Crystal Palace v Arsenal Review – Martinelli and Saka secure the points

Arsenal started this game with confidence after our excellent preseason, and in all fairness we should have been 1-0 up if Martinelli hadn’t fluffed a sitter after just four minutes, but Arsenal didn’t drop their heads and controlled the game for the first quarter hour.

Palace tried to get back into the game with many long balls up to Zaha, but they didn’t get their first attempt on goal until the 42nd minute but Ramsdale was alert and managed to push it away.

Strangely, Granit Xhaka got booked and you could call it a moment of madness when he dived clumsily miles away from his marker. Awful decision which got him his first card of the season, but it won’t be his last!

But we went into the break with a fully deserved lead…

Palace’s tactics in the first half was to pump up long balls and it gave them a few half chances, and they had a couple again at the start of the second half too, but they had a massive chance after ten mins when Eze was left through one on one with Ramsdale and tried to put it through Aaron’s legs, but luckily it never made it.

Just after Odegaard had a free kick from just outside the box but curled it just past the post, and we kept waiting for the calming second goal.

Ben White has not been at his best tonight and when a Palace player ran past him for yet another long ball, White was rightly booked for pulling him back.

Then it looked like Arsenal dropped back as Palace went on the offensive and Vieira’s were very aggressive when it looked the Gunners seemed to be flagging.

Palace really put the pressure on with ten minutes to go and came close a couple of times with loose balls in a packed Ramsdale penalty area, but Arsenal held on. With 8 minutes to go Jesus was replaced by Nketiah and Tierney replaced Zinchenko.

Then suddenly out of nowhere, Saka was found on his own and his quite wild shot luckily came off a defender, and Arsenal fans could breathe again…

It’s a great start to the new season.

COYG!

147 Comments

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  1. Ramsdale was my MOTM because of his excellent goalkeeping, despite his two errors

    Odegaard lost too many challenges and he should’ve converted the clear chance into a goal. I hope Vieira can push him to train harder

    1. Saliba MOTM for me, kid never put a foot wrong, and 2 strong perfect tackles. Calm, composed, played like a vet tonight.

      Hands down MOTM

        1. Thanks, figured we would get couple goals and that Palace would be tough but struggle to score.

          Perhaps I should try the lottery, ha!

      1. It can even give us the option for a 3 at the back. Also, Ben White at right back will help us in a way. Tomiyasu injury issues will give Ben White more game times at right back. Cedric for the Europa league games Honestly, I’m looking forward to a top 3 finish and a trophy.
        I won’t be surprised if Arsenal challenges for the title this season.

  2. Great win, even more sweet with the clean sheet and the Saliba MOTM. Another year on loan really turned him to something else, glad to have him back.
    Jesus workrate is mad.
    Ødegaard needs to be more selfish please.
    This was the start we wanted.
    We looked to have ran out of gas in the second half, but in the end. A great win. No complaints from me.
    COYG

      1. Keep clutching, loan was a success. Don’t see you calling out Chelsea over… Well pick one we can start with Gallagher last year? Or broja?

    1. Very correct eddie,especially on odegaard he seems to prefer to make the final pass than make a shot on goal himself.saliba deserves MOTM,a very bright and confident kid.

  3. This was a top performance tonight. Not easy picking 3 points away at crystal palace. The first game of the season. No negatives.
    I have to say this: My respect for Arteta just increased by his decision to integrate Saliba into the first team. That loan move was the best decision.

    1. Can’t disagree with your comment on Saliba. That loan did him pretty good and gave him another year to be ready for the EPL.
      Anyone without sentiments knew this right when he was sent on loan.
      BTW, he’s gonna struggle, he’s gonna make mistakes, and his toughest challenge is not even here yet. When he does all this, I hope the fans don’t lay into him like he’s expected to be perfect. Happy for him, happy for the team

  4. Solid start to the season, Saliba quality player, I don’t think we will play a more physical game for the defence this season 💪💪

    First test: past with flying colours…..

