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Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal: Gunners 'old' new signing show class

After a string of loan spells away from the club, centre-back William Saliba made an impressive first start for Arsenal

Arsenal’s high-profile summer arrivals were bubbling with pre-season goals and optimism, but it was the ‘old’ rookie who made the biggest impression when serious business began.

Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko have brought a winning mentality from Premier League champions Manchester City as they reunite with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta as he seeks to propel the Gunners forward this season.

Both showed quality and pedigree as Arsenal opened the season with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, but 21-year-old William Saliba’s defensive performance was as good as anyone else’s and the visiting It caused real excitement among fans. .

Saliba followed the scenic route to his first Premier League start after joining Arsenal from Saint-Etienne in July 2019 for £27m, and after loaning out at his parent club, he has enjoyed a number of players at Nice and Marseille. and won French honors outright.

He was named Ligue 1 Young Player of the Season last season and was shy away from the Emirates Stadium, raising questions about how he would fit into Arteta’s plans.

Arteta claimed that he was simply treating Saliba with care until his development reached the stage where his time would come.

Delivering pace, movement and goals for Arsenal, Jesus shined as he took the lead through Gabriel Martinelli, but as the game progressed and Palace finally galloped, Saliba was in cool command and control. With power, he emerged as the game’s standout player. performer.

Gabriel and Saliba’s core defensive partnership was only in its infancy, and there were unsettling moments when Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale made his move to save Odone Edouard and Eberek Eze.

But Saliba remained calm throughout, practically flawless, to the delight of his manager.

This is one game, an early call, and no one at Arsenal is obsessed with results or performance.

But Saliba looks like a very exciting and calming talent, confirming all the background noise that this is a top-class defender ready for the Premier League, and a little excitement should be allowed.

Arsenal simply carried their thrilling pre-season form into this first game of the season, dominating possession, with Arteta making good use of his time and bringing young and established talent from last season to his new club. The Palace was run in a way that suggested that it was tied to the acquisition.

They had to navigate some sort of pressure from Palace, and a late Bukayo Saka shot deflected by the head of Palace’s England defender Marc Guehi was needed to seal the deal, but this totally deserved the victory.

Last week, as coronavirus-hit Arsenal were handed unwelcome duties at newly promoted Brentford, sinking meekly without a trace after a bad start to the season, £50m rookie Ben White endured a nightmare. Everything was very different from the opening Friday night of the season. He wasn’t alone, but he made his debut.

Here, Arsenal showed no nerves in the kind of atmosphere Selhurst Park excels at, allowing them to take the lead even before Martinelli started scoring.

Arteta has Leicester City’s Yuri Thielemans always linked and has strongly hinted that more new signings are coming before the transfer window ends, with Manchester City and Liverpool heading for another two. Chelsea are on the cusp of running a head title race, while Chelsea can easily mount a top-four challenge for Flux and Arsenal.

The Arsenal director has been satirized about his style in the latest all-or-nothing documentary of ‘All or Nothing’, but the headline evidence is that he’s done some smart work this summer. suggests.

Midfielder Fabio Vieira, acquired from Porto for £34m, will be an asset when he is fit. Meanwhile, it was a welcome sight to see Kieran Tierney restored to full health, stepping in as a stand-in, ready to restore his influence.

Arsenal fans would be wary of reaching conclusions too quickly, but Saliba’s arrogance in strutting through games that always present a test proved even when Palace were not at their best. Win quality in the form of Jesus and Zinchenko.

Joyful Gunners fans shouted “Top of the League” at the final moment. Of course, with a click of his tongue, he thundered out loud that it was a much more enjoyable experience than Friday’s opening night of the Premier League.

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