Report: Arsenal 2-1 Crystal Palace (inc goals)

Koscielny Palace

Arsenal: Szczesny, Debuchy, Koscielny, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Alexis, Cazorla, Sanogo

Subs: Martinez, Monreal, Coquelin, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Giroud

Arsenal left it late to secure a win in the first Premier League game of the season with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace.

Arsene Wenger started with the same XI that began the Community Shield at Wembley last weekend, with Yaya Sanogo preferred to Olivier Giroud up front, also handing Arsenal Premier League debuts to Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis.

As you would expect the home side had most of the ball in the opening part of the game, with new boy Alexis involved, looking to hook up with Debuchy down the right the hand side.

There were some half-hearted penalty appeals when Ramsey ran into Scott Dann in the Palace area but it would have been generous to say the least.

Alexis had his first sight of goal in the 16th minute but fired over from 25 yards, but Arsenal’s passing was wayward with Ramsey, Wilshere and Alexis all guilty of gifting the ball to the opposition.

Yaya Sanogo fired a 27th minute shot wide after good hold-up play, before Jack Wilshere forced Julian Speroni into a save which the keeper pushed around the post for a corner.

The game was all Arsenal but against the run of play the visitors took the lead. Having won a corner after a weird sequence of play when Szczensy was almost caught out and Laurent Koscielny almost gave away a penalty, Palace won a corner.

From the in-swinging set piece former Fulham man Brede Hangeland rose highest to head across goal into the far corner. 0-1. It was interesting to note that Arsenal had no men on the posts when the corner was taken.

Arsenal’s most dangerous looking moments came from set-pieces but Cazorla’s delivery was poor and Palace found it easy to deal with. So, it was something of a surprise when a free kick brought about the Gunners equaliser.

This time Alexis curled the ball into the box from a central position around 40 yards out, and  it was Laurent Koscielny met the ball on the run and flicked a brilliant glancing header into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.

It meant the teams went in level at the break, neither side made a half-time change and Arsenal defended a Palace corner in the opening moments of the second period.

We were forced into a 53rd minute change with Nacho Monreal replacing Kieran Gibbs who looked to tweak a hamstring, and the game continued in the same vein as the first half with Arsenal struggling to break Palace down and Palace time-wasting like bandits.

Jason Puncheon had a couple of efforts on goal, one of which was blocked the other which was saved by Szczesny, while Cazorla picked up Arsenal’s second booking of the game for a foul on Chamakh.

Arsene Wenger made his second change in the 60th minute, throwing on last season’s top goalscorer Olivier Giroud for the ineffective Sanogo. There were then claims for an Arsenal penalty when the ball clearly hit Chamakh on the arm inside the area, but referee Jon Moss was having none of it. Replays showed he clearly leaned into the ball.

Alexis combined well with Cazorla in in the 69th minute but his shot was too weak and easily saved. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain then replaced Jack Wilshere as Arsenal looked to increase the pressure on the visitors.

Ramsey saw a shot easily saved and a Monreal cross fizzed across the box, just missing the run of Giroud who certainly livened things up after coming on. Alexis had a free kick in a good position but whacked it over the bar, and after good build-up play the Chilean overhit his cross with Giroud waiting in the middle.

Again Arsenal’s passing let them down with Cazorla and the Ox finding touch rather than a red shirt. Giroud held off Hangeland well before firing a shot not far beyond the far post from a tight angle, before Palace were reduced to 10 men when Puncheon picked up a second yellow for an 89th minute foul on Monreal.

It was to prove costly, as Arsenal scored almost straight away from a corner. The set-piece came in, was cleared, it went back in again, Koscielny headed it to the back post, Giroud nodded it back across goal and Aaron Ramsey was on hand to poke home from close range. 2-1.

It was the goal to take all three points, even if we had to survive a late corner for Palace, and despite not playing particularly well, the points were all that mattered.

A good start to the season, and something we can certainly build on.


    • What a tense game, but it’s a real shame that Pulis had to up and resign two days ago. It would have added that little bit of extra to the sweetness of the victory if the camera had cut to that spend-happy neanderthal crumbling up his stupid baseball cap and launching it into the turf after Ramsey’s game-winner.