    1. Had Ramsdale not been able to block Palace’s two clear-cut shots, it could’ve gone the other way. This is gonna be a long season

      1. Had it been Martineli & Odegard scored their chances, it would have still be our win!

        Stop being negative, is still early

        1. @adebayo,ignore @gotanidea cos his big men header expert could’nt get past us now he’s trying to defend them like they ain’t got a boot to shoot with their foot and mind you that’s what GK’s are hired for so no excuses for any player whom shot was saved,sorry GAI.

      2. Palace should have done better. They were not exactly the most difficult saves to make. I think Arsenal had everything pretty well covered. Weathered the storm well. Saliba was brilliant. He’s a very cool and calm character. Arsenal are leading the Premier League 😂😂😂😂. It’s early days yet

      3. Yes Ramsdale saved 2 chances bit common Gai, give it to the two centre defenders against Palace late surge Saliba and Gabriel.

  5. To think we can put on ESR and can’t wait to see Veira play.
    Lots of options, could put zinchenko in midfield and Tirney at left back…

    Also give saliba 5 year contract now…..

      1. I thought white was poor. Got skinned regularly and could cope with Zaha. His distribution could have been better. Granted it was the first game of the season but i am struggling to see what white gives us and all the fuss is about.

            1. Exactly Zaha will always give you a hard time, White did well but I do thing tomiyasu with his pace would have cope better. That’s my opinion i see Tomiyasu as better defensively

    1. Why do people hype this overrated defender?? You can see that he’s not even close to Saliba and Gabriel isn’t either. He was just a waste of 50m.

      1. Ok, he is not 50mm, but thats not his fault…today he has a great game marking zaha who (as usual) has a very good game against us.

        Saliba, ramsdale and white were awesome and our weaker point to me was odegaard. Esr and viera should be there when ode has this types of off games

        1. Zaha had him at his beck and call. He toatsed him at times and Zaha even overdoes things. For me defensively, he’s nothing special and its clear Saliba even from last season was better and I would’ve preferred him to be in the team from last season. Once Tomiyasu is fit we should see teh back of that overrated defender.

            1. So what if its negative, unless we accept the problem and resolve it how club will progress. We Do not have endless funds so its more important to utilize is in better way. Last year itself Saliba was at par with White. But instead of playing Saliba Arteta overpaid (at least by 25M)for white. This has created another repercussion. Since Arteta did not play Saliba last season, so now its harder to convince Saliba for long term contract. Now he will ask huge financial contract or club will sell him for less as he will only 1 year left after this season). This is the reason even after spending so much money in last 2 seasons we are not Title contenders (We buy other clubs 2M player in 35 and sell ours 35M worth player for free by wrong man management). Even todays both goals has some luck factor 1st completely unmarked near pole, 2nd is deflection from defender. So law of average will catch us if we do not improve

  6. A very good performance! I heard rolls royce won the most duels even though he wasnt at his best, so thats a plus. But I think when Tomi and Tesco come back it would be truly our best defence. Only issue I had with the excellent Zin was that he was beaten for pace by Ayew a couple of times. A pretty good performance in the middle and the forward line. We could have scored maybe 2 more if Marty and Ode were a bit calmer but against Palace we played like a proper top team. MA has once again made me squirm towards the in side on the fence regarding him with a wonderful away performance! And Saliba what an introduction to the Prem! A very solid start on his Arsenal career! Just hope he signs da ting now….. only worries were Gabriel M and Ramsdale’s occasional lapses. Hope they sort it out.
    Well done Gunners!

  7. Yes, a solid extremely encouraging performance. It’s about getting the midfield right now. Arteta still has ESR and Viera to come although I still think the club as Gould go all out for Tielemans.

  8. Saliba man of match … hadn’t seen him before but calm strong and good decision making .. no way white is coming back there and he was awful today endlessly out of position and wayward passing .. odegaard not much better … attack is work in progress but good signs … midfield was too weak and unfocused .. xhaka better than usual tbh but need someone there asap

    1. To be fair Palace targeting that position with their most dangerous player and he is not a right back. Odegarrd needs to shoot 🙄 and he is a better player than he showed today, however he did not stop closing down all game, so massive credit to him, when you don’t have your best game…

      1. It’s a bit awkward but swapping saliba to RB might have made sense during the game – he’s played there before, I think, and one of White’s bigger weaknesses is 1v1 defending. Not sure.

