Arsenal were spared their blushes after a stoppage time strike from Aaron Ramsey. The Gunners were mostly in control of the game but did let Crystal Palace in on a few occasions. It was Palace that took the lead from a corner after poor marking by Arsenal. Brede Hangeland’s movement wasn’t picked up by the defence and his header gave the visitors a surprise lead.
In the first-half Alexis made some good runs and wasn’t afraid to run at the Palace team, while Yaya Sanogo proved a frustrating figure up top after being selected ahead of Olivier Giroud. Sanogo on several occasions found his touch letting him down and couldn’t provide much to the Arsenal attack. It was Palace though who took the lead 10 minutes before the end of the first-half. Slack marking and good movement from Hangeland gave the visitors the lead.
Arsenal continued to press but found creating clear cut opportunities hard to come by. They did, however, equalize from an Alexis costless-kick drifter into the box which found Laurent Koscielny, who had peeled away from his marker. Koscielny convereted with a well placed header and the teams were all square at the end of the first-half.
Into the second-half and it was more of the same for Arsenal. Lots of possession but lacked a final ball to really penetrate the Crystal Palace defence. Arsenal made a change and it was Sanogo who would make way for Olivier Giroud. Giroud was Arsenal’s second substation after Nacho Monreal came on to replace an injured Kieran Gibbs. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain was to replace Jack Wilshere for Arsenal’s last change.
Arsenal pushed and pushed and created a great chance when Monreal played an excellent ball across but Giroud couldn’t make the contact needed. Giroud would have another chance after a clever reverse pass from Alexis, but his shot dragged wide.
Arsenal eventually found the break through and won the match deep into stoppage time when a corner floated in was met by Koscielny and then by Giroud. Debuchy’s shot was saved but only parried to the waiting Aaron Ramsey who hit home and won the three points for the Gunners.
It wasn’t vintage Arsenal by any means but it was the opening game of the season and a win is the most important thing. Mesut Ozil is still to come back to the team along with Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski. Alexis will also need some time to adjust to the Premier League but the right ingredients are there for Arsenal to succeed.