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Crystal Palace 0-1 Arsenal: Resilience with a Little Bit of Satanball

Arsenal cling on for Crystal Palace win despite contentious red card - six talking points - Mirror Online

Match Report – Match Highlights  Player Ratings – Post-Match Press Conference

Final Result: Crystal Palace 0-1 Arsenal (Odegaard 53′)

Arsenal XI (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Tomiyasu – red card 67′, Saliba, White, Partey; Rice, Havertz, Odegaard (Kiwior 89′); Saka (Zinchenko 89′), Nketiah (Jorginho 79′), Martinelli (Gabriel 70′)

Mikel Arteta knew that the game against Crystal Palace was going to be a tough one but he stuck to the same side that got the goods against Nottingham Forest with the only enforced change being Takehiro Tomiyasu coming on for the injured Jurrien Timber. This also meant that after starting 73 games in a row for Arsenal, Gabriel was on the bench yet again, and this wasn’t helped with the rumors surfacing that the Brazilian defender is on the verge of joining Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League. I’d take such news with a pinch of salt but if Gabriel is truly close to the departure lounge, Arsenal will need to react swiftly in the transfer market.

Another player that made a little bit of history in the Crystal Palace game was our talisman, Bukayo Saka, that featured in his 82nd consecutive Premier League game, matching Paul Merson’s longstanding record. Saka has been an amazing servant for the club and if he features against Fulham, he sets the new record, which will take some stuffing to beat.

Crystal Palace drew first blood when Andre Ayew got the better of Tomiyasu on the right flank and drilled a dangerous ball towards Odsonne Edouard’s path but William Saliba was on hand to make an important block. Ayew continued to penetrate from the right and smashed in another cross that was anticipated and parried by Ramsdale but no Crystal Palace player was on hand to fire the ball to the Arsenal net, with the rearguard doing their usual business of booting the ball to Row Z. 

The home side continued to pile the pressure with their dangerman, Eberechi Eze, firing a good shot that was easy pickings for Ramsdale, then Crystal Palace’s holding midfielder, Cheick Doucoure, made some forays forward and blasted his shots over the bar. The man must have aimed for a vulture in the sky because his shots were launched into orbit. 

Arsenal had a good rally late in the first half, with Eddie Nketiah, getting two big chances that should have put the visitors ahead. For the first chance, he was under some intense pressure from Marc Guehi but his showed great upper body strength to hold off his marker and side foot the ball past Sam Johnstone but the clip spared the goalie’s blushes. As for the second chance, oh dear. Nketiah showed great off the ball movement and was fed by Declan Rice, but his touch got him very close to the keeper and he attempted a chip from a rather acute angle and dinked the ball over the bar.

Gabriel Martinelli was isolated on the left but he had a gaping goal when Thomas Partey smartly chipped the ball to his direction, but his finishing let him down as he blasted the ball wide. Early in the second half, Martinelli showed his good football IQ with a quickly taken dead ball that sent Nketiah clear on goal, before he was scythed down by Johnstone. While the VAR chums did their thing, Saka was seen holding the ball but after the penalty was confirmed, Saka handed the ball to Martin Odegaard, who picked his spot and sent Johnstone the wrong way to give the Gunners the lead.

One may assume that the penalty miss against West Ham last season, as well as the miss to Barcelona in preseason must have weighed on Saka, for him to hand the ball to his captain. Or maybe it was an instruction from his gaffer. It didn’t matter. One Nil to the Arsenal.

From there onwards, there were a couple of half chances for both sides. Ayew got past Tomiyasu and fired a shot to the side netting, then Kai Havertz latched onto the ball following some good work from Nketiah to blast his shot wide. Then it happened – Tomiyasu was already on a booking following his delayed throw-in on the 60th minute.

