Arsenal FC claimed their second win in their second Premier League game at Crystal Palace. However, the Gunners made life difficult for themselves at Selhurst Park
Two winners from the opening week faced each other at Selhurst Park in London to conclude the second matchday. Arsenal FC, who won 2-1 against Nottingham Forest, were the guests of Crystal Palace. The Eagles celebrated a 1-0 away win at promoted Sheffield United.
Accordingly, both Palace coach Roy Hodgson and his opposite number saw no reason for changes. However, Mikel Arteta was forced into one. Tomiyasu moved to the right-back position for new signing Timber, who had a serious knee injury.
The Gunners took control of the game early on, but initially struggled to get into promising shooting positions against the deep Eagles. The home side tried again and again with quick counter-attacks and challenged Ramsdale. However, the keeper was able to keep out both Ayew’s sharp cross (15th) and Eze’s long-range shot (21st).
Arsenal only became really dangerous after about half an hour. After Saka had won the ball early on, Nketiah held his own against two defenders, but put the ball against the post in the penalty area (29th). Shortly afterwards, Gabriel Jesus’ replacement was even free in the five-metre area, but lofted the ball over the goal (36.). So it remained goalless at the break.
Ödegaard scores, Tomiyasu flies
After the break, the Gunners stepped up the tempo – and were promptly rewarded. A quickly taken free-kick caught the Eagles backline on the wrong foot. Nketiah slipped away, got to the ball in front of Johnstone and accepted the keeper’s contact. Captain Ödegaard took the penalty kick (53rd).
But instead of keeping up the tempo, Arsenal suddenly took their time after the goal. Referee David Coote didn’t watch this for long and showed Tomiyasu a yellow card after he delayed a throw-in too long (60.).
This was to take its revenge. Only seven minutes later, Tomiyasu briefly grabbed Ayew’s shirt in midfield. The referee considered this a tactical foul and sent off the Timber substitute with a yellow-red card (67th).
Arsenal standing deep, Palace pressing
The Gunners made life difficult for themselves in the closing stages. From then on, Crystal Palace ran riot, Arsenal confined themselves to trying to hold on to the lead.
The ball ran around the visitors’ penalty area but did not find its way on goal. Eze was brought down in the box after light contact against Partey, but was not awarded a penalty (72nd), Edouard missed clearly with a free header (86th) and Mitchell put the last attempt over the goal from ten metres after Ramsdale had tipped the ball away from Edouard at the five (90.+5). Thus it remained with the narrow and lacklustre 1:0 of the Gunners.
In the end, the reigning runners-up will not care how the victory came about. After Manchester City and Brighton, Arsenal are the third team to have taken full points from the first two matchdays.
Next up for Arteta, who must now consider the next alternative at right-back, and his side in the next London derby against Fulham FC on Saturday (4pm), Crystal Palace face Brentford FC away at the same time.