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Premier League: 10-man Arsenal earn crucial win at Crystal Palace

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Crystal Palace 0 - 1 Arsenal - Premier League
Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard celebrates after scoring against Crystal Palace on Monday, August 21 2023. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |
  • Crystal Palace hosted Arsenal in matchweek 2 of the Premier League on Monday night
  • Both sides headed into the match after winning their respective matches in week one
  • Despite getting a red-card late on, Arsenal clinched on a 1-0 win thanks to Odegaard’s penalty

Martin Odegaard scored a crucial goal from the penalty spot to help Arsenal secure a hard-fought 1-0 triumph against Crystal Palace, extending their victorious run in the Premier League. In a game where the odds seemed stacked against them due to a red card for Takehiro Tomiyasu, Arsenal displayed resilience and determination to claim three crucial points. As they clinched their second consecutive victory, they joined the elite ranks of Manchester City and Brighton as the only teams with perfect records after two matches.

The encounter at Selhurst Park was a tightly contested affair from the outset. Odegaard, who was leading the team as captain, took center stage in the second half when he confidently converted a penalty kick. This critical moment shifted the balance in favor of the Gunners, who then had to dig deep to defend their slim lead after Tomiyasu’s expulsion.

Crystal Palace 0-1 Arsenal: Premier League

Arsenal players celebrate after Martin Odegaard scored from the spot against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Monday, August 21 2023. | PHOTO: Guardian |

READ: Arsenal to return back to transfer market after Jurrien Timber injury

Mikel Arteta made a single alteration to his starting lineup compared to their season-opening win against Nottingham Forest. Jurrien Timber’s absence due to injury paved the way for Tomiyasu’s inclusion at left-back, but the defender’s controversial sending off in this match means he will be suspended for the upcoming clash against Fulham.

Crystal Palace, unchanged from their previous victory over Sheffield United, began the game on the front foot. Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal’s goalkeeper, was called into action early on, making a crucial low save to deny an Eberechi Eze strike as the home team built momentum. However, Arsenal struggled to establish control as Cheick Doucoure fired a speculative effort wide.

Gradually, the visitors started to assert themselves, and Eddie Nketiah was unlucky to see his shot hit the post after getting past Sam Johnstone in Palace’s goal. With the game opening up, both teams had opportunities, with Jordan Ayew nearly capitalizing on a mistake by William Saliba, only for the French defender to redeem himself with a crucial last-ditch tackle.

READ: Arsenal open talks with City for Barcelona target Joao Cancelo

Arsenal responded quickly, and Nketiah squandered a golden chance as he attempted a delicate lob over Johnstone from close range. Odegaard came close to breaking the deadlock with a curled strike from outside the box, but Johnstone tipped the ball over the crossbar.

The breakthrough for Arsenal finally arrived shortly after the restart. Gabriel Martinelli’s quick free-kick set up Nketiah, who was brought down by the sliding Johnstone in the penalty area. Referee David Coote pointed to the spot, and the decision withstood a VAR review. Odegaard stepped up and calmly dispatched the penalty, sending Johnstone the wrong way from 12 yards.

However, the match took another twist as Coote made two contentious decisions in quick succession. Tomiyasu received a yellow card for time-wasting at a throw-in, and then, in a debatable call, he was shown a red card for a soft foul on Ayew.

Arteta reacted swiftly, bringing on Gabriel Magalhaes for Martinelli, and Jorginho replaced Nketiah as Arsenal aimed to protect their lead. Jakub Kiwior and the returning Oleksandr Zinchenko were added to the defensive lineup as Odegaard and Bukayo Saka made way. This defensive reshuffle proved effective as Arsenal’s rearguard displayed tenacity, celebrating every challenge and clearance as they hung on to secure the precious victory.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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