Aaron Ramsey’s injury time finish helped Arsenal overcome an organised Palace side. The Welshman already back in his rich scoring form of last season opened his account last weekend before scoring the winner yesterday. Palace without the departed Tony Pullis were organised and resolute before Brede Hangeland nodded home in the first half to put them in front. Laurent Koscielny glanced home on the stroke of half time to equalize ahead of Ramsey’s winner.
Arsenal remained unchanged from their 3-0 win over Manchester City last Sunday with Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Callum Chambers all making their Premier League debuts for the Gunners. Palace started 3 new signings in their first 11 with Martin Kelly playing at full back, Brede Hangeland at center half and Fraizer Campbell starting as the lone front man. Arsenal started as they normally do with the majority of possession but lacked pace and tempo in their play. Palace rarely looked threatened by Arsenal with Marouane Chamakh playing in a deeper role sitting on Mikel Arteta. Chamakh was a nuisance for Arsenal constantly pressing on the ball when Palace were out of possession. Palace maintained organisation and after a run from Puncheon caused Szczesny to sweep up, the clearance went to Chamakh who saw his effort blocked by Koscielny. From resulting pressure Palace forced a corner where the opening goal was scored. Ledley’s corner was flicked on by Hangeland into the far corner after evading Arsenal’s zonal marking system from the corner.
Arsenal continued in their normal fashion but the midfield trio of Wilshere, Ramsey and Cazorla were struggling to find space between Palace’s midfield. Cazorla seemed off the pace and out of position on the left hand side, miss placing passes throughout the half. On the stroke of half time, Alexis’s free kick was flicked in by Koscielny after the Frenchman evaded Palace’s scorer from the free kick. The goal came at the right time for Arsenal just before half time giving them a boost before the second half.
Chamakh continued his lively start creating a good chance from Puncheon but the winger saw his shot go straight at Szczesny. Wenger decided to bring on Oliver Giroud and Chamberlain to try and add impetus in the final third of the match. However as like the rest of the game, Arsenal lacked movement and tempo to their game in and around the Palace box, even Chamberlain was in the routine of miss placing passes. Giroud went close for the home side after his cross shot went wide with Ramsey and Debuchy caught on their heels at the back post. But with a minute to go Jason Puncheon was sent off for a second yellow card after catching Monreal with a trailing leg. After an Arsenal corner the ball was played back out to Chamberlain who saw his cross headed down to Debuchy by Koscienly and Giroud. The new signing saw his volley saved by Speroni but the rebound left Ramsey with the easy finish to win the game for the Gunners. Palace would be disappointed conceding two goals from set pieces, but the more worrying thing is the departure of Tony Pullis. Palace’s performance typified the way Tony Pullis had set up the Eagles to become a good Premier League side
Although Arsenal did not play well unlike other years they won ugly today without the big players having a massive impact on the game. With the returning German trio Arsenal have some quality coming back into the team and will need to play better as the season goes on to challenge at the top of the league.