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    • Just got back from the match, it’s 22.23, and am really pleased we got the three points. Thought Santi was seriously out of sorts. Can’t remember him ever having such a poor game. The crowd was also quite nervy and maybe that worked it way through to the players. We don’t do well with home opening matches! Still definitely three points more than we had at the same stage last year.


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    • How do we not have a better song for Kos? “He wants his own song”? He deserves his own hymnbook at this point.

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    • Ramsey’s post match interview – ‘They drew first blood, not me’

      (That is my favourite Arseblog comment ever, im off to watch Rambo)

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    • Ramsey in the right place at the right time. Those so called pundits would have been all up in our case if didn’t win.

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    • To be honest, I though Ramsey had a quiet first 90 minutes 😉

      But he can play like that every game if he keeps scoring like that.

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  1. I bet speroni regrets the time he wasted now.

    Sidenote. Anyone saying sanogo is better than giroud really is clueless

    Also Chambers is a solid CB


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    • Yep, not too many strikers in the world could have brought the ball down like he did to create the chance (from Koscielny’s header -> Debuchy -> Ramsey).

      And how good was Arteta? Seriously, 2 very under-rated players. Although I do agree we need better players in their positions as starters especially against big teams, both of them deserve a lot of appreciation they don’t get.

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    • Very disappointed with Wilshere’s play today. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but he looks to have continued his poor form from last season.

      You also get the impression Alexis is still trying to figure out his teammates, but I’m optimistic he will very soon. Quality player. His movement is just sublime.

      Very happy with 3 points, though!

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    • Even though, in my opinion, that no.10 position is Wilshere’s best, I thought it would be better if Cazorla started in the middle with The Ox on the left. After all, Cazorla is our best no.10 after Ozil.

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  2. Welsh Jesus strikes again!!!!
    As far as crossing the ball, Debuchy> Sagna
    Alexis needs a little bit more time to adapt.

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    • Himself and Debuchy love a risky maneuver, Alexis must have given the ball away 10 times but im not complaining, he is electric and always trying something. When he clicks with the team its gona be off the chain. COYG

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    • Somehow I’d not realized Alexis is such a pitbull.

      Good to see the guy tackle back, and tackle back…. he’s definitely brought the Barca philosophy with him of if you lose the ball; keep harrying them until you get it back. Nice signs.

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  3. I watched this on a stream, and they subtitled Jamie Carragher when he spoke… comic…

    No spine my arse

    Up the ARSE!

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    • well neither did Alexis or cazorla, but lets not throw them overboard just yet. I’m not sure he’s the new Henry either, but Wenger trusts him, and so should we. If he isn’t bether come january we can think otherwise but for now i think we should trust Wenger, he does now a thing or two about football

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  4. Let us all sing praises to the Welsh Jesus, for where we would have stalled or faltered seasins ago, he has blessed us with 3 points.

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    • Did you hear Paul Scholes on BT? He might be the worst commentator ever (including Owen). He’s more unintelligible than Carragher, and talks like he’s purely there as a Utd supporter (loads of ‘us’ and ‘we’ and ‘Wayne’ nonsense).

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  5. Neville: Arsenal need leadership at set pieces.
    Neville: Szczesny needs to stop dictating to the defenders
    We can win on the pitch, just not with these people.

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    • To be fair though, Neville’s been a great pundit, he’s defended Arsenal and Arsene plenty after he’s become a pundit for me to dislike him and regard him with the others like Carragher and Scholes.

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  6. Wo, that was a rather … eh… not as good as hoped performance. But hey, we won ‘n got the 3 points. We’ll be glad for them come may.

    Chambers really looks good! Good defending, but I was really impressed by his passingrange, he was bloody tremendos.

    And welsh Jesus showed that even when the messiah is a bit on the back foot, he still saves the day!

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    • Did enjoy Chambers today, but when he’s given time on the ball going forward, he does this little telltale one footed hop thing before playing the pass. When going backward or sideways, there’s no hop.

