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Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal: Match report, player ratings, fan reaction and more

Mikel Arteta’s young Arsenal side avoided another disastrous start, with a solid performance to kick start the 2022-23 Premier League campaign

Arsenal has already exercised one demon from last season after the Gunners ran out 2-0 winners at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace.

In a 2022-23 Premier League campaign where Mikel Arteta’s side needs to prove they are worthy of a top-four finish in the league, three points were the only acceptable outcome tonight, and Arsenal delivered on growing expectations after a very credible summer transfer window.

Goals from Gabriel Martinelli and a Marc Guehi own-goal after a deflected Bukayo Saka cross-come-shot across the face of goal were enough to give the Gunners all three points on their travels, arresting concerns that they could start the current campaign in a similar fashion to last season with a shock 2-1 loss away at Brentford.

Debutants William Saliba, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Gabriel Jesus all performed well in their individual roles, all seamlessly fitting into the tactical collective under their Spanish manager.

Aaron Ramsdale came up with two huge saves on either side of the interval against Odonne Edouard and Eberechi Eze to help the north London giants keep a match day one clean sheet, while Palace could possibly feel slightly hard done on the night after crafting the two best chances on offer in front of the home support.

Little can be truly taken away from the result, but three points are all that matters for Arsenal when they are expected to improve on their 2021-22 performance.

Crystal Palace player ratings

Nathaniel Clyne (6): Struggled in patches. Once one of the better right-backs for England is certainly showing his age

Marc Guehi (5): After a breakout season last year, big things are expected of Guehi but tonight was hardly a night to remember for the Chelsea academy product. An own goal rounded off a poor outing

Joachim Andersen (7): Probably the best player on the pitch for Palace tonight. The Danish center-back completed 6 tackles and won 4 headers in the process

Tyrick Mitchell (6): A breakout campaign for Mitchell put him in the spotlight last term. Not a great showing from the youngster, who will have better days ahead this season

Cheick Doucouré (6.5) – Lively throughout and tidy in possession, the 22-year-old Malian midfielder showed plenty of promise tonight

Eberechi Eze (6) – Relatively ineffective tonight and will be kicking himself after spurning a guilt-edged 1 v 1 with Aaron Ramsdale in the second half that could have equalized

Jeffrey Schlupp (6.5): Not a central midfielder by trade, Schlupp was decent as part of a midfield three tonight and offered some solid moments in the press while he tried to drive play at times

Jordan Ayew (7): A real nuisance for Arsenal tonight. Did not get himself on the scoresheet but his general state of play was good with movement off the ball that always caused trouble

Wilfried Zaha (6.5): Forever the antagonist for Palace, Zaha was his usual annoyance with touches of quality sprinkled throughout, but really didn’t have the chance to leave his mark

Odsonne Edouard (5.5): A tough day for the Frenchman, who really should have headed home the equalizer in the first half

Jean-Philippe Mateta (sub; 5): Came on for a disappointing Edouard but did even less than his counterpart. At current, he shows no signs of winning a starting place

Luka Milivojevic (sub; 6): Likely nothing more than a depth/rotation option from now on and for good reason. Had a decent chunk of minutes but little to show through no fault of his own

Malcolm Ebiowei (sub; N/A): Had little time to do much with just four minutes plus stoppage

Will Hughes (sub; N/A): See above

Arsenal player ratings

Aaron Ramsdale (8): A top outing from the England international, who made two key saves on Edouard and Eze to keep help Arsenal to a clean sheet tonight

Ben White (7.5): Not expected to be the first choice right-back this season, White deputized for Takehiro Tomiyasu as well as anyone could have hoped and kept Wilfried Zaha quiet

William Saliba (7): The long-awaited full debut of the French starlet did not disappoint. He wasn’t a world beater, but he exhibited calm and was steady throughout. Mature for his age

Gabriel Magalhães (7): Stout as ever and has already started from where he left off for the bulk of last season while looking like a natural partner next to Saliba in the process

Oleksandr Zinchenko (8): One of the standout performers tonight, it was an excellent debut for the Ukrainian who provided a midfielders touch and presence at left-back

Thomas Partey (7.5): The Arsenal version of Thomas Partey has morphed into a very reliable option in the number 6 role and played that role expertly tonight. Key this season

Granit Xhaka (7): Now with much more license to get forward, other sides of Xhaka’s game are becoming more apparent. Booked for a silly dive, but he was good otherwise

Bukayo Saka (6.5): Saka’s effort in the second half gifted Arsenal a valuable two-goal cushion, and though he wasn’t at his best, he came up in a key moment once more

Martin Ødegaard (6.5): A typical controllers performance from the Norwegian, but perhaps he lacked the cutting edge in the final third that will be needed from him

Gabriel Martinelli (7.5): Probably should have had a brace tonight after scuffing an early effort wide, but his headed goal got Arsenal off to the start they needed while making a real claim on the left flank

Gabriel Jesus (7): There was no anticipated debut goal for the Brazilian, but he factored in across all areas of the pitch and showed how dangerous he can be in the final third

Kieran Tierney (sub; 6): Came on to replace Zinchenko and shore up the left side of the defense

Eddie Nketiah (sub; 6): Involved in the phase of play that saw Saka’s deflected effort gift Arsenal an own goal. Few minutes but made an impact

Sambi Lokonga (sub; N/A): Came on with seconds remaining

Expert takes

Fan reactions

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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