Arsenal ‘got away with it’ after electric start – because Palace ‘lack an Ian Wright’

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Arsenal’s performance at Crystal Palace has been questioned despite a 2-0 victory for the Gunners.

Mikel Arteta’s side raced into a one-goal lead on the opening night of the Premier League season, making a scintilating start to the campaign.

Arsenal bagged three points on the opening night

Getty

Arsenal bagged three points on the opening night

Gabriel Martinelli headed the visitors into a deserved lead on 20 minutes and it looked like Arsenal could run away with the game.

However, for the next 65 minutes, Palace piled on the pressure and spurned two glorious opportunities to score through Osdonne Edouard and Eberechi Eze.

In the end, the Gunners doubled their lead as Marc Guehi turned Bukayo Saka’s cross into his own net on 85 minutes, glossing over some alarming moments for Arteta’s side after that fast start.

“Arsenal gave everyone a glimpse of what they’re capable of in that first 20 minutes, they were electric,” ex-Premier League striker Dean Ashton said on commentary for talkSPORT.

“But there were long periods in that game where it felt like they were just surviving, rather than having control of the game and dominating away from home.

“It felt like they survived and maybe got away with a result. Vieira will want to do business in the next few weeks because Palace are looking a bit light on quality, but there’s nothing wrong with the effort.”

Palace lacked a cutting edge in front of goal

Rex

Palace lacked a cutting edge in front of goal


And ex-Chelsea defender Jason Cundy believes that while Arsenal will dominate headlines, the real questions are facing Palace.

He argues the Gunners were let off the hook by a lack of firepower up front for the hosts, referencing legendary striker Ian Wright – who played for both clubs.

“They had no real quality,” Cundy told talkSPORT. “There will be tougher evenings’ work for Arsenal.

“Every season, I seem to be saying the same thing, in front of goal they just seem to lack an Ian Wright.

Arsenal would’ve been in trouble if Palace had a clinical striker on Friday night…

Getty Images – Getty

Arsenal would’ve been in trouble if Palace had a clinical striker on Friday night…

“That’s the sort of cutting edge they lack. Between the two goals, Arsenal didn’t do a great deal.”

But ex-England forward Carlton Cole insists it does not matter how you win on the opening day of a new season.

He told talkSPORT: “First game of the season is very, very hard to get your bearings.

“Away to Palace, they are a hard outfit to break down. Last season, Arsenal went down to Brentford, so this is a great sign.

“It doesn’t matter how they did it!”

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