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      • I noticed that too, slows the game a bit in games like this but the calmness of him is amazing (apart from that ‘fuck this’ tackle where he cleaned the guy out but took the ball PHWOR)

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  7. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • The comparison is irrelevant, if you want to say he’s better than Ozil then fire ahead but Wilshere is second behind Mesut and Cazorla will play wide all year. You don’t spend £40m on someone then sign someone else for that exact role the next year. We’ve put our faith in Ozil which is fair enough.

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    • Tough to break down 10 men behind the ball no matter who’s doing the passing, mate. I seem to recall us losing or drawing a game or two when Cesc was pulling the strings, let’s not make him into some kind of Lord of the Pass.

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  8. Well Done Super win, showed grit and kept fighting till the end. Super !! Look at who all were missing super win. Onward and on

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  9. Had I been at the match today, I’d be sending Crystal Palace a bill for the nearly 1/3 of the match in which they wasted time through fake injuries, slowly walking away from throw ins, taking forever to take free kicks, and generally fouling us.
    The ref let it happen, too, I think so the fat man could catch his breath. Moss needs to lose some weight, he’s taken over from Phil Dowd as fattest ref in the PL.

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  10. (Tony Pulis to Chamakh)

    Do you know how the Orcs first came to be? They were Elves once, taken by the Dark Lord, tortured and mutilated. A ruined and terrible form of life.

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  11. Understandable we were not at out best. Need two or three more weeks to be at 100% I feel after the world cup. Not convinced with Sanogo yet, Chambers deffo a good buy also Debuchy, Alexis needs time but great cross for first goal …

    3 points get in there

    oh and hurry back theo

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    • There are moments with Sanogo that you can see a real football brain buried somewhere inside that baby Giraffe of a body.

      Give him time.

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    • Zonal marking clearly doesn’t work.

      The goals against red bulls, Benfica, Monaco & Palace have all been set pieces.

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      • Good point. It at least needs to be revised. We look to be set up differently this year than last year although I could be wrong. No one one either post which I’m i’m not a fan of personally

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      • You remember when Liverpool had a mean defence? One of the best records around, especially from set pieces? They used zonal marking. The issue is not picking up people, which doesn’t happen if you’re organised, but still happens even if you man-mark and it’s bad man marking.

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  12. Koscielny and Chambers were absolutely magnificent today. What a game from Laurent!

    Hope Gibbs is okay, he has potential to be no. 1 full-back in England but all these injuries haunt him :/

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    • Hope Koscielny is okay too–he was hobbling around quite a bit when the whistle blew for full time. Until Mertesacker comes back, we’re extremely thin back there.

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      • Yeah, he had a bad game. As does everybody, he looked good against City and in the games against Bayern last season, so it’s not an isue of ‘depth’ just an issue of youthful inconsistency. Luckily we have two other guys who can play the role ahead of him.

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    • I’m a Sanogo convert. He’s not going away so accept that Wenger will give him game time in games like these against the so called lesser teams.

      He’s limited ability wise at the moment but every so often, he does surprise me with a move or a pass and he his a handful.

      He will get better.

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      • I personally also like how Sanogo is giving Giroud and Alexis some help whilst they get closer to full fitness. Yet, we cant keep on doing that too often or teams will just line up against us taking that into consideration.

        I just hope Sanogo gets going soon though, cause that would lessen the pressure on those guys as well, by chipping in with a few goals.

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  13. A wins a win…. Unlike Man *ehem barf* U
    NOT pretty but grinding out results like this is promising!!! 3pnts fells keep it rolling. Ramsey again. My personal fav arsenal player and a legend in the making?! Keep that up Rambo!!!!!!!

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  14. Rambo – we can always rely on you!!!

    In the previous article (team line ups), I questioned Sanago to start ahead of a 90% match fit Giroud. I had a few negative comments. I stand by my view that he is still not ready for this level yet.

    We are Arsenal Football club not any old football club. Our expectations should be higher than a centre forward who has not scored a goal in his 15 competitive appearances for us.

