Arsenal new boys shine Saliba looks real deal

Arsenal new boys shine Saliba looks real deal

Crystal Palace 0-2 Arsenal: William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus shine | Gary Neville says Saliba is like a young Rio Ferdinand

Gabriel Martinelli’s header and a Marc Guehi own goal earned Arsenal victory at Crystal Palace but it was the performances of William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus that will have fans dreaming as Gary Neville compares Saliba to a young Rio Ferdinand…

Arsenal new boys shine | 'Saliba looks real deal'

Arsenal justified the pre-season buzz about their potential improvement with a deserved 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Two new signings and one long-awaited Premier League debut will only add to the excitement.

Arsenal’s summer seems to have been an exercise in increasing pressure. A late-season slip that allowed their rivals to secure Champions League football ahead of them was followed by a documentary recording in detail how those events played out.

Throw in transfer spending in excess of £100m that appears to have addressed the main weaknesses. Add some impressive pre-season form that included thrashings of Chelsea and Sevilla. That concoction had Arsenal supporters hoping for much, much more.

On this evidence, that optimism is vindicated. Arsenal started strongly, proving too quick and too slick for a Palace side made to look sluggish in comparison. When the pressure came in the second half, they held on before adding a second goal. It was impressive.

It has not always been that way on occasions such as this one. This is the second season in a row that the Gunners have kicked off their Premier League season under the Friday night lights. Last year, across the capital, they were bullied and beaten by Brentford.

More recently, on Arsenal’s last trip to Selhurst Park in April, there was an even more emphatic defeat inflicted. That 3-0 loss to Palace was miserable. Mikel Arteta’s side spurned the chance to move up to fourth place in the table, clear of Tottenham with a game in hand.

“It is time to accept the criticism, put your hand up and apologise because this performance was not good enough for this club,” said Arteta at the time. Subsequent defeats to Brighton and Southampton further curtailed the momentum. It proved costly.

Seven of the starting line-up for this game were the same but it is the identities of the new additions that have helped to change the mood. William Saliba is finally here. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus come with obvious pedigree as Premier League champions.

“We come here full of optimism. The new signings have brought more energy, quality, leadership and knowing how to win football matches,” Aaron Ramsdale told Sky Sports beforehand. “We are all trying to get into the same mindset as them.”

Winning transfer windows and winning matches are not the same thing, of course, but the signings from City and the returning Saliba all played pivotal roles in this victory. It is already clear that they can help Arsenal to become a better team this time around.

Zinchenko’s positioning
Left-back was a problem position for Arsenal last season due to Kieran Tierney’s fitness problems. Nuno Tavares was unconvincing and occasionally hapless, pressing Granit Xhaka into action in an unfamiliar role. The arrival of Zinchenko changes that.

Indeed, the Ukraine international could change rather more about Arsenal’s build-up play given that he is no ordinary left-back. His propensity to come inside to control possession was a feature of his play at Manchester City and there were signs of that here too.

“It is really interesting watching Zinchenko,” said Jamie Carragher, covering the game for Sky Sports at Selhurst Park. “He is picking up those positions inside that he did at Man City. Other times he is really high and wide. There is great mix in his play.”

It was Zinchenko’s positioning that led to the opening goal. Ben White’s decision to push forward to the edge of the box for an attacking corner distracted Wilfried Zaha and bought Zinchenko the space to head the ball on for Martinelli to score from close range.独行月球線上看–2022-完整版_1080p-107tLtPE70원피스-극장판-빨간-머리-디바-풀버전-온라인-hd-무료-hd1080p_2022-107tLtPE72

Jesus’ clever movement
Martinelli should have scored already by that point but that chance was all about the brilliance of Jesus. The sequence of play in the fourth minute epitomised his game – winning the ball back high up the pitch before wriggling free to create the chance.

Jesus was electric and his movement off the ball looks likely to make everyone around him better. That willingness to make runs off the ball was lacking from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette at times last season. Jesus is different.

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