Arsenal got off to a perfect start to the new English Premier League season as they 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 75 days out.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he was happy to have the first win on the board after a difficult game.
“Yes, I am very happy about the win. Three points, one goal against a really difficult opponent and a really difficult pitch,” he told reporters after the game.
“We’ve shown great resilience to get through it and it’s really positive how we started.
“We started out really sharp, really mobile, really determined to play how we wanted to play. Overall positive.”
The Arsenal team had come under increased scrutiny with the season opener in the same week that the Amazon docuseries ‘All or Nothing’, which chronicled the team’s previous campaign, was released.
But the visitors didn’t look phased as the host of youngsters started the game in brilliant form.
New signing Gabriel Jesus was electrifying at times, adding intensity to Arsenal in the last third, while 21-year-old defender William Saliba impressed in his debut league appearance for the Gunners. Saliba was previously away from the club on loan.
There was also a debut for Ukraine captain Oleksandr Zinchenko, who joined the Emirates after leaving Manchester City.
The defender gave his new side extra composure and was on hand to assist Martinelli’s header from a well-crafted corner.
While Arsenal’s second-half performance looked a bit tattered at times, it’s been a positive start to the season on which many are expected.
Fans will be clamoring for a top-four result after what appears to be a strong transfer window and an impressive pre-season.
League games have started a week earlier than usual this year, with the men’s World Cup being played mid-season, and fans will be looking forward to a whole host of games over the weekend.