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    • Sometimes you just got to keep the faith. Clearly Wenger sees something in Sanogo and when it comes to judging players Wenger usually makes the right call

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    • All the stick Sanogo is getting is ridiculous. He’s still a kid, for smeg’s sake – cut him some slack! Was Fabregas perfect in his first year? NO! But you could see the talent. How bad was Ramsey two seasons ago? Look at him now!

      Honestly, one game doesn’t make a season and neither does it define a career. Sanogo’s already obviously improved over last year. Let’s see if he improves again by Christmas, not next week.

      The expectations people have are just so unrealistic. Give the lad some time.

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  15. Result is the key. not how we got there. palace were very solid and will be tough to break down this season. but up front is a big issue for me. if sanogo is the answer you really have to wonder what is the question. his team mates avoid passing to him they dont trust him to continue a move. if we were bold and bought a top striker we would be a real threat. too much to ask?
    Chambers did well. debuchy will take a bit of time to settle in.

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  16. That was close!

    Nearly behind the spuds after game one!

    But not with Ramsey on board!

    Ahead of the Spuds and 3 points ahead of Manure!!


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  17. I thought Nacho played really well. Sometimes a solid full back performance goes unnoticed so I just thought I’d say.

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  18. Sanogo sadly not good enough for the Arsenal, rooting for him, but just not there..yet. Ozil can’t come back soon enough for me. 3points on the board though, all we need.

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  19. We lacked a bit of pace and creativity today, but Ozil will take care of that once he’s back. The important thing today was winning the game, which we did, so I’m satisfied. The only thing that worries me a bit is that the passing and crossing seemed a bit off at times, from players that should be quite a bit more accurate than they were today. Hopefully we’ll take care of those silly mistakes before Besiktas and Everton.

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  20. Rusty and unconvincing, a step back since the Community Shield game, but three delicious points. Job done. If that was Chelzea the media would be creaming themselves over Mourinho’, winning when not playing well, mark of champions etc, etc. Zzzzzzzzz.

    Man Utd hahahahahahaha.

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  21. At this point, I will take the points regardless of the display. Wilshire and Alexis are holding on to the ball for far too long. Alexis I can understand as he is new to this league but Wilshire needs to do what Ramsey has done which is go back to the basics

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  22. The first few games is going to be about making points while we’re getting our match sharpness back. Glad we get thru this first game! COYG!!!

    And fuck Chamakh.

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  23. Only player I see on the pitch, winning is Ramsey not becoz of his regular match winning last minute goal, no doubt that goal would have make any player who scored a most luckiest man on the pitch but Ramsey as a whole some is definitely a terminater, without a doubt MAN OF THE MATCH!♡♡♡

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    • I’d have to disagree. The goal was great, but I don’t think Ramsey was our man of the match at all. Maybe Debuchy or Chambers.

      On a side note, I thought Monreal was excellent after coming on. I’d happily admit I’m one of his biggest critics, I think he’s patchy and lightweight at times but he was up for the fight today, held his nerve when required.

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      • Couldn’t be more correct about monreal, he was superb. Gotta go with Chambers as well for my MOTM, the kid just gets it. He’s class. Great find, and buy from Wenger on that one. Debuchy just makes me comfortable, I know we don’t have to worry much about him. Offensively we were a bit stagnant but were still figuring each other out, and only one game into this marathon of a season. We will be just fine.

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  24. Surely Wenger will realize that Giroud is the only ready made striker we have. .time to spent Boss, please don’t wait till the last minutes. .fuckin killing me.

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    • I was stunned too!! and his foot with that ball earlier though… just so fast …. though about ronaldo for a second there

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    • He seemed to be trying to cause one.

      Was his entire game plan to run around and kick Arsenal players? — Impressively, he managed to foul Wilshere within 25 seconds of the kickoff.

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  25. If your going to start one of our raw players why start Sanogo over Campbell.

    Midfield was poor in terms of incisiveness and passing. Especially Wilshere and Cazorla. I think they struggled with the physicality of the palace side. Kind of Game a fit Diaby or an actual powerhouse DM would control.

    Dont wont to get too caried away but Chambers looks pretty good. Exceptional composure for someone so young in his first home game. Has great potential. Already shits on Phil jones and Chris smalling.

    Debuchy did well i thought and linked well with Sanchez at times.

