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Saliba posts man-of-the-match display as Arsenal defeat Crystal Palace in Premier League opener

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Saliba posted a man-of-the-match on his Premier League debut

It took two loan moves to the Ligue 1 for William Saliba to convince Mikel Arteta of his readiness for the grueling duels of the Premier League and he shone on his debut.

Arsenal have the Frenchman’s composure to thank for grinding out a tough win against Crystal Palace.

It was far from the typical Arsenal performance – crisp passing, penetrating runs and pace but the team showed great mentality and desire all game.

While the Gunners dictated spells in the first half with Gabriel Martinelli culpable for missing a gilt-edged chance, the Brazilian forward appeased fans by grabbing Arsenal’s first of the night in the 20th minute.

Bukayo Saka’s corner kick was met with Olek Zinchenko’s cushioned header towards the path of Martinelli who beat Guaita to his far post.

Crystal Palace dominated the second half as they showed physical superiority but the Arsenal defense line dealt creditably well with the long balls.

Bukayo Saka would also be culpable for not taking the initiative on some occasions but looked like the livelier player in the team.

How did star forward Gabriel Jesus perform?

Jesus fought relentlessly until he was subbed off for Eddie Nketiah late in the game.

He fought valiantly against a tough Palace defense until he was subbed off after the 80th minute mark.

Nketiah who replaced him looked sharp and Arsenal fans will hope for better days for their star Brazilian.

How did Ebere Eze perform against Arsenal?

Eze showed flashes of what he can be for Palace when fit as he orchestrated most of the team’s attacking moves.

The Patrick Vieira-led Palace have shown promise and with Eze, can do better this season.

They faced a vastly-improved Arsenal team and didn’t hide with their Super Eagles-eligible midfielder showing good touches and what makes him a fans’ favourite.

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