Arsenal opened the season with a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace


Arsenal’s new arrivals made an immediate impact as they opened their English Premier League campaign with a 2-0 win over hosts Crystal Palace on Friday.

Left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko set up the opening goal in the first half while striker Gabriel Jesus created a number of chances and defender William Saliba produced a near-flawless performance on his first start for Arsenal.

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The Gunners endured a nervy second half in the 85th before Bukayo Sakho’s attempted cross was deflected into his own net by Palace defender Mark Guehi.

Arsenal took the lead in the 20th from a well-worked corner, when Zinchenko took a long delivery into the area and cut across goal to Gabriel Martinelli, who nodded the ball in from close range.

Martinelli should have scored in the opening minutes after a frantic run from Jesus, who dribbled his way into the box before the ball deflected into the path of his fellow Brazilian, who smashed his shot wide of the far post.

Zinchenko and Jesus both joined from Manchester City in the offseason while Saliba was signed in 2019 but has spent the last three seasons on loan in his native France. The centre-back looked composed and confident on his league debut, making key interceptions and blocks as Palace chased an equaliser.

Arsenal also needed two good saves from goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdell to keep the lead.

Ramsdale first reacted quickly to palm away Audson Edouard’s close-range header in the 42nd minute, then got down to block Aberechi Eze’s shot in the 54th minute.

For Arsenal, they have made a much better start to the season than last year, when they also opened the campaign on Friday night but fell 2-0 to promoted Brentford and lost their next two games.

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