Arsenal began their Premier League campaign with a well-deserved win away at Crystal Palace, with the debutants putting in solid performances.
Mikel Arteta will be delighted with his side’s start to the season after Arsenal prevailed on the opening night of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign. Arsenal began the game on the front foot the way the manager would have wanted, and within minutes, Gabriel Martinelli missed a glorious chance to open the scoring.
The Brazilian forward made amends by scoring the opener from a header after Oleksandr Zinchenko headed the ball into the six-yard box from a corner. Arsenal kept up with the pressure on Crystal Palace, who finished the first half better than they started it.
The application and intent of the home side cannot be questioned, as there were moments when Crystal Palace looked dangerous. While Arsenal looked dangerous in the opening periods, Patrick Vieira’s side were looking for a way in. They could have scored a deserved equaliser in the first period had it not been for Aaron Ramsdale.
The Arsenal goalkeeper made a tremendous close-range effort from Odsonne Edouard to keep the score in his side’s favour. Similarly, Ramsdale made another crucial save at the beginning of the second half as Wilfried Zaha put through Eberechi Eze, only for the Englishman denied him brilliantly.
🇧🇷 Gabigoooooooool 🇧🇷
Want to watch #CRYARS highlights?
Of course you do 😎
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 5, 2022
Crystal Palace looked the most threatening team in the second period, as time and again they threatened to come back into the game. However, in a moment of brilliance from Bukayo Saka, the game was all over, as the Arsenal winger forced an own goal from Crystal Palace captain Marc Guehi.
It was a brilliant way to open the season, mainly what happened at the start of the previous one for Arsenal. Moreover, there was plenty to take away from the fans, especially some of their players’ performances. William Saliba was adjudged the man of the match, while Gabriel Jesus, ben White, Zinchenko and Ramsdale had a brilliant evening. Here’s how the players fared from Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Vicente Guaita: 5.5/10
Guaita was busy early in the evening and might have felt lucky that Gabriel Martinelli missed the early opportunity, but he was poor when trying to keep out Arsenal’s opener. Unfortunately, he could not do much about Marc Guehi’s own goal, which put the game to rest.
Nathaniel Clyne: 6/10
Clyne handled the threat of Martinelli well after the Brazilian dominated the Crystal Palace defender in the early stages. The right-back kept his composure throughout the game and ensured the Arsenal winger’s impact was minimal.
Joachim Andersen: 8/10
Andersen was Crystal Palace’s best player and an outlet to frustrate Arsenal’s attackers. He got stuck in and ensured to contain the impact of the Gunners’ fluid attack. Moreover, he was impressive with his passing range, which sometimes created some danger for the opposition.
Joachim Andersen's game by numbers vs. Arsenal:
◉ Most touches (124)
◉ Most passes (104)
◉ Most final ⅓ passes (25)
◉ Most long passes (21)
◉ Most passes into final ⅓ (20)
◉ Most duels won (12)
◉ Most clearances (9)
And he won 100% of his four aerial duels. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/gEyJvlpBXx
— Squawka (@Squawka) August 5, 2022
Marc Guehi: 6/10
Guehi had an effective game, where he complemented Andersen at the back. However, he unfortunately played a big part in Arsenal’s second goal, which handed over the game’s control to the Gunners.
Tyrick Mitchell: 5/10
An intense battle was brewing on Mitchell’s side as the left-back constantly put up against Bukayo Saka and generally did well. He was beaten by the winger inside the box, which resulted in the second goal.
Cheick Doucoure: 6.5/10
An eventful debut for the defensive midfielder, who finished the evening with only one misplaced pass. Doucoure’s approach was physical and looked to suit Crystal Palace’s style.
Jeffrey Schlupp: 5/10
Schlupp worked hard on the ball and always looked to drive the game from midfield into the attack. He did have to fight his way through Arsenal’s robust midfield setup but did generally fine.
Jordan Ayew: 4/10
Ayew would have liked to be more involved than he did in the game. He was kept on the right side of the attack to add a different dynamism to the game, but he could barely get past any Arsenal player. Crystal Palace sorely missed the presence of Michael Olise.
Eberechi Eze: 6/10
Eze did exceedingly well in his new role on the side; he was one of the threats to the home side. He missed a great chance, but Ramsdale saved his close-range shot saved when the attacker should have lifted the ball over the Arsenal goalkeeper.
