Ten-man Arsenal earn hard-fought victory over Palace

21 Aug 2023

Martin Odegaard's second-half penalty is enough to give Gunners two wins from two

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Arsenal claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park despite playing the final half-hour with 10 men.

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After an evenly contested start, Eddie Nketiah was unlucky not to put Arsenal 1-0 up. The ball broke his way and he did very well to spin past Joachim Andersen before striking a post.

Nketiah should have done better with his second scoring opportunity, as Declan Rice played him through on goal and he lifted his chipped effort over the bar. 

But the 24-year-old made amends early in the second half as he won a penalty, being fouled by goalkeeper Sam Johnstone following Gabriel Martinelli’s quick free-kick.

Martin Odegaard surprisingly stepped up to take the spot-kick instead of last season's penalty-taker Bukayo Saka, and sent Johnstone the wrong way. It was the first time Odegaard had taken and converted a penalty in a league match since May 2019, when he was at Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie.

See: Saka equals Arsenal record for consecutive appearances

Arsenal’s resolve was tested as Takehiro Tomiyasu was dismissed for two yellow cards in the space of seven minutes.

The first was shown by referee David Coote after the defender took too long over a throw-in, and the second was given in the 67th minute for a foul on Jordan Ayew. Tomiyasu became the fifth player to be sent off in nine Premier League matches this weekend.

The visitors had a scare when Eberechi Eze showed wonderful skill to glide past two Arsenal players before going down in the box under a challenge from Thomas Partey, but he was not awarded a penalty.

Arsenal had to endure seven minutes of stoppage time but held on for the victory, their first on a Monday night in five attempts, to make it two wins out of two.

Roy Hodgson was left to reflect on his first home defeat since returning to Palace in April, after a five-match unbeaten run at Selhurst Park.

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