Match ends, Crystal Palace 1, Arsenal 2.
Crystal Palace 1-2 Arsenal
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.
Are Arsenal back on track?
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.
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
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.
"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.
"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."
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
- 11ZahaSubstituted forLeeat 76'minutes
- 18McArthurBooked at 45minsSubstituted forBamfordat 80'minutes
- 10BolasieSubstituted forMutchat 45'minutes
- 34CoquelinBooked at 41minsSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 64'minutes
- 11ÖzilSubstituted forGibbsat 83'minutes
- 17SánchezSubstituted forArtetaat 75'minutes
- Lee Mason
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 1, Arsenal 2.
Foul by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal).
Jordon Mutch (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
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.
Offside, Arsenal. Kieran Gibbs tries a through ball, but Olivier Giroud is caught offside.
Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace).
Attempt blocked. Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Lee Chung-yong.
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.
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.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Mikel Arteta.
Attempt missed. Jordon Mutch (Crystal Palace) header from very close range is too high following a corner.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Laurent Koscielny.
Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).
Lee Chung-yong (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Pape Souaré (Crystal Palace).
Substitution, Arsenal. Kieran Gibbs replaces Mesut Özil.
Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Patrick Bamford (Crystal Palace).
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Joel Ward.
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Patrick Bamford replaces James McArthur.
Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace).
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Offside, Arsenal. Olivier Giroud tries a through ball, but Mesut Özil is caught offside.
Substitution, Crystal Palace. Lee Chung-yong replaces Wilfried Zaha.
Substitution, Arsenal. Mikel Arteta replaces Alexis Sánchez.
Attempt missed. Connor Wickham (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jason Puncheon with a cross following a set piece situation.
Foul by Nacho Monreal (Arsenal).
Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Damien Delaney.
Attempt blocked. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Petr Cech.
Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace).
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace).
Attempt missed. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a through ball.