    Sanchez was erratic with his passing and held the ball to long at times, but looked lively and created a few openings plus the first goal. When he fully settles he will be exceptional because he has the tenacity and physicality to handle the prem already.

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    • Tenacity is absolutely the right word for Sanchez. Doesn’t stop at all, either end of the pitch. Great quality to have when we’re in a scrap like today.

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  26. unfortunately, if gibbs is injured for besiktas, with monreal covering that leaves us with 0 defenders on the bench unless mert comes back… take the hint arsene, we need a signing or three..

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  27. So nice to score both goals at extra time just when the haters where typing their txt of doom, am sure many many journalist would have had to rewrite there reports, off topic here whats up with people and our new captain, so what we got beat by liverpool and Chelsea last season, last time i checked there were 11 players on the field so why pick on Mikel, Brazil had a midfield of world class DM and yet still got spanked, sorry jermine how you can look at the arsenal midfield and think liverpool have a chance in hell to win the league is way beyond me, anyway let them keep over looking us and we would just keep picking up the points

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  28. Chambers is superb, now i really confuse, where will chambers play when kos – per back ? i don’t want to see chambers on the bench, will he plays as a DM sooner than later ? so the formation will be : Szczney, Debuchy, Per – Kos, Gibbs, Chambers, Jesus, Ozil, Theo, Alexis, Giroud ? and like last season our captain will wtach from the bench ?

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  29. I think the Ox should start in place of Wilshere and then in place of Cazorla when Ozil comes back. Look so much stronger with pace and width on both flanks.
    Also Chambers looks frigging awesome as does Debuchy.

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  30. Rubbish performance, but we got the right result in the end.

    Please, Arsene: Sanogo is not yet ready to play in the Premier League. Send him off to a decent Championship side on loan and sign a quality striker before it’s too late.

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  31. Koscielny (!!!) and Chambers and Monreal impressed.

    Debuchy and Alexis…good hustle.

    The side, in general, was sharper covering and recovering and that’s important. And the determination and grit to grind this out: very meaningful.

    Off day for Cazorla, and the interplay between Cazorla and Ox was (???).

    Wilshere started bright, but seemed to fall back to old ways a bit.

    Sanogo. Argh.

    And what was Alexis doing marking Hangeland on that goal? (I’m not questioning Alexis…I’m questioning how do we ever arrive at that?) Of everything we saw today, that was…mystifying.

    Aaron Ramsey nabs a win on Koscielny’s foundation. Alexis get’s an assist.

    Onwards to Besitkas!! (and, yeah, 3 pts., whew!!)

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    • It’s such an Arsenal thing to happen. Our smallest (ish) guy marking their biggest guy. It’s funny in hindsight, I guess.

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    • If I was going to blame anyone for their goal it would be Kos. The ball came to where he was (his zone), and he either misjudged the ball or mistimed his jump and let the ball past him.

      That said, it was a great run by Hangerland, and sometimes its just down to them doing something well, not you doing it badly.

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  32. A little disappointed that this report didn’t mention the quality of Calum Chambers. He was absolutely brilliant. It was like watching a young Tony Adams.
    If we had managed to screw this game up, I would have still been delighted that I have seen a future international of many caps and maybe an Arsenal captain in years to come.
    I was at the game and he really stood out.

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  33. Santi is scary inconsistent. Sanogo didnt get balls at all from midfield. Sanchez aint a passer, ramsey was too deep behind.

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  34. Great effort form the lads Kosc, Chambers and Debs. I particularly love Alexis’ flair, as it certainly disrupts any lingering tension that’s floating about. The lad was like a force multiplier when he did ‘that’ chest control. Home crowd cheered, my heart/head/arse cheeks settled and I puffed on the metaphorical cigar that I suspect will come into frequent use during this season.

    Any substantial news on incoming signings will always be welcome. Gibbs is already crocked and there is no telling what will happen to the others till January.

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  35. Difficult to judge anyone’s performance on this game, it had a very preseason edge to it. But all that matters at this stage is 3 points and up the arsenal!