Arsenal sink Palace to extend perfect start despite Tomiyasu red card | SuperSport

Seven minutes later, Tomiyasu cynically fouled Ayew, who had been roasting him all game long, to stop a Crystal Palace counter attack. David Coote wasted no time in brandishing a red card, leaving Arsenal on the lurch.

With Arsenal down to 10 men with almost 30 minutes left to play, Mikel Arteta tore a page from the Sean Dyche and David Moyes playbook to unleash some Satanball. Martinelli was substituted for Gabriel, and Nketiah was axed for Jorginho. Arteta switched to a 5-3-1 tactical setup, and towards the tail end of the game, Satanball was upgraded to Level 2.0 with Jakub Kiwior and Oleksandr Zinchenko coming on for Odegaard and Saka. With Satanball 2.0 in full force, Arsenal had a formation that looked like this,

Arsenal 4-4-1-1 football formation

This was Satanball at its finest. Dyche would have been extremely proud.

There was a penalty scare for Crystal Palace when Eze almost mesmerized his way in the Arsenal box, and despite a late flurry of attacks from the home side, Satanball prevailed.

It was a defensive masterclass from Arsenal, who focused on technique and ball retention skills, while frustrating the Crystal Palace players whose numerical advantage counted for nothing. The ref’s whistle was like music to the ears of everyone connected with Arsenal, and the elation, as well as the sigh of relief was there for everyone to see.

Kudos to Arteta and his team for showing their resilience with a little bit of Satanball.


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Crystal Palace 0-1 Arsenal: Player Ratings

Arsenal cling on for Crystal Palace win despite contentious red card - six  talking points - Mirror Online

Crystal Palace hosted Arsenal at Selhurst Park for their first home encounter after easing past Sheffield United in their Premier League opener. It was expected to be a cagey affair but Arsenal scored what proved to be the winner from the penalty spot after club captain, Martin Odegaard, converted the ball from 12 yards. A Takehiro Tomiyasu red card set the stage for Arsenal to engage in Satanball, but as the saying goes, when you go to the Netherrealm, you have to behave like the demons. 

Without further ado, here are the Gooner Daily player ratings for the Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal game.

Starting XI

Aaron Ramsdale: The Englishman had a relatively uneventful match, with his defense doing the heavy lifting but he had a great moment at the death getting to the ball before Andre Ayew and putting Tyrick Mitchell under pressure to blast the ball to Row Z. (7)

Ben White: Played in the heart of the defense alongside Saliba and was drafted to the right in a late tactical switch. Played very well. (7)

William Saliba: Was the defensive lynchpin of the side, making eight clearances, two interceptions, three recoveries, two blocks, one last man tackle and winning 100 percent of his duels. You know how Mikel Arteta loves when his players win duels. (8)

Thomas Partey: Started primarily as a right back but inverted really well to support the team from midfield. Put up a very disciplined performance to negate Crystal Palace’s attacking threat from the left. (8)

Takehiro Tomiyasu: Started the game well and was on the end of some poor officiating that saw him sent off. He should have known better than to commit that cynical foul on Ayew when he was already on a silly booking he recieved from a delayed throw-in. (5)

Declan Rice: Put up a dominant display in midfield, making loads of anticipations to kill off Crystal Palace attacks. (7)

Kai Havertz: Featured in several tactical positions to support the team, but lacked cutting edge when required. (6)

Martin Odegaard: Showed some nerves of steel to convert a high-pressure spot kick in a critical time of the game. (7)

Gabriel Martinelli: Was rather isolated on the left and was unfortunate to get the hook to allow Gabriel come into the side to bolster the defensive ranks. (6)

Bukayo Saka: Held onto the ball far too long when a simple pass to a teammate would have been a better option. Was interesting to see him relinquish penalty taking duties to his captain. (6)

Eddie Nketiah: Was a constant threat to the Crystal Palace defense, having two big chances in the first half that he spurned. Showed great pace to reach Martinelli’s improvised pass before Sam Johnstone to win his team a penalty. (8)


