Arsenal proved their preseason form was not a fluke as they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park in the Premier League opener to get their campaign off to a flyer.
First half goal from Gabriel Martinelli and an own goal by Palace skipper Marc Guehi late in the game gave the Gunners all the three points.
Summer signings Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko made their competitive starts for Arsenal.
French defender William Saliba also had his first official game for the Gunners since joining them in 2019.
Arsenal had the first big chance of the game in the fourth minute following beautiful footwork from Jesus but Martinelli fired just wide.
In the 20th minute Arsenal netted the first goal of the new season thanks to Martinelli.
The Gunners won a corner and Bukayo Saka’s effort found Zinchenko who headed across the box with Martinelli nodding past Palace keeper.
With four minutes left to play in the first half Palace almost equalized through Odsonne Edouard but his close range header was brilliantly saved by Aaron Ramsdale.
In the 52nd minute Eberechi Eze was presented with a brilliant defence splitting pass by Wilfried Zaha but failed to hit his effort past Ramsdale despite going one on one.
Arsenal were awarded a free-kick in a good area for a foul on Saka but Martin Odegaard’s clever attempt to catch Palace off guard missed the target.
On 66 minutes Palace had an opportunity close to the Arsenal box but Thomas Partey made a timely block.
With 20 minutes left Saka had a run on goal only to shoot his Chavez way off target.
After weathering Palace’s pressure in most part of the second half Arsenal went 2-0 ahead in the 85th minute as Guehi headed Saka’s cross into his own net.
A few minutes later Saka almost added a third but his strike inside the box was blocked for a corner.
Meanwhile, six fixtures will take place on Saturday with Everton vs Chelsea the pick of the bunch.
And on Sunday, three games will be decided to conclude match day one of the new season.
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