Mikel Arteta lauded Arsenal’s resilience in surviving a second-half Crystal Palace attack to win 2-0 at Selhurst Park on Friday, giving them the ideal start to the Premier League season.
Arteta’s team held out after Gabriel Martinelli’s header gave them a well-deserved lead at halftime on the same where the Gunners lost 3-0 in April to start a late-season collapse that cost them a spot in the Champions League.
After Palace’s Odsonne Edouard and Eberechi Eze had wasted significant scoring opportunities, Marc Guehi’s own goal in the dying moments secured the three points.
“The most crucial factor is the victory. Gaining the first match gives us confidence and momentum, which allows us to talk about what has to be improved “Arteta said.
“Here, suffering is necessary to succeed. The mindset we aim to cultivate includes the fact that we have accomplished it.”
On the first night of the previous season, Arsenal had their worst league start in 67 years as they lost 2-0 to Brentford.
However, they continued their impressive pre-season form and gave Arteta almost £100 million ($120 million) to spend on new players as a thank-you for their confidence in him.
Arsenal’s standout summer acquisition, Gabriel Jesus, was brought in to address the team’s need for a center-forward. The Brazilian almost had a spectacular debut after only four minutes.
Jesus slid through the Palace defense’s middle, and when his first shot was stopped, Martinelli should have done more than toss the rebound away from the goal.
The breakthrough came from a set-piece despite the visitors’ dominance in the first quarter.
Oleksandr Zinchenko, another rookie, headed a corner back across the goal, and Martinelli’s header had enough force to defeat Vicente Guaita.
Palace had a far more difficult preseason than most since many important players were kept at home during a trip to Australia because of their coronavirus vaccination status.
Although it took the Eagles a half-hour to settle in, they will be frustrated that they did not at least score a point after the game’s pace picked up.
A clearing from Aaron Ramsdale was charged down by Arsenal, awakening the Palace supporters from their sleep. Fortunately for the England goalie, the ball bounced to one of his defenders.
Before halftime, Ramsdale made up for his earlier error by making a fantastic save to save Edouard’s header from tying the score before the French striker had another attempt to miss the crossbar.
In the second session, Palace had Arteta’s team pinned down, but they again failed to capitalize on their opportunities.
The most negligent player was Eberechi Eze, who calmly blasted into Ramsdale’s torso with just Arsenal’s goalkeeper to beat.
According to Palace manager and former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira, the difference between the two clubs is that they score goals.
“We had two extremely excellent scoring opportunities, but we didn’t take them.”
In the second half, Arsenal seldom made any counterattack threats, but a stroke of luck allowed them to extend their lead until the last five minutes.
Guehi was caught off guard by Bukayo Saka’s driving cross, and the Palace center-back promptly headed the ball into his own goal.