LONDON — Arsenal kicked off their 2022–23 top flight campaign with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, showing the first signs of a promising season. The Gunners immediately got down to business, three of their debutants showed excellent results.

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Here are the highlights, top players, key stats and notable moments from the game.

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Jump on: Fast reaction | Player Ratings | Best/worst performers | Highlights and Notable Moments | Post match quotes | Key statistics | Upcoming matches

Fast response: 3 pins

1. New season, new start for Arsenal

On the first Friday night of last season, Arsenal trailed Brentford 2-0, but this time under the London lights it was different. There was plenty of excitement for the Gunners’ fans during pre-season, when they signed smartly and won all five friendlies, but it was the first real test of their hopes of a top-four return and they passed. At times they had to rely on luck when Aaron Ramsdale was called up for one great stoppage to clear Eberechi Eze early in the second half, but a late own goal from Mark Gehi gave them a well-deserved victory that would only add to the feeling of optimism at the club.

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2 Miss Gallagher’s Palace Spark

Eze is a fine player and as he returns from an ACL injury, the highly ranked 24-year-old is sure to improve as he steps into the void vacated by Conor Gallagher, who returned to Chelsea from last year’s loan . term. But Crystal Palace missed Gallagher on Friday. Only Wilfried Zaha (15 goals, two assists) scored more goals than Gallagher (eight goals, five assists) and Palace squandered both his energy to break Arsenal’s possession spells and his power in the final third.

3. Arsenal debutants matter

William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko made their Arsenal debuts at Selhurst Park, all contributing in different ways to a close-fought victory. Jesus was impressive as Arsenal dominated the first 35 minutes and Zinchenko’s header was a key component of a skillful corner formation that allowed Gabriel Martinelli to open the scoring. Saliba, perhaps the most eagerly awaited debutant of all, considering he originally signed for Arsenal three years ago, has been a far more confident presence than his more experienced centre-back partner Gabriel. This is just the beginning, but all three have shown their potential.

Player Ratings

Crystal Palace: Guaita 6, Kline 6, Gay 4, Andersen 6, Mitchell 6, Ducur 6, Eze 6, Schlupp 6, Ayu 6, Zaha 6, Eduard 5.
Subscriptions: Mateta 6, Milivojevic 6, Hughes 6, Abioway 6.

Arsenal: Ramsdale 8, White 6, Gabriel 5, Saliba 8, Zinchenko 7, Party 7, Xhaka 7, Odegaard 6, Saka 7, Martinelli 7, Jesus 7.
Subscriptions: Tierney 6, Little 6, Longa 6.

Best and Worst Performers

Best: William Saliba

The pressure on this guy is intense considering Arsenal fans have been calling for his inclusion ever since he signed for Saint Etienne in 2019 and he has not disappointed. A well-coordinated game with several vital interceptions helped Arsenal get through tough times.

The worst: Odsonne Edward

Palace fought for the lead for long periods of play and Edouard missed his only real chance in the first half as he headed straight for Ramsdale. For obvious reasons, Jean-Philippe Matheta was replaced before the hour mark.

Highlights and Notable Moments

Martinelli scored the first goal of the 2022-23 Premier League season after a corner from Arsenal and an assist from Zinchenko.

Post match quotes

“We’re going to try. There are a few things that we have planned, and if we could implement them, it would be great.” – Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on the possibility of additional transfers.

“It was very good because we started with a win and a clean finish. It was a tough game, but we won at the end, so that’s very good. I’ve been waiting a long time, but we [did it] in my first game and I’m so happy.” – Cross

Key statistics (provided by Sportzshala Stats & Information)

– Gabriel Martinelli scored his 12th career Premier League goal, his second against Crystal Palace; he scores the most goals against one opponent in a Premier League game (Sheffield United, West Ham and Leeds United).

– Arsenal recorded their 33rd Premier League clean sheet under Mikel Arteta as head coach; fifth place since its debut on December 26, 2019.


Crystal Palace: They have an intense next series of matches ahead of them: a visit to Liverpool on 15 August, a home game against Aston Villa on 20 August and a meeting with last season’s Premier League champions Man City on 27 August.

Arsenal: They host Leicester City on 13 August followed by Bournemouth on 20 August and then Fulham on 27 August.