Arsenal opens the season with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace
After a strong preseason, Arsenal headed into the 2022-23 season with considerable hype. They started the season in the best way possible by getting a clean 2-0 win over fellow London club, Crystal Palace.
It was a challenge for Arsenal in their first match of the season as they had to face a club that finished the previous EPL campaign in 12th place. Former Arsenal star Patrick Vieira is the manager for Palace which meant this was a significant matchup since it was against a club legend.
Arsenal came away as the victors after a strong performance that was never in doubt due to how the squad performed. Take a look at how each Arsenal player performed brilliantly here as they took home the win.
Arsenal’s dominant first half
The first 45 minutes of the game were filled with stellar moments from the Arsenal squad. Right from the kick-off, the team immediately took control of the game’s pace.
In the 3rd minute, newly signed Gabriel Jesus almost scored his first official goal for Arsenal. He nutmegged a defender and then hit a curling shot into the goal that was heroically blocked by Marc Guehi. Aaron Ramsdale also rebuked some of Palace’s early attempts to score a goal which was the only bright spot for the South London side.
The Martinelli goal
Arsenal scored its first goal in the 19th minute as youngster Gabriel Martinelli capitalised on a pinpoint pass and headed it into the goal. Both Bukayo Saka and Oleksandr Zinchenko were vital to the goal as the former made the first cross into the box and the latter made the final pass to Martinelli. Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita tried his best to save the shot but Martinelli was too close already as he scored.
Saliba’s stellar defensive performance
As the match ended in a 2-0 win, the Man of the Match award was given to defender William Saliba. It was a well-deserved award for him as he showed his prowess on the pitch. While Martinelli scored the first goal and Saka had a hand in both goals, Saliba was rock-solid on defence.
Arsenal’s offence looks promising already
While Saliba and Ramsdale took care of the defensive side of the match, Arsenal’s offence was locked in during this match with their offensive lineup and Arteta’s tactics. However, Mikel himself is not pleased just yet with what he saw from his team because he knows that they could have scored more goals.
Arteta has also amplified that improving on offence is a priority this season which was evident during their first match as Saka was aggressive and Jesus was moving well off the ball.
Arteta’s system is working like a well-oiled machine
During Arsenal’s first match, it was evident the players had bought into Mikel’s system. The squad is efficient and their tactics have been on point. However, Mikel is not satisfied yet because he needs to see more consistency and improvements.
Arteta said, ‘We have to build that even more, those results help you to do that. It’s what the big teams do, they find a way to win and in difficult moments they have to manage the game in a different way and they do it, and they turn the press into a positive thing for the team, and we have managed to do that tonight’.
Arsenal is looking forward to the Leicester match
Another battle is inbound for Arsenal as they will play against the Foxes on the 13th of August. It will be a tough match for Arsenal since Leicester is filled with talented players and it will be difficult to crack their defence. In the 2021-22 season, Arsenal won both matches in the head-to-head matchup but in the upcoming game, the Foxes remains to be a tough opponent.
Apart from Arsenal’s first win, Brighton’s 2-1 win over Manchester United and Fulham getting a 2-2 draw against Liverpool were big highlights of the first week. With Arsenal and Leicester headlining the second week of the season, another exciting week is coming to Premier League fans.
Words: Cholo Martin