Crystal Palace vs Arsenal player ratings: Andersen 9, Zaha 7; Zinchenko 8, Saliba 9

Arsenal win Premier League season opener 2-0 thanks to Martinelli's header and a Guehi own goal

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Arsenal battled to beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on Friday to get the new Premier League season underway, with Gabriel Martinelli scoring the first goal before home defender Marc Guehi turned the ball into his own net late on at Selhurst Park.

The Gunners, who finished fifth last term, took the lead in the 20th minute when new signing Oleksandr Zinchenko headed Bukayo Saka's corner back across goal and Martinelli was on hand to nod home as the Palace defence was caught flat-footed.

The hosts could have levelled either side of the break and Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale had to pull off a couple of brilliant reflex saves to deny Odsonne Edouard and Eberechi Eze.

Palace coach and ex-Arsenal midfielder Patrick Viera threw everyone forward for the last 15 minutes but the visitors doubled their lead when Saka's cross was deflected into his own goal by Guehi in the 85th to seal the points for the away side

CRYSTAL PALACE RATINGS

Vicente Guaita 7 – Looked untroubled for the majority, but he could not keep out Martinelli’s header and cannot be faulted for Guehi’s own goal.

Nathaniel Clyne 6 – Looked nervous at times. Booked for a late challenge on Martinelli after 64 minutes.

Joachim Andersen 9 – A strong performance from the centre-back who provided much-needed physicality that frustrated Arsenal. Impressed with long-range passes that continuously sent his team into attack. Almost assisted Edouard with a header across goal.

Marc Guehi 6 – An uncomfortable night in defence. Inadvertently turned the ball into his own net after a Saka drove in a cross after 85 minutes.

Tyrick Mitchell 7 – A disciplined performance. Got back well to put Saka under pressure after 72 minutes.

Cheick Doucoure 7 – Worked hard and showed lots of endeavour in his first competitive appearance for Crystal Palace. Substituted after 75 minutes.

Jeffrey Schlupp 6 – A quieter night for the midfielder, and he was replaced by Will Hughes after 86 minutes.

Jordan Ayew 8 – Troubled the Arsenal defence in the second half as he looked to get on the end Andersen’s long passes.

Eberechi Eze 7 – A lively performance. Had a great chance to equalise after 51 minutes but his shot was straight at Ramsdale. Taken off after 86 minutes.

Wilfried Zaha 7 – Looked dangerous after the break. Exceptional through ball to Eze who failed find the back of the net at 52 minutes. Shortly followed this with a darting run as he continued to trouble Ben White.

Odsonne Edouard 6 – Had a great chance to equalise before half time but his stooping header was saved comfortably by Ramsdale. Substituted after 58 minutes.

SUBS

Jean-Philippe Mateta (Edouard, 58) 6 - Looked to make things happen and had a shot saved and turned behind for a corner shortly after coming on.

Luka Milivojevic (Doucoure, 75) 5 - Did not make any impact on the game after coming on for Doucoure.

Malcolm Ebiowei (Eze, 86) N/A.

Will Hughes (Schlupp, 86) N/A.

Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder Gabriel Martinelli. AFP

ARSENAL RATINGS

Aaron Ramsdale 7 – A nervy performance. Invited unnecessary pressure onto his defence by taking too long on the ball. Good save after 41 minutes to deny Edouard.

Oleksandr Zinchenko 8 – Came close to scoring his first Premier League goal after a strike was parried away by Guaita after 9 minutes. Headed the ball across the goal to assist Martinelli after 20 minutes in a well-worked set piece. Taken off after 83 minutes.

Gabriel 7 – Overall the Brazilian dealt well with his defensive duties.

William Saliba 9 – An impressive performance in the heart of defence on his competitive debut. Provided some crucial interventions, including two sliding tackles to stop Zaha.

Ben White 7 – A solid performance out of position at right-back. Booked after 62 minutes as he dragged down Zaha.

Thomas Partey 6 – Offered a physical presence in midfield. Drove forward at 35 minutes before being brought down by Ayew.

Granit Xhaka 7 – A confident performance in midfield. Booked for diving after 44 minutes after going down easily following pressure from Andersen.

Gabriel Martinelli 7 – Scored the first goal of the new Premier League season, heading home from close range and making up for his clear miss in the opening minutes.

Bukayo Saka 7 – Regularly threatened in attack and repeatedly got back to help Ben White in defence. Blasted the ball high and wide from a tight angle after 69 minutes. Secured his side the victory as his cross was turned in by Guehi for an own goal.

Martin Odegaard 6 – The Arsenal captain had a relatively quiet night, but showed some nice touches in the middle. Should have made it 2-0 after 60 minutes but failed to get a shot away, and he was replaced in the closing minutes of the game.

Gabriel Jesus 8 – Looked dangerous all night. Showed his quality with great footwork after just 3 minutes. Stole the ball of Guehi and could have had an assist after 60 minutes, but Odegaard failed to get a shot away. Replaced by Nketiah after 83 minutes.

SUBS

Kieran Tierney (Zinchenko, 83) N/A – Made little contribution to the game after coming on after 72 minutes.

Eddie Nketiah (Jesus, 83) N/A – Brought on for Jesus to see the game out.

Albert Sambi Lokonga (Odegaard, 90) N/A.

Updated: August 06, 2022, 4:23 AM
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