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  36. Thanks Welsh Jesus….holy smokes thank you. I could not wait any longer for the stsrt of the season….and then it started and I was quickly reminded of how so ridiculously excruciating these Premier League seasons are.

    A bit off the pace I felt especially in the first half, and I would say a bit of nerves for some.

    I don’t want to get too negative here as its the first game of a very long season…and we took 3 points which is a hell of a lot better than last year about this time.

    But I will say it is becoming a real problem with Gibbs and staying fit for any length of time. Wenger really does need to sign a central defender asap if we are left with Monreal being our only left back (unless you count Flamini doing a job in a pinch).

    Need to clean it up, but we will. Germans…please hurry.

    Come On You Gunners…


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  37. Well, we didn’t play well but we’ll get better, let’s not judge, this is the first game of the season, we’ll get better. Some lost, *cough* Manure *cough*. But we won, we got the 3 points, that’s the important thing. And 100th win at the Emirates! Cool! Aaron Ramsey i love you! Forward Gunners! 🙂

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  38. Sanogo has a lot to learn.
    I see a brighter future for Giroud
    Chambers is awesome
    I love SANTI
    Arsenal is in desperate need of a defensive middfield
    but Rambo… He is just fantabulous.

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  39. All this fans asking for a world class striker…IMO Sanchez will play on the wing until Walcott is fit, so he can adapt to the bpl, then the boss will move him central. He is fast, tricky and can finish. Why buy a wc cf when we have one already??!

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    • Alexis played like the player I want Wali to grow into, and that in his first really competitive game is amazing. Really looking forward to more comparisons between the two. 37 more games plus many a cip game for everyone to contribute to.

      This time last year, we were without Ozil, having lost to Villa, this year we still have Ox fit and Wali ready to pop out the oven, I really hope we keep Campbell around. Shit, we even have a fit Diaby this time around.

      We have so much depth now it’s actually quite scary. Would be lovely to see some of the youngsters given the same amount of faith Arsene is showing Sanogo.

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  40. If I have to hear about how weak we are at defending set pieces and how ineffective zonal marking is I might just have to start inundating certain pundits with nasty email. THIS JUST IN! Arsenal conceded the least amount of set piece goals last season.

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  41. A shout for Debuchy’s contribution on defense and the winner. Also love Alexis’s directness and desire.

    Who else, who else but Aaron Fucking Ramsey!

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  42. First game of the season it doesn’t matter how you win, you just need to. We’ll be back in the swing of it in no time. That we had to grind out the result probably says more about how much more advanced in their preparations Palace were, seeing as they had approximately no one at the World Cup.
    I didn’t expect it to be the spanking that some were predicting. I’m glad to see three points and it was also nice to see Kos and Ramsey scoring. Can’t think of the last time that happened… 😉

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  43. All teams have a shit game doesn’t click every time especially on the first game. It’s an old saying but it’s the sign of champions to play poorly but win, a couple of years ago we would have lost a game like this. We will get better cant wait to see the Germans back in the squad

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  44. Lucky lucky lucky.Almost feel for Palace…almost.
    Sanogoal nowhere near good enough,& the goal we conceded…oh dear.

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    • Not sure exactly why you’d feel sorry for Palace.

      They barely got their foot on the ball all game (under 25% possession), happily tried to kick us out of the game, and the rest of the time sat back and tried to waste as much time as possible.

      No more than they deserved.

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  45. Would have preferred my boy TR7 to AOC, but 3 points in the bag is the best way to start our campaign. No man on the post was a frustrating way to give up a goal. Looking rusty, but think of our preseason to that of Palace. How many internationals do they have? The fitness and new players settling in was the main problem. I think we are in for a tough game in Turkey, but we’ll prevail.

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  46. can’t we have a hybrid of zonal-marking with a little bit of man-marking mixed in. How was Sanchez marking the giant Hagilhand?

    A great 3 points though; the boys battled back very strong.

    Is Giroud carrying a knock? Why is Sanogo starting?

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  47. First post so here it goes. Was it me or was I the only one who thought Jack did not have a lacklustre game as everyone claimed. Thought his performance was good and I would even go on to say it is going to be his season! Jack Rambo!

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