Gabriel: Staying on the bench for the second consecutive game and coming on to help his team defend for their lives courtesy of Tomiyasu’s red card. (7)

Jorginho: Added some stability in defensive midfield on his arrival for Nketiah. (7)

Oleksandr Zinchenko and Jakub Kiwior: Did not play enough to earn a rating. N/A

Bonus Rating

Mikel Arteta: Excellent game management and tactical acumen to re-arrange his formation to accommodate the unfortunate red card Tomiyasu received. His substitutions were on point like a needle. (10)


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Crystal Palace Preview: Continue the Momentum

Arsenal start Premier League season with a win against Crystal Palace | Goal .com

Crystal Palace host Arsenal tonight in the final game of the Premier League game week 2 in what will prove to be a pulsating encounter. Eberechi Eze was on fire in Crystal Palace’s opening fixture against Sheffield United, taking eight shots and creating seven chances, and he was on all set pieces, taking him to talismanic status from the departed Wilfried Zaha.

Arsenal and Crystal Palace won their opening fixtures with slender leads and will lock horns in this London derby to move further up the table. Crystal Palace’s record against Arsenal is quite poor, with the Eagles winning just one of their last eight encounters with the Gunners. Last season, Arsenal did the double over Crystal Palace, winning 2-0 in Selhurst Park and thrashing Palace 4-1 in the return fixture at the Emirates. However, Crystal Palace have won three of their 23 league home matches against Arsenal, drawing eight and losing 12, with two of those victories coming in the Premier League.

In his pre-Crystal Palace press conference, Arsenal gaffer, Mikel Arteta, had some great words to say about the Eagles’ boss, Roy Hodgson, 

“Hats off to him. I told him personally when I saw him last week. It’s not only what he’s done, it’s how he’s done it. He’s so natural and he’s still so humble, so intelligent and the way he manages the team, the results that he’s having – it’s just excellent.  

“He’s somebody to look very closely at of how he’s done it because it’s amazing what he’s done. If we are invited, we have a drink together because it’s always fascinating to listen to him and the people that have been alongside him for a long time because they’re the ones that know him really well.”

Crystal Palace managed to turn Selhurst Park into a fortress last season, as they only lost five times at home throughout the season and took 11 points from the final 15 on offer in front of their home fans. However, it’s worth noting that Arsenal had the best away record in the top flight last season, claiming 39 points from a possible 57.

To team news, Arsenal will be without Jurrien Timber who will be out for a considerable chunk of the season, while Mohamed Elneny and Gabriel Jesus still recuperating from their knee injury. Oleksandr Zinchenko is still making his comeback from his calf problem and this game might come too soon for him. For Crystal Palace, Michael Olise finally signed off a long-term contract to ward off the interest from Chelsea, but he’s still nursing a hamstring injury. Their new signing, Matheus Franca, is nursing a back problem, while Will Hughes and Malcolm Ebiowei are still out. 

Crystal Palace and Arsenal Predicted Lineups

Crystal Palace: Johnstone; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Doucoure, Lerma; Ayew, Eze, Schlupp; Edouard

Arsenal: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney; Rice, Partey, Odegaard; Martinelli, Havertz, Saka.

Injury / Suspension Updates

Crystal PalaceMichael Olise (hamstring), Matheus Franca (back), Will Hughes (knee), Malcom Ebiowei (lack of match fitness)

Arsenal: Gabriel Jesus, Mo Elneny, Jurrien Timber (knee), Oleksandr Zinchenko (lack of match fitness)

Form Guide

Crystal Palace

  • Last Five Games:  W L D W W
  • Last Result: Sheffield United 0-1 Crystal Palace (Edouard 49′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Odsonne Edouard (1)

Arsenal Form

  • Last Five Games: L W D D W
  • Last Result: Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City (Nketiah 26′, Saka 32′ | Awoniyi 82′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka (1)

Gooner Daily predicts a 3 – 1 win.

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