Wilfried Zaha: 7/10
A constant threat for Arsenal defenders Ben White and Saliba, but Zaha could not efficiently find the end product to make his mark. Did slip in Eze for a beautiful chance, only for Ramsdale to keep the score intact.
Odsonne Edouard: 5/10
Vieira should have stuck with the tested formula of Jean-Phillip Mateta up front, as Edouard could not have a meaningful presence up front. This was a fantastic chance for the 24-year-old to show the Crystal Palace boss he is up for the challenge, but he underwhelmed overall.
Jean-Phillip Mateta: 5/10
Mateta added something different to the frontline with his physical presence, but at that stage, Arsenal’s defenders dealt with his threat correctly.
Luka Milivojevic: 5/10
Milivojevic made minimal impact after replacing Doucoure, although there were few good moments from the midfielder before Arsenal killed the game.
Will Hughes: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Malcolm Ebiowei: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Aaron Ramsdale: 7.5/10
Ramsdale made a meaningful difference in the game by saving two close-range shots that could have changed the trajectory of the proceedings. Moreover, his distribution was top-notch, although some iffy moments could have cost his team.
Ben White: 8/10
⚠️ | QUICK STAT
Ben White made 8 tackles against Crystal Palace tonight — it's the most tackles an Arsenal player has made in a Premier League match in over three years, ever since Lucas Torreira made 9 on 19 Jan 2019 v Chelsea.
— SofaScore (@SofaScoreINT) August 5, 2022
A fantastic game from Ben White, who handled the pressure and threat of Zaha expertly. He also made a game-high eight tackles in the match, which points toward a brilliant performance from the defender.
William Saliba: 9/10
Saliba produced an exceptional performance and was adjudged the man of the match for his efforts. He did not let the Crystal Palace attackers get a sniff at goal while keeping his composure in tight situations. This was a debut the young Frenchman would remember for a long time as he continues to grow in this Arsenal side.
William Saliba vs. Crystal Palace:
90 minutes played
46 passes (93.9% accuracy)
3 ground duels (2 won)
5 long balls (3 successful)
1 dribble (100% completion)
Man of the match. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/LE66nGsi7r
— Connor Humm (@TikiTakaConnor) August 5, 2022
Gabriel Magalhaes: 6.5/10
Gabriel had a meaningful game at the back and was good at dealing with the threat of Eze and Schlupp. The Brazilian defender did survive a penalty scare in the first half, and the decision could have gone either way.
Oleksandr Zinchenko: 7.5/10
Zinchenko adds something different on the left-hand side with his versatility. He registered his first assist for the goal by Gabriel Martinelli in the attack and was sound at the back. He was taken off for Kieran Tierney as Arteta wanted to see the game out.
Thomas Partey: 6.5/10
Partey was an ever-present problem for the Crystal Palace midfielders, as the Ghanaian international controlled the game for most parts. There were some sloppy moments but nothing that would concern Arteta.
Granit Xhaka – 6/10
Xhaka had a controlled game and the composure to see the match out without any more infringements after being booked for diving in the first half.
Bukayo Saka: 7/10
Saka was buzzing on the right side of the Arsenal attack, and despite some sloppy moments in the final third, he killed the game off with his part in the second goal. He also looks at home on the flanks, and his game might improve from here on with the presence of Jesus on the team.
Martin Odegaard: 5/10
Odegaard might be a happy captain leading his side to victory in his first game in the role, but on the pitch, he could hardly inspire the attack. The Norwegian playmaker was reduced to keeping the ball in the area, but he could not dictate play as he would normally.
Gabriel Martinelli: 6.5/10
Martinelli missed a glorious chance to open the scoring, then made amends by heading in the opener from close range. Beyond that, his presence was diminished, and the Brazilian winger could barely influence the game afterward.
Gabriel Jesus: 8/10
— Gabriel Jesus (@gabrieljesus9) August 5, 2022
A fantastic performance from Arsenal’s new No.9, as the Brazilian was a constant threat for the Crystal Palace defenders. Jesus almost created two close-range goals for his teammates, only to see Odegaard and Martinelli miss those chances.
Kieran Tierney: 6/10
Tierney instantly improved the left side of the Arsenal defence after coming on.
Eddie Nketiah: 6/10
Nketiah was able to maintain the energy after taking over from Jesus in front of the attack, and till the second goal, the Arsenal striker kept the Crystal Palace defenders under pressure.
Albert Sambi Lokonga: N/A
Did not play enough to warrant a rating.