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Saliba stars as debutants impress: Arsenal player ratings vs Crystal Palace

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Saliba stars as debutants impress: Arsenal player ratings vs Crystal Palace

Arsenal opened up the 2022/23 season with an impressive 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The Gunners dominated the opening 20 minutes, with Gabriel Jesus creating havoc in and around the box and Gabriel Martinelli missing a great chance to give Arsenal the lead from close range.

He made up for it soon after, as Bukayo Saka’s deep corner was headed into the six-yard box by Oleksandr Zinchenko, and turned home by Martinelli.

Arsenal saw the rest of the first half out, creating a couple more chances, but Crystal Palace began to grow into the game.

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In the second half, Palace came out on the front foot creating chances, with long balls from Joachim Andersen being the main source of threat.

Aaron Ramsdale was called into action when Eze came in one on one with him, but the goalkeeper came out on top to stop the chance.

William Saliba was crucial for Arsenal, winning tackle after tackle and everything in the air.

A Saka whipped cross was headed by Marc Guehi into his own net with 5 minutes to play, and Arsenal ran out winners.

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PLAYER RATINGS

Aaron Ramsdale- 8

The England international had some shaky moments in the game, a few poor kicks at times and some questionable decisions, however his all round performance was key to keep a clean sheet.

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He made two key saves, one a close-range header from Edouard and another a one on one with Eze that he kept out. Ramsdale had yet another top performance in an Arsenal shirt and earned his first clean sheet in 10 Premier League games.

Ben White- 6

Going up against a top winger like Wilfried Zaha is never easy, and White being played somewhat out of position at right-back made it hard for him.

He had some good moments, but he misplaced numerous passes, gave the ball away in poor positions, and picked up a yellow card early into the second half. He has certainly had better days, and Arsenal will be hoping Tomiyasu can return soon to go back into the defence.

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William Saliba – 9 *MOTM*

If there was any doubt on Saliba’s ability before today, it was soon washed away as he put in a very impressive performance, dealing with every Palace attack that came the Gunners' way.

It was a debut for Saliba, after numerous loan spells in France, despite signing for around £27 million in 2019, and at just 21 years old he commanded the back line with his pace and power, and deservedly won the Man of the Match award.

Gabriel Magalhaes – 7

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Gabriel partnered Saliba in defence and had a very solid game. The physicality of the Palace players was met by the two centre-backs, and they didn’t allow themselves to be bullied in and around the area.

The new partnership of Saliba and Gabriel is going to be a scary sight in the Premier league, and very hard to get past.

Oleksandr Zinchenko- 8

With an assist and a clean sheet on his debut for Arsenal, fans couldn’t have asked for a much better start to Zinchenko's career in North London.

Most notably, his header into the six-yard box was nodded home by Martinelli for the first goal of the Premier League season.

Zinchenko proved to be a threat to Palace, his ability to bring the ball forward up the pitch was causing havoc, and his defending wasn’t too bad either.

Thomas Partey – 6

We didn’t see too much of Partey today, as most of the play from Palace was through long balls, and in the first half Arsenal played past the midfielders to get the ball up field quickly.

When he was seen, Partey had some good link-up play and won the ball back, but apart from that he wasn’t involved often.

Granit Xhaka- 6

Much like Partey, Xhaka wasn’t seen too often, however he had more of an influence getting up the pitch, and like in the Sevilla game he made some runs in behind the Palace defence, but wasn’t picked out.

In true Xhaka fashion, he picked up the first booking of the season in the first half, after going down easily from a challenge, despite it being very harsh.

Though some of the Palace players did the same and failed to be booked, it still knocks down his rating slightly.

Martin Odegaard- 7

A weird performance for Odegaard. In the first 25 minutes, he looked sharp, keeping the ball and providing excellent link up play and vision to cause headaches for Palace players.

However, in the second half the Arsenal captain was very quiet, as it was mostly Palace coming forward. He had two great chances to get shots off at the Palace goal, but on both occasions he tried to make a one extra pass and lost possession.

Bukayo Saka- 8

Saka was another Arsenal player who was rather quiet throughout most of the game, due to Palace’s constant threat in the second half. Yet he played a big part in both goals.

For the first, it was his deep corner that was eventually turned home to give Arsenal an important lead, and in the second half he made some space on the right to whip the ball into the box, which was turned into the net by Guehi for an own goal.

Saka was key in Arsenal’s win, and has started the season right where he left off.

Gabriel Martinelli- 8

Martinelli’s header in the 20th minute gave Arsenal the opening goal of the Premier League season, and it was a key moment for Arteta’s men. He missed a great chance in the opening minutes from close range but made up for it soon after.

Gabi’s constant movement across the defence and threat to get in behind will allow him to score many goals this season and have another successful year at the Emirates.

Gabriel Jesus- 7

In the first half, Jesus was electric, his quick feet in and around the box were nearly unstoppable and he was unlucky not to get a clear sight of goal. However, the second half was near enough the opposite, rarely getting a touch of the ball and losing out to Joachim Andersen in the air more than once.

Jesus has already showed his class in the pre-season, and if he plays out the rest of the season like he did the first half, he will have a top season.

Featured Image Credit: Action Plus Sports Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Arsenal, Crystal Palace

Alex Merson
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