Tonight, Arsenal advanced to the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 win away from Crystal Palace.
Mikel Arteta’s side kicked off the campaign with a tough visit to Selhurst Park, where they were beaten 3-0 by Patrick Vieira’s forces last season.
But this time, Arsenal were on the winning side in a rather relaxed way.
Gabriel Martinelli led Arsenal to a narrow lead in the first half, before Bukayo Saka netted an own goal from Marc Guehy late in the game to seal the three points.
Granite Shaka booking
It’s been a new season but the same Granit Xhaka in some ways.
The Swiss international was given a silly yellow card in the first half and although his well-documented disciplinary problems are generally linked to fouls, it was on this occasion a simulated and referee Anthony Taylor demonstrated a zero-tolerance policy by brandishing a booking on the spot.
It was a relatively unnecessary reservation and Arsenal midfielder Lee Dixon has been described as “stupid”.
He told NBC Sport, “Let’s wait until the second half and see if there’s another yellow. This is a dive, really totally reserved and for a man of his experience, stupid!”
Xhaka, signed for £30m in 2016, has a long and frustrating history when it comes to expulsion.
This time, he did a good job of avoiding a second booking after the break, but his initial penalty was a reminder that the Panthers don’t change positions and the player can still put Arsenal under pressure when it isn’t really needed.
Anyway, Arteta is still collecting the three points and that’s all that matters.
In other news, Jermaine Jenas thinks Liverpool can do something Tottenham can’t do this season
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