Nick Ames has already filed his match report, so I leave you with that. Thank you for your company; See you tomorrow for more football. He is back!
“Not bad for an opening match” said Mary Waltz. “Both teams had their moments, the game wasn’t settled until the 85th minute. Reasonably tense.
Agreed. It wasn’t quite Sheffield Wednesday 2-3 Aston Villa from Big Ron, 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 kick off the Premier League season with a solid win at Selhurst Park. Gabriel Martinelli’s 20th-minute header was a deserved reward for a blistering start in which Gabriel Jesus grabbed the attention. 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 pretty, pretty good.
90+3 mins A change for Arsenal – Albert Sambi Lokonga replaces Martin Odegaard.
90 minutes Three minutes of additional time. The second goal stunned Palace.
87 minutes 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.
Too bad for Arsenal who are content with 1-0. They worked the ball well from left to right, where Saka ran to the Mitchell coaster just inside the area. He flicked the ball over his right foot and hammered in a cross which 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 minutes “I think the most egregious mispronunciation of a footballer’s name was De Bruyne by Martin Tyler on FIFA17,” says Jon Tattersall. “I almost took the game back to get my money back.”
83 minutes Double substitution from Arsenal: Kieran Tierney and Eddie Nketiah for the two debutants, Zinchenko and Jesus. Both were impressive.
82 minutes Eze passes just on the edge of the Arsenal area. Zaha recovers the loose ball, reaches the boundary line and has a clear cutback.
81 minutes A fierce cross from Zaha, Palace’s best player, crosses the Arsenal area. Clyne picks it up on the other side and puts it back in the middle. Xhaka emerges.
81 minutes Arsenal appear to have settled for 1-0, and in all fairness they are defending quite comfortably. Saliba and Gabriel look really solid in the center of their defense.
80 minutes “No, Xhaka 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 minutes Eze’s free kick is headed by Andersen and hacked by Gabriel.
76 minutes “Anything can change and anything is possible,” says Yash Gupta, “but as expected, this Arsenal team doesn’t look threatening.”
It’s a bit tough, although they have certainly faded since that meteoric start.
75 minutes Another palace replacement. Luka Milivojevic replaces the tiresome Doucoure in midfield.
74 minutes Doucoure has a cramp. which allows all other players to have a drink.
73 minutes “Roberto Firmino an absolute country mile,” says my colleague John Windmill, answering Joe Johnson’s question after 68 minutes. “Firminho or even Firminio. Pushes me (and by extension, my wife) into the wall.
72 minutes Zaha cuts inside from the left and sees a shot blocked by White.
72 minutes Here is that chance for Eze at the start of the second half. Zaha’s pass, sudden stab, was delicious.
71 minutes Andersen played some majestic passes tonight, especially to Zaha on the left.
70 minutes White plays a terrific pass inside Mitchell to find Saka. He moves into the area, but Mitchell recovers well and eventually Saka sprays high and wide from a very tight angle.
68 minutes “Hi Rob,” Joe Johnson said. “The start of a new season, flexible spirit, thirsty stimulation. Reliably informed by a Norwegian friend that Ødegaard should be pronounced ‘Erdegord’. I wonder: which Premier League footballer’s name is the worst pronounced blatantly?
I have no idea, but I remember when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shot on goal for Manchester United, and the (usually) great ITV commentator Brian Moore shouted “Shoals!” What made it even more impressive was that Paul Scholes wasn’t on the pitch at the time.
66 minutes Schlupp recovers a loose ball, appears in the box and sees a shot blocked by Partey. If Arsenal don’t win this game, they will lament a slightly passive performance in the second half.
64 minutes For half an hour it looked like Arsenal would get away with it; since then it’s been a very even game. Meanwhile, Clyne is booked for a foul on Martinelli.
62 minutes A Palace corner leads to a scramble in the area, with Ramsdale saving a rod from his own player Gabriel. It wouldn’t have counted because Anthony Taylor had blown 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 Guehi who strolls and charges into the space in the lower right. He places it at Odegaard just inside the box, but Odegaard inexplicably tries to find Martinelli when he himself should be aiming for goal. The ball deflects towards Jesus in an offside position, and he has a shot blocked by Andersen. Jesus’ shot would not have counted; Odegaard’s would be, if he had had one.
58 minutes The first of many, many, many substitutions in this Premier League season: Jean-Philippe Mateta replaces disappointing Odsonne Edouard ahead of Palace.
56 minutes Odegaard whips him over the wall and a few yards wide of the near post. A decent effort.
55 minutes Mitchell fouls Saka 22 yards from goal, just right of center. Odegaard might want that…
53 minutes Zaha’s cross hits White and deflects onto his arm. No penalty. Zaha recovers the ball, beats Blanc in the box and is emphatically tackled by Saliba. He is off to an excellent start. And Zaha, after a slow start, seems thrilled about it.