  9. Hard earned points. Saliba, Jesus both top notch. Bodes well. It’s clear we will need another midfield player.

  10. Saliba really proved a point and seems a good lad hearing him speak during the interview…. Loan deals helped him and I m happy he is grabbing his chance….

    Palace got some decent players too. I like their midfield. Their right back… Anderson and Doucoure are good recruit for them. All the best to Viera except when playing arsenal at the Emirates.

    Good 3 points to start the campaign. We move…

    Ramsdele loves them saves but complacent and over confidence shouldn’t creep him

  11. Great result and well played.
    A silly Xhaka booking that had me on eggshells whenever he was involved, but had a solid game otherwise.
    Saliba – everything I hoped he would be and, alongside Gabriel, could we, finally, have two defenders who will not be bullied?
    Well done to one and all – my 2-0 prediction came true and I couldn’t be happier.
    We are top of the league say we are top of the league 🔝😂

    1. I can’t believe Eze did not get booked also for diving when Saka touched him with a finger late on in the game.

      I thought palace played well although I don’t like their long ball tactics, remind me of Wimbledon 😁 add tomi and Tierney that would make that a truly formidable defensive unit…..

    2. @ken1945 I would wish to see how a 3 man defence of Tomi ,saliba and Gabi with either of white or Cedric as right wingback and zinchenko on the left . That could be a formidable team I wish arteta could give it try

      1. This obsession with 3 man defense when the 4 previous titles have gone to 4 man defence teams really stumps me.
        4 men defence is good for possession based football

  12. Six things I took from this game.

    1) Tierney is a much better “Left Back” than Zinc!

    2) Odegaard does NOT tackle. He is a leg waver.

    3) We can’t afford to lose Partey!!!

    4) Saka was off his game. He needs to get back to basics

    5) Saliba is the business!!!

    6) Most importantly, we are going to struggle for goals this season.

    1. Partey was immense today, and I think that’s the main hole in this squad. The drop in quality after him is pretty steep.

  13. Saliba & Saka new deals announced please….

    What a performance by the big man, did not look one bit out of place, possibly fair to day the best defender on the pitch. He is a beast 💯

    Teirney was solid coming on again I am delighted he is back… that LB is his spot hands down! Zinc is a great option to have also as can play where Xhaka does at times!

    Jesus 👀 what a player!! Work rate is what we used to see from Alexis…

    Brilliant start to the season and those 1st 30mins were incredible 👏 ifs that’s the blueprint then let’s bloody go!

    Mentioned earlier i had a feeling Martinelli would score 👏💯

  14. Nice way to start the season,on to the next game… Saliba will be world class, my man of the match goes to martinelli

  15. Saliba was already better than White before he went on loan. Such a total waste of 50m and soem called him an excellent buy. Even Gabriel Malghaes ain’t that great. This was a good win and Arteta and the team deserev a lot of credit for pullign through.

    1. He’s not so bad but definitely way below Saliba and even Holding.

      Nketiah didn’t play much but he definitely has come of age.

      1. Nketiah should be starting with Gabriel because he is better than Martinelli. If he gets consistent chances at that LW spot Martinelli can never take it off him. His all round game is superior and he’s also a better finisher. This is similar to Saliba and White. Arteta can see that Nketiah is looking sharp from preseason so why bench a player who looks like he could be on a better form??

        1. What Gabby Martinelli does in that team in terms of execution of Arteta’s tactics cannot be done by anyone except maybe Saka.

    2. Pipe down mate, never seen anyone tear into their own first team players like you do except for Maguire.
      The club has 3 solid CBS, but you keep yapping and tearing into one every single time.
      Have some Shame FFS

      1. He’s a total waste ofmoney and I say that respectfully. I go only for his footballing and not for his personality so just allow. This is just being honets with him. Saliba could’ve done better than what he did last season.

    3. Let this obsession with Ben White rest a bit please. It’s becoming a troll. Always endeavour to see positives in our players. Support the Club which includes everything about Arsenal.

  16. Great result to begin the season with, but I’m seeing the same thing from arsenal again. We always drop off after scoring 1 goal, we really need to work more on the pressing, if I’m being honest I think 1: 1 would have been a fair result. We should try and kill of games we almost allowed palace back in the game.

