Arsenal kicked off the new Premier League season with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Gabriel Martinelli scored the first goal of the 2022-23 campaign as the Gunners made an electric start in south London and threatened to blow away their London rivals.
Patrick Vieira’s Palace improved after the break and threatened to mount a comeback but Arsenal’s victory was sealed when Marc Guehi diverted Bukayo Saka’s cross into his own net.
Mikel Arteta gave debuts to summer signings Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko and the returning William Saliba, who spent last season on loan at Marseille.
Vieira, meanwhile, gave a start to new addition Cheick Doucoure in a largely familiar Crystal Palace side, with Christian Benteke absent following his loan move to MLS side DC United.
Arsenal have been rattled by similarly electric atmospheres in years gone by but there were no signs of that at Selhurst Park this evening as they dominated the early exchanges.
Martinelli should have put the visitors ahead after just three minutes but the Brazilian missed a sitter after Jesus glided past two defenders and saw his own effort blocked.
Former Manchester City defender Zinchenko sensed an opportunity to score his first Premier League goal inside ten minutes but his drilled effort was palmed away by Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
But Zinchenko did play a role in Arsenal’s first goal of the new season, drifting to the back post from a corner and heading the ball back into the danger area, with Martinelli on hand to nod home.
It appeared as though a lively and dynamic Arsenal could tear through Palace but they failed to double their lead before the hosts came back into the game later in the half.
Odsonne Edouard was denied by Gunners goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and the Palace forward threatened again on the stroke of half-time only to see his shot blocked over the bar by Gabriel Magalhaes.
Crystal Palace’s momentum continued after the break and Eberechi Eze should have levelled following a brilliant through ball from Wilfried Zaha, but Ramsdale again stood firm to frustrate the hosts.
Arsenal remained dangerous themselves, however, as new captain Martin Odegaard flashed a free-kick wide before hesitating and failing to trouble Guaita after being played in by the impressive Jesus.
Crystal Palace enjoyed their best period of the match midway through the second half and twice saw the ball flash past Arsenal’s goal, with no one able to convert.
But any hopes of a Palace comeback were dashed with six minutes remaining as Saka’s cross was diverted into the far corner off Guehi.
Arsenal play their first home game of the new season next Saturday as Leicester City visit the Emirates, while Crystal Palace return to action against Liverpool.
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