Arsenal ratings: William Saliba and three other stars shine in cagey Crystal Palace win
Thanks to goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Marc Guehi, who unfortunately put the ball in his own net, Arsenal began their Premier League campaign with a tough 2-0 victory away at Crystal Palace.
After losing to Spurs for fourth place last season, the Gunners are under pressure to perform this year. Their campaign has gotten off to the best possible start with three points and a clean sheet.
Arsenal dominated the match, but Palace did have a few instances where they put the visitors on the defensive.
The Eagles had a lot of work ahead of them from the start, as Martinelli gave Arsenal the lead in the first minute.
Oleksandr Zinchenko headed the ball back across the goal from a corner, and the Brazilian sprinted in to head home from close range.
Late in the second half, Bukayo Saka assisted in securing the victory as Palace defender Guehi turned in his cross past his own goalkeeper.
The Gunners began their season well in south-east London, and here’s how they fared at Selhurst Park.
Aaron Ramsdale – 7
Took his time on the ball and put Arsenal under some unwanted early pressure after taking the lead.
Did pull off a fine save to deny Odsonne Edouard in the first half. Clean sheet.
Ben White – 7
Had his hands full trying to deal with Wilfried Zaha but generally done enough, despite some groggy moments. Very composed on the ball but booked for fouling the winger.
William Saliba – 8
Made defending look easy. Really strong debut form the 21-year-old, who made an exceptional tackle to stop Zaha in his tracks in the second half.
Gabriel Magalhaes – 8
There was a shout for a Crystal Palace when the ball struck his arm after dropping out the sky. Defended well but nearly turned into his own net in the second half after being fouled by Jordan Ayew.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 8
Stung palms of Vicente Guaita from range, whilst also marking his Arsenal debut with an assist for Martinelli.
Thomas Partey – 7
Strong and provided Arsenal with some mettle in the middle of the park.
Granit Xhaka – 7
Booked for diving but decent enough performance from one of Arsenal’s leaders.
Bukayo Saka – 7
Not as sharp as usual but to be expected given this is the first game of the season. Decision-making was poor at times but did bump up his rating by earning an assist for Arsenal’s second when his cross went in off the head off Marc Guehi.
Martin Odegaard – 6
Should have been more decisive in key moments, could have had a shot at goal but opted to pass – messing up several opportunities.
Gabriel Martinelli – 7
Looked very rusty but ultimately netted the opener, which was all that mattered.
Missed a sitter five minutes into the match with his left foot but made amends by heading home.
Gabriel Jesus – 8
Tremendous centre-forward display. Ran his socks off and looked very, very sharp. The goals will come, Jesus looks a real asset to this Arsenal side.
Kieran Tierney – 7
Eddie Nketiah – 7
Sambi Lokonga – N/A