  17. Well done to everyone. Good three points at the expense of the Rugby team of the EPL. Happy too for no injuries incurred.
    COYG!

  18. By God grace 2022/2023 premier League trophy is coming to the Emirates stadium ,one down more to come ,Edu should round up the remaining business so tha they will blend well with the squard

  19. Fantastic effort grit and determination to get the result we actually deserved.

    Saliba magnificent Ben White will struggle to get back in at CB. Thought Ben did well against Zaha who is a player I can’t stand.

    Xhaka played well but he can’t be trusted all season. Need another MF in there.

    Jesus unbelievable player.

    Well done to MA too I was left really frustrated with the way last season ended but we look a different team.

    We have to win the Europa League

  20. The first game of the season and away from home is always difficult. Lets all respect what the guys have done there today. Dont draw too many conclusions though.

  21. saka was off today, so was martinelli and they made Jesus work his socks off tonight…I guess its the palace effect on them 🤷🏽‍♂️

  22. This is a really tough place to visit. Palace had not lost or even conceded a goal here since February. They are physical, well drilled, tough to play and determined with an imposing crowd and a canny manager.
    Did I HOPE we would play them off the park? Yes. Did I expect it in the first came of the season? Honestly no, and I would bite your hand off for a 2-0 that was so well game-managed to improve by 5 goals from last time here. We were superb for part of the game and hung in there for the rest.
    Odegaard wasn’t great and their wingers pinned back our inverted FB’s second half with a long ball game and we lost the midfield. Gabriel had one of his “nervous” days. Don’t be too hard on White. It’s not his main position and Zaha has roasted some of the best FB’s around. Loved the performances of Saliba, Jesus, Partey and most of all Martinelli.
    Lots to like there and this is one of the toughest away games we will have. Three points up on last season already…

  23. Saliba motm, so calm on the ball and concentration levels 💯. G.Jesus should have scored on his debut got a little bit too fancy with his dribbling. Saka has got to be more decisive in the final third. All in all 3 points at Selhust Park in the league opener with a clean sheet to add. 💪🏾Onwards and upwards

  24. Absolutely brilliant result, 3 points, a great start. I did expect a bit better performance because we just seemed to lose shape and the ability to string two passes together after 30 minutes. But the points and the win are always the most important. I will say the MOM by a mile was the rookie Saliba, one of the worst was White. I also think Tierney looked the part when he came on but we need him to be fit for a lot longer than he has been. Lots of positives but lots of negatives, first game so we can expect improvement in our team play.

  25. RANDOM THOUGHTS; Saliba head and shoulders MotM. Jesus great for half an hour but a poor second half. Xhaka , same depressing stupidity we have seen for 6 years past. I was shouting out for subs twenty mins before they were made, far too late.

    Zinny looks good but has no running pace. White is not a full back and we urgently need Tomi back. FABULOUS ALL ROUND FIRST 30 MINS and we looked many levels above last season.

    Palace played wonderfully well second half and we could hardly get the ball for ages. All told a landmark win . All we need now is dunderhead XHAKA OUTOF THE CLUB, then we are set fair to seriously challenge for third place but not higher.

    1. He played his role in securing those 3 points. Why dont you join hands with Kev and establish our players bashing club.

    2. Jon fox I was reading all the comments before and no Mentioned the substitution. I was surprised to see the substitution was made so late . Odeguard was really struggling. He should have been substituted by Loganka in about 60 minutes. Should have brought on Eddie earlier
      It was a mistake that luckily did not cost us .

  26. Nketiah should be starting with Gabriel. Once he does that overrated guy can’t displace him. Its actually obvious that he’s better but then he’s still being benched when its clear he could have a great season.

      1. I’m only being honest so sorry if you aren’t happy. I was seen as stupid for sharing that same opinion months ago but today little by little that is proving more real than before.

        1. This is not being honest, it’s just your opinion and no one agrees with it as you can see. It has the same validity as me saying that a Mitsubishi is better than a Mercedes and sticking to it, also crediting myself (rofl) for having said that months ago despite people thinking i was stupid. You repeated the same thing 20 times in the same post, despite no one agreeing with you. So if you truly believe it, i can understand that, but you already said it, repeated it, debated about it, disagreed about it (x100), now keep it to yourself or at least dont expect people to tell you that you are right.

