Arsenal hold off plucky Palace

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Arsenal bounced back from their opening-day defeat to get their first Premier League points on the board with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

  • Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 2
  • Acrobatic Giroud opens scoring
  • Ward scorcher draws Palace level
  • Wickham hits post after restart
  • Delaney OG gives Gunners win

Match Summary

The Gunners entered the game on the back of a 2-0 home loss to West Ham last weekend but got off to a flying start against the Eagles and took the lead after 16 minutes through a stylish Olivier Giroud volley.

The Eagles weren't behind for long, though, as Joel Ward levelled matters with an equally stunning long-range drive 12 minutes later, but Arsene Wenger's men snatched what would eventually prove the winner 10 minutes after the restart as Damien Delaney cleared into his own net from home Alexis Sanchez's header.

Full Report

The Gunners began with a flurry of early chances, the closest coming via a blistering counter attack on six minutes, but Sanchez just struggled to get the ball out from under his feet in time to round off a flowing move, allowing the defence to get back and close down the danger.

With 16 minutes gone, though, the visitors took the lead, and in spectacular fashion as Mesut Ozil burst through on the overlap before whipping the ball into the area to find Giroud, who showed great athleticism with a controlled acrobatic volley to hook the ball over his shoulder and into the far corner of the net.

The Gunners could have been two-up midway through the first half as Nacho Monreal was played in down the wing before picking out Sanchez in the area with a brilliant delivery, but the Chile international seemed surprised the ball got through to him and could only meekly head wide of the mark.

Wenger's team were soon made to pay for that miss as Palace found themselves level, Yannick Bolasie chesting a loose ball down into the path of James McArthur, who in turn set up Ward to hammer an unstoppable low drive past Petr Cech and into the bottom corner.

The hosts should have taken the lead for the first time shortly after the restart as Zaha's venomous delivery into the area found the run of Connor Wickham, who managed to get goal-side of Lauren Koscielny, but the forward was unable to mark his home debut with a goal as his first-time strike crashed cruelly back off the post.

And, with 55 minutes gone, it was Arsenal who went back in front, Bellerin again getting free down the right before crossing in to find the on-rushing Sanchez, whose header on target took a huge deflection off Delaney to find the opposite corner of the goal.

Alan Pardew's side weren't giving up the fight, though, and had a great chance to again draw level when Jason Puncheon controlled a loose ball with his chest before breaking into the area with all of the goal to aim for, but the bounce of the ball just deceived the midfielder as his shot tamely rolled into the waiting arms of Cech.

Aaron Ramsey had a decent chance to wrap the game up 10 minutes from time after receiving the ball in the area with space to shoot, but a rush of blood to the head saw the Wales international lash wildly at his effort to send the ball fizzing well wide of the mark.

Palace pushed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages but saw Lee Chung-yong robbed of possession in the area as he looked to cut back inside instead of shooting, while Ward could only direct his header from a corner straight at Cech.