Arsenal put two past Palace in enthusiastic Premier League opener

In the 2022/23 Premier League season opener, Crystal Palace will face Arsenal.

Arsenal avoided a repeat of last season’s disastrous start by defeating Crystal Palace 2-0 on Friday to kick off the Premier League’s 31st season.

The Gunners were defeated 2-0 at Brentford on the opening night of last season, marking their worst start to a league season in 67 years.

They improved on their 3-0 defeat at Selhurst Park in April with a first-half header from Gabriel Martinelli and a late own goal from Marc Guehi.

This defeat triggered a run of five defeats in the final ten games of the season, costing Arsenal a spot in the Premier League top four for the sixth consecutive year.

But the board has stuck by Arteta and given him over £100 million to spend in the transfer market.

The arrival of Gabriel Jesus to fill the need for a center-forward has been Arsenal’s marquee signing of the summer, and the Brazilian nearly made his debut in style after only four minutes.

Martinelli should have done better than slotting the rebound wide of the target after Jesus slalomed through the center of the Palace defense.

The visitors were completely dominant in the first quarter, but it took a set piece to break the deadlock.

Oleksandr Zinchenko, another debutant, nodded a corner back across goal, and Martinelli’s header had just enough power to beat Vicente Guaita.

Match Highlights

Palace had a far more difficult pre-season, with a number of key players left at home during an Australian tour due to coronavirus vaccination status.

The Eagles took a half-hour to find their feet, but they will be disappointed not to have taken at least a point once they got into the game’s tempo.

Arsenal were responsible for waking up the Palace fans when a clearance from Aaron Ramsdale was charged down and rebounded to one of his own defenders, fortunately for the England goalkeeper.

Before the break, Ramsdale made amends with a fine save to deny Odsonne Edouard’s leveling header, before the French striker had another effort deflected inches over the bar.

Palace signed Arteta’s men in the second period, but they failed to capitalize on their opportunities when they presented themselves.

Eberechi Eze was the most guilty, firing tamely into Ramsdale’s body with only the Arsenal goalkeeper to beat.

Arsenal had barely threatened on the counter-attack in the second half, but were fortunate to gain breathing room in the final five minutes.

Bukayo Saka’s driven cross caught Palace centre-back Guehi off guard, and his header flew into his own net.

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