    1. He was given a start and he scored but you are still sour about him. Seeking attention much?

      Martinelli is quality since day one. Go back to guess transfers if attention and reaction is what you want.

      1. Martinelli is just another overrated player that will soon be benched. If not for pride by people here then they’d admit Nketiah should be starting but they cant say hat because they called Nketiah Championship level. How pathetic and how wrong many people were. I can’t wait to see the back of some players in the first eleve. If you have a problem with me just deal with it.

        1. @kev – I respect your opinion, but it’s only your opinion and not the truth. We are lacking too many details to talk about the truth regarding this topic. Gabriel is a young player with a huge potential, and most Arsenal fans don’t share your opinion, perhaps we don’t know the ‘truth’😉

        2. Kev
          Martinelli just another overrated player?
          His first year under Emery was solid for such a young kid new to the league.

          Overrated?
          So Klopp’s assessment is wrong?
          Arteta is wrong starting him over Nketiah?
          His teammates that see him everyday are wrong?

          It’s your opinion, but not a single person here agrees with you.

  27. Poor man mgmt by Arteta , sending our best defender on loan last year and buying 1 year Brighton experience over hyped defender in his place. Now ppl are praising his act if stupidity as master stroke. Gabi had no epl experience either n white had just 1 year experience with Brighton. What next if Saliba turns out to be the one of the best in world which he has all the ingredients for , then you guys will say Arteta has made him that and he should be praised for eyeing n developing such talent.

    1. I get your point@Logic… I think, in the first place, Arteta seemingly doesn’t rate Saliba, atall. And now, he’s realized the error in his judgement of him(Saliba). Ofcourse, Mikel should be credited but not as much as he is getting.

  28. I need to ask what exactly does Martinelli offers, to me he’s too predictable, I already knows what’s he’s going to do when he get the ball, I wish we can get another direct winger like Saka.

    1. Yeah!

      You made me realise we need to get “AFC Bournemouth” relegated. Cheeky gits putting AFC first so they’re top of the league all summer. 😉

  29. Anyone arguing in this thread, sort yourselves out. Check palaces home form last year, shelve your agendas. We won, not that you would know it from various comments.

    1. Oh dear the boys are back in town. Arteta rules .Fk and Angus can sleep tight without the bedbugs biting. No room for analysis in their world.

        1. Lol Reggie but that’s nothing compared with how we all got last season!
          We had three players in their first competitive game for the club, playing our opening game away at a club whose style is like kryptonite to us.
          We weren’t great after 30 mins but I believe that form at the start of the season is very often the opposite of form once the season gets going – heck look at us last time around.
          For the same reason it’s way too early to slag off or over-hype any individuals after one just game. Today the win was everything, as was the loss last season.

  30. Good performance by the lads, didn’t let palace bully us like last time and that 1st 20 mins siege showed what we can do at our best.

    Now our energy level dropped in the 2nd half and arteta substitution were too late though we didn’t have much options on the bench due to injuries. White struggled but what did you honestly expect vs zaha at rb. Saliba had a great game.

  31. Great win to start the season. Great play by Jesus, Zinchenko, Saka and Martinelli with Odegaard in the mix as usual. For me the MOTM was Saliba, a real presence in the defence. However, we must try to finish the chances we get but all in all a great beginning with a win away to Palace to increase our confidence going ahead.

  32. Well done boys, great result. Ben White was poor again tonight, many errors and quite a few unforced.

    Past is the past but I can’t help imagining if we hadn’t wasted 50mil on White and had brought Saliba and Mavro back last season with Holding and Saliba challenging for the CB spot next to Gabriel. Last year our defence let it a fair amount of goals so I doubt they wouldve done worse. We’d have had 50mil to spend on a midfielder and we would have had Saliba this season with a full EPL season under his belt.

    Well done to the manager and most of the players last night, good start.

