Nick Ames has already filed his match report, so i’ll leave you with that. Thank you for your company; see you tomorrow for more football. It’s back!
“Not bad for an open match,” says Mary Waltz. “Both sides had their moments, match not settled until the 85th minute. Reasonably tight.”
Agreed It wasn’t quite Big Ron’s Sheffield Wednesday 2-3 Aston Villa, but it was a decent start. Arsenal were impressive, especially in defence. A lot of good teams won’t win at Selhurst Park this season.
Arsenal to start the Premier League season with a solid win at Selhurst Park. Gabriel Martinelli’s 20th-minute header was deserved reward for a blistering start in which Gabriel Jesus caught the eye. Arsenal had to work much harder in the second half – another debutant, centre-half William Saliba, was terrific – before Marc Guehi’s late own goal gave them a two-goal cushion. They look nice, pretty good.
90+3 min Change for Arsenal – Albert Sambi Lokonga replaces Martin Odegaard.
90 minutes Three minutes of added time. The second goal knocked the stuffing out of Palace.
87 min Saka’s shot hits Guehi and goes behind. Palace made a double substitution – Will Hughes and Malcolm Ebiowei for Eze and someone else, Ayew I think.
So much for Arsenal settling for 1-0. They worked the ball nicely from left to right, with Saka teasing the backpedaling Mitchell. He switched the ball onto his right foot and hammered in a cross that was headed into his own net by Guehi at the near post. It was a really difficult ball to defend.
It’s all over now!
84 min “I think the most egregious mispronunciation of a footballer’s name was Martin Tyler’s De Bruyne in FIFA17,” says Jon Tattersall. “I almost took the game back to get a refund.”
83 min Arsenal double substitution: Kieran Tierney and Eddie Nketiah for the two debutants, Zinchenko and Jesus. Both were impressive.
82 min Eze crosses right on the edge of the Arsenal area Zaha collects the loose ball, gets to the counter and has a cut started clear.
81 min A furious cross from Zaha, Palace’s best player, flashes across the Arsenal area Clyne takes it on the far side and puts it back into the middle. Xhaka heads clear.
81 min Arsenal seem to have settled for 1-0, and rightly so they are defending quite comfortably. Saliba and Gabriel look really solid in the center of their defense.
80 minutes “No, it’s Xhaka who is the most mispronounced name in the Premier League,” says Per Horfelt. “He is of Albanian origin and there it is pronounced ‘Jaka’. Ask my wife, she is Albanian.”
79 min Eze’s free kick is headed down by Andersen and hacked clear by Gabriel.
76 min “Anything can change and anything is possible,” says Yash Gupta, “but as expected this Arsenal team doesn’t look threatening.”
That is a a little harsh, though they must have faded since that lightning start.
75 minutes Another Palace replacement. Luka Milivojevic replaces the tiring Doucoure in midfield.
74 min Doucoure has a cramp. which allows all other players to drink.
73 min “Roberto Firmino by an absolute country mile,” says my colleague John Windmill, responding to Joe Johnson’s question after 68 minutes. “Firminho or even Firminio. Drives me (and by extension, my wife) up the wall.”
72 min Zaha cuts inside from the left and has a shot blocked by White.
72 min This is the chance for Eze at the beginning of the second half. Zaha’s pass, a sudden thrust from the dagger, was delicious.
71 min Andersen played some majestic passes tonight, especially to Zaha on the left.
70 min White plays a terrific pass inside Mitchell to find Sack He moves into the area but Mitchell recovers well and then Saka blasts high and wide from a very tight angle.
68 min “Hi Rob,” says Joe Johnson. “The beginning of a new season, the mind slim, eager for stimulation. Reliable informed by a Norwegian friend that Ødegaard should be pronounced ‘Erdegord’. I wonder: who Premier League the name of a footballer is the most grossly mispronounced?”
I have no idea, but it reminds me of when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had a goal for Manchester United, and the (usually) excellent ITV commentator Brian Moore shouted “Swarms!” What made it even more impressive is that Paul Scholes was not on the pitch at the time.
66 min Schlupp collects a loose ball, rises into the area and has a shot blocked by Partey. If Arsenal don’t win this game they will bemoan a slightly passive second half performance.
64 min For half an hour it looked Arsenal would run away with this; since then it’s been a very even game. Meanwhile, Clyne is booked for a foul on Martinelli.
62 min A Palace corner leads to a scuffle in the area, with Ramsdale making a save from his own player Gabriel. It wouldn’t count because Anthony Taylor blew for something or other.
60 minutes White is booked for a foul on the increasingly influential Zaha.
59 min: Chance for Odegaard! Jesus steals the ball from the onrushing Guehi and charges into space down the right. He heads it to Odegaard just inside the area, but Odegaard inexplicably tries to find Martinelli when he should have gone for a goal himself. The ball deflects to Jesus in an offside position, and he has a shot blocked by Andersen. Jesus’ shot would not have counted; Odegaard’s will, if only he had one.
58 min The first of many, many, many, many replacements in this Premier League season: Jean-Philippe Mateta replaces the disappointing Odsonne Edouard up front for Palace.
56 min Odegaard whips it over the wall and a few yards wide of the near post. Decent effort.
55 minutes Mitchell fouls Saka 22 yards from goal, fair way to the right of center. Odegaard might like this…
53 min Zaha’s cross hits White and deflects onto his arm. No penalty. Zaha takes the ball, beats White in the area and is emphatically tackled by Saliba. He has a great debut. And Zaha, after a slow start, looks cheerful about it.