr Zinchenko successfully headed an Arsenal corner back across goal midway through the first half, giving the number. 11 a chance to tip in from six yards, and Martinelli was there to make up for his mistake.
Palace almost likely started the game slowly, but aside from a few tense moments when Aaron Ramsdale was in possession, Palace didn’t contribute anything.
Palace didn’t attempt an effort on goal until the 42nd minute, but Ramsdale comfortably gathered Odsonne Édouard’s feeble header to maintain Arsenal’s lead at halftime.
The Gunners’ goalkeeper was exerting more and more of his impact on the game as he stopped Eberechi Eze from capitalizing on Wilfried Zaha’s superb through-ball.
Arsenal isn’t typically associated with strong defensive rearguard actions, but despite the best efforts of a boisterous Palace fans, the visitors weren’t falling.
Palace increased the pressure on the Arsenal goal in an effort to maintain their six-game home league unbeaten streak, but Patrick Vieira’s team struggled to create clear-cut chances.
The likelihood of a Palace equalizer was small given that none of Arsenal’s previous 17 Premier League games had ended level before to tonight, and that proved to be the case as the Gunners sealed the victory five minutes from time.
Bukayo Saka’s cross was deflected into his own goal by Marc Guéhi, giving Arsenal their second victory over the Eagles in nine attempts.