By Ben Church, CNN
Arsenal enjoyed a perfect start to the new English Premier League season as it beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park on Friday.
A first-half header from Gabriel Martinelli and an own-goal from Palace defender Marc Guehi secured the three points as the league returned after just a 75-day break.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he was happy to get the first win on the board after what proved to be a tricky match.
“Yes, really pleased to be winning. Three points, a clean sheet, against a really difficult opponent and a really tough place,” he told reporters after the match.
“We showed great resilience to get through them, and it is really positive the way we started.
“We started really sharp, really mobile, really determined to play the way we wanted to play. Overall, positive.”
The Arsenal team had come under increased scrutiny with the season-opener in the same week as the release of the Amazon docuseries “All or Nothing” which documented the side’s previous campaign.
But the visitors did not look phased as the host of young stars started the match in brilliant form.
New signings impress
New signing Gabriel Jesus looked electric at times and gave Arsenal added intensity in the final third, while 21-year-old defender William Saliba was impressive in what was his first league appearance for the Gunners. Saliba previously spent time away from the club on loan.
There was also a debut for Ukrainian captain Oleksandr Zinchenko, who made the switch to the Emirates after leaving Manchester City.
The defender gave his new side some added composure and was on hand to provide the assist for Martinelli’s header after a well-worked corner.
While Arsenal’s performance looked a little ragged at times in the second-half, it was a positive start to the campaign that comes with a lot of expectation attached.
Fans will be demanding a top-four finish after what looks to be a strong transfer window and impressive pre-season.
League games have started a week earlier than usual this year due to the men’s World Cup being played mid-way through the season and fans will be excited for a full set of fixtures over the weekend.
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