Premier League
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace1ArsenalArsenal2

Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal

By Patrick JenningsBBC Sport
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud showed brilliant technique to scissor-kick Arsenal into the lead, despite falling backwards

Arsenal recovered from their opening-day defeat by West Ham to record a hard-fought victory at Crystal Palace.

Alexis Sanchez had three shots blocked as the Gunners began aggressively before Olivier Giroud got the opener.

The Frenchman's superb scissor kick put away a Mesut Ozil cross but the lead lasted 12 minutes until Joel Ward's driven shot drew Palace level.

Connor Wickham hit the post on his home debut before Damian Delaney sliced a Sanchez header into his own net.

Jordon Mutch almost inadvertently grabbed a late equaliser when the ball struck his head and went over from a corner, while Petr Cech held a Ward header in a frantic finish.

But despite Palace's combative display, Arsene Wenger's side ultimately deserved the three points for the quality of their movement and resilience in defence.

Relive Arsenal's win at Crystal Palace

Are Arsenal back on track?

Ozil pass map
Ozil had a passing success rate of 97.9%

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said the way in which his side responded to the 2-0 home defeat by West Ham last Sunday would define their season.

Sanchez returned for a first start since his extended break following the Copa America and injected the Gunners with an immediate dose of urgency in attack.

The Chile international was a constant menace in the opening stages and his hard running set the tone, but Wenger will be more pleased by the way in which the Gunners reasserted their dominance after being pegged back.

Ozil, Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey continued to pester Palace with their crisp passing and aggressive movement and Sanchez's determination was the key factor in re-taking the lead.

He leaped over right-back Ward at the back post to force Delaney into the own goal, but Giroud's effort will live longer in the memory. The 28-year-old showed beautiful technique to retain his balance and strike the ball sweetly as he controlled his fall away from goal.

Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez was a constant menace in the opening stages and his hard running set the tone

How far did Palace push them?

Arsenal definitely rode their luck at times. Wickham was close to putting Palace ahead after the break and Jason Puncheon finished tamely when presented with a brilliant chance.

Francis Coquelin was perhaps fortunate to have picked up just the one yellow card before being replaced, with referee Lee Mason taking a lenient view of the Frenchman's persistent fouling.

Cech was at fault for both of West Ham's goals but there was little he could do about Palace's equaliser as Ward's driven strike was clipping the inside of post by the time he had reached the full length of this dive.

There were still a few nervy moments for the goalkeeper - most notably when clearing high balls as Palace looked to make the most of set pieces - but overall Arsenal looked more likely to score a third than Palace equalising for a second time.

Man of the match: Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil was composed under pressure, provided the killer cross for Giroud's wonderful opener and misplaced just one of his 55 passes

Manager reaction

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew, speaking to BBC Sport: "The game changed on two incidents. We hit the post at 1-1 and you have to argue they are lucky to have 11 players. Everyone knew in the stadium Francis Coquelin should have gone.

Arsenal lucky to have 11 men - Pardew

"The game was very even, they play a different style. They were good, much better than against West Ham. Sharper in the mind and we still feel aggrieved we haven't come out with anything.

"Arsenal were a hurt animal but the early period was bad for us, we made a lot of mistakes."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, speaking to BBC Sport: "Our fluency was good in the first half and our mental response was good at 1-1.

Wenger relieved to pick up first win

"It was a bit scary to look at the chances we missed - you thought we would be punished after that but we dug in and hung on in the last 10 minutes, and that too is important in the season.

"Alexis Sanchez has only had two weeks of training but still he had the mental resources to score us a vital goal today. We know it's not a 100%-fit Sanchez but a 100%-motivated Sanchez, and that at times can be enough."

Next up

Arsenal face Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium next Monday (20:00 BST), while Palace are at home to Aston Villa on Saturday (15:00).

The stats you need to know

  • Arsenal's last three Premier League clashes with Crystal Palace have all ended in 2-1 victories for the Gunners.
  • Giroud has scored in each of his three Premier League appearances at Selhurst Park against Palace.
  • Arsenal have only kept one clean sheet in their last eight Premier League away games.
  • The Gunners enjoyed a better pass success rate and also won a higher percentage of their tackles - 85.2% to Palace's 72.2%.

Social media reaction

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil tweetRio Ferdinand TwitterAlexis SanchezAlex McCarthy Twitter

Line-ups

Crystal Palace

  • 12McCarthy
  • 2Ward
  • 6Dann
  • 27Delaney
  • 23Souaré
  • 11ZahaSubstituted forLeeat 76'minutes
  • 42Puncheon
  • 7Cabaye
  • 18McArthurBooked at 45minsSubstituted forBamfordat 80'minutes
  • 10BolasieSubstituted forMutchat 45'minutes
  • 21Wickham

Substitutes

  • 3Mariappa
  • 8Bamford
  • 13Hennessey
  • 14Lee
  • 15Jedinak
  • 17Murray
  • 22Mutch

Arsenal

  • 33Cech
  • 24Bellerín
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 18Monreal
  • 34CoquelinBooked at 41minsSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 64'minutes
  • 19Cazorla
  • 16Ramsey
  • 11ÖzilSubstituted forGibbsat 83'minutes
  • 17SánchezSubstituted forArtetaat 75'minutes
  • 12Giroud

Substitutes

  • 2Debuchy
  • 3Gibbs
  • 5Gabriel
  • 8Arteta
  • 13Ospina
  • 14Walcott
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
24,732

Match Stats

Home TeamCrystal PalaceAway TeamArsenal
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home11
Away20
Shots on Target
Home4
Away7
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Crystal Palace 1, Arsenal 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 1, Arsenal 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal).

  4. Post update

    Jordon Mutch (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Arsenal. Kieran Gibbs tries a through ball, but Olivier Giroud is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace).

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Lee Chung-yong.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey with a through ball.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jason Puncheon with a cross.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Mikel Arteta.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jordon Mutch (Crystal Palace) header from very close range is too high following a corner.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Laurent Koscielny.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

  17. Post update

    Lee Chung-yong (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Pape Souaré (Crystal Palace).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Kieran Gibbs replaces Mesut Özil.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City22006066
2Leicester22006336
3Man Utd22002026
4Everton21105234
5Swansea21104224
6Crystal Palace21014313
7West Ham21013213
8Liverpool11001013
9Norwich21014403
10Aston Villa21011103
11Arsenal210123-13
12Watford20202202
13Stoke201123-11
14Tottenham201123-11
15Newcastle201124-21
16Chelsea201125-31
17Southampton201125-31
18West Brom201103-31
19Bournemouth100101-10
20Sunderland200237-40
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