    1. Morning
      You’re a hard person to please
      BW is never a £50m player but it is what it is
      A few pointer for you to reflect on
      1. BW is not a Right back but he was pretty solid last night
      Zaha was pretty much restricted throughout the game
      Last season Zaha tore a strip out of our rb.
      He held his ground. Was smart when he had to go forward but was defended first which at times we have all complained about our defenders attacking first and defending 2nd
      Also a quick mention to saka for tracking back at timess and helping out in defences when needed
      2. Whilst I would like some players to be upgraded that was a good performance as an opener for ALL the team and manager and not most as you put it
      Clean sheet , plus 2 in goals and 3 big points to get us off and running

      PJ-SA , we are going to see a lot worse performances then that this season so when we win make the most of it and when we lose, get your knife out
      Onwards and upwards….oh, can’t go any further upwards, we are already top of the league for now
      😃

    2. PJ-SA their is no way we will ever know how Saliba could have turned out last season! Plus the boy had so many personal issues to deal with , arteta was right in giving him another loan he is now better placed to start in our first team.

  33. “White wasn’t at his best tonight”? What game was you watching, he had Zaha whining like a stuck pig all night.

    1. That was to the article writer but easily could have been to PJ-SA, jeez some of you are either blind or completely prejudiced.

      1. Obviously not the one I was watching .. all the threats came down the right side … whites passing was woeful and again carrying the ball with no purpose and running in to trouble … bench player and a very expensive one … 120 m on him and Pepe !!! Someone needs to find another career move

  34. A very pleasing result .First time I have seen Saliba in a competitive match and he certainly looks the part.Delighted to see Tierney back .The fact that we lost control of possession in the second half is a concern as is our lack of pace in midfield, but would have taken the result before kick off. His fortunate goal apart, Saka was not effective.As I have said on numerous occasions, to get the best out of him, he needs to be played on the left flank.

    1. Agree with every word Grandad. We overlook quite how ineffective Saka is match after match, because the kid is so good that he causes chaos once or twice a game. He IS better on the left but we have nobody to play right side, although GM when switched there in a friendly looked pretty good. We need that RW NOT to rest Saka but to be able to switch him.

  35. what a difference Zilichenko and Saliba made, both were great. imagine we played Cedric and Tavares instead, we would be trashed like last season. for now this is the main difference in our squad compared to last season. but we still lack depth in attack and quality in midfield. Xhaka is a very limited player and Odde can’t handale phisicality and opponents pressure. we need another top CM and top RW to realy be able to be dominating and imposing and not only good in defence.

  36. Great win
    Saliba MOTM ,his positional sense is amazing .
    Martinelli and Xhaka I thought played well
    Still have concerns with Odegaard with his lack of pace and how easy he gets run past .
    First half great ,second half against a better team would have lost that game but overall a solid win to start the season off with .
    Cannot ask for more .

    1. Mr DK

      Can’t believe I am agreeing with you with Odegaard
      His pace isn’t a slighy concern but his lack of willingness to pull the trigger and finish of the game.
      Don’t get me wrong I think he is still a good player for us and hopefully make us tick up top. Still young as a lot of them are but against the bigger teams MO might shrink and disappear but let’s see.
      Let’s take one game at a time and see what happens when we do come up against the big boys.
      We are off and running and got our 3 points
      Today and tomorrow we sit back and watch the other fans lambast
      There teams for a poor start to the season.. watch out for some shock results in the next 2 days as it was for us this time last season for us.

  37. For me, I just think that, it would have been a diff. story had Saliba not start the game against Palace. Ramsdale too, deserves some accolades 💯💯💯💯…… But, going forward, I would suggest we stopped using White as RB. A fit Tomiyasu will call an end to White in Arsenal’s starting XI.

  38. Privileged to have been at the game along with my sons. The arsenal fans were amazing and outchanted Palace the whole game.
    I thought we had an amazing 20 mins then more of a back and forth.
    Felt the whole team played well but saliba, partey and jesus stood out.
    Clearly things we need to improve but what a start.
    So happy!

  39. Firstly We won away under pressure which means we’re developed this aspect I liked this approach for away game control and dominate now see if Emirates becomes a fortress if then I will believe again we as fans will be the Reason we go all the way tbh we are lacking in support

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