The Premier League is back and we have learnt a few things as Arsenal started with a convincing 2-0 win over a resilient Crystal Palace side.
A Gabriel Martinelli header and an own goal from Palace captain Marc Guehi ensured that Arsenal didn’t lose their season opener like last season against Brentford.
The Gunners started excellently, with a great opportunity for Martinelli coming early in the game to put his team ahead. He missed that time but he made up for it with a headed goal minutes later.
Palace will point to two clear-cut chances that were not taken, either side of half-time, which may have changed everything. But the constant pressure from Arsenal forced an own goal from Guehi, following a powerful drive from Bukayo Saka. The most important thing for Arsenal was to win the first match, to build confidence and momentum for the new season ahead.
1. Arsenal Are Still Struggling To Finish Off Chances
Last year, Arsenal lost crucial points during the season due to the missed opportunities from strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, both of whom have now left the club.
Arsenal managed to create many opportunities through the middle in this game with the likes of Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Oleksandr Zinchenko being involved. The Gunners were fortunate with the own goal and if Palace had managed to equalize before that, the game could have headed in a different direction.
Especially after losing out on a Champions League spot last season to Spurs by a close margin, Arsenal will want to make amends in the finishing department immediately.
2. Zinchenko And Gabriel Jesus Have Brought A Change In Mentality
Gabriel Jesus has added far more focus, aggression and movement to Arsenal’s attack. Jesus showed why he is a Premier League champion with his first-half performance. At the same time, he also showed why Manchester City didn’t keep him as his intensity fell off in the second half against Palace.
Nevertheless, The Brazilian was exceptionally sharp and threatened to dribble through the opposition defence more than once. Arteta clearly wants to use Jesus as a No.9, but he allows the 25-year-old to drift to the wide areas to open up pockets of space to be exploited. Jesus is also strong at leading a high press and gave the Palace defence something to worry about throughout the game.
Oleksandr Zinchenko showed his all-round skills that had previously earned him game-time at Manchester City. He managed to get an assist against Palace. He was brilliant throughout although his physical drawbacks have to be improved upon in the upcoming games.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes that his new signings Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko will provide a winning mentality which was previously missing from his squad.
William Saliba Is A World-Class Player In The Making
He was wonderfully quick and assured in his presence in the heart of the defence. He was always on top of the opposition and was barely forced into last-ditch defending. His excellent positioning played an important role in helping Arsenal play out from the back.
⭐️ Player of the Match, @Arsenal’s William Saliba
46/49 passes completed
7x possession won
PL debut – Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year whilst on loan at Marseille last season pic.twitter.com/WppxYWDuiv
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) August 5, 2022
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For Arteta, there was also a small personal milestone as he registered his 50th top-flight win as Arsenal manager in 98 games.
Arsenal had multiple opportunities to finish the game off which were not taken and this would have to be addressed in the upcoming training sessions. Arteta would have been delighted by the performances of his three debutants. While last season began with a shock defeat for Arsenal, they now start with a win, a clean sheet, a defiant performance and so much hope.
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