Arsenal snatched a victory out of the hands of defeat with a 2-1 victory against London rivals Crystal Palace in their first Premier League match of the 2014/15 season.
Despite the turmoil going on inside of the club due to Tony Pulis leaving his position as manager on Thursday night, Palace put up a solid effort, with new centre back Brede Hangeland scoring from a good header. However, the Eagles was ultimately undone by goals from Laurent Koscielny and last year’s Arsenal Player of the Year Aaron Ramsey.
Wojciech Szczesny – 6
Szczesny had a relatively quiet game except for a mistake in the first half where a bad clearance nearly led to a goal. Besides that, he was rarely troubled by the Crystal Palace attack.
Mathieu Debuchy – 7
A good, solid Premier League debut for the French international. He was both solid in defense and attack. He caused Ward endless amounts of trouble with his pace. Was also involved in the late goal, nearly putting it past Speroni before Ramsey scored the follow-up.
Calum Chambers – 7
Calum Chambers seems to be living up to the hype as he put in a decent shift at centre back. Very good covering and all-round defensive work, with his only mishap being getting a yellow card after dragging Fraizer Campbell down in the first half.
Laurent Koscielney – 7
He made a mistake for Hangeland’s goal, but scored a goal to make up for it. It was a Jekyll and Hyde performance from Laurent Koscielny. He allowed Hangeland to get the better of him for Crystal Palace’s goal, but scored a lovely header to put Arsenal level. He was a lot more solid in the second half, making some decent interceptions.
Kieran Gibbs – 6
Didn’t have much trouble down the right and made some good runs down the line and into Palace’s box. However, he was able to build on his performance after he came off with an injury in the second half.
Jack Wilshere – 6
Wilshere had a decent game in the midfield today. He tackled well, linked up with the forwards and his other midfielders too.
Mikel Arteta – 7
In his first game as Arsenal captain, Mikel Arteta looked solid as a defensive playmaker, protecting the back four relatively well and quickly passing the ball onto the more creative players.
Alexis Sanchez – 7
Alexis showed glimpses of quality during the game, unleashing some magnificent passes. However, he a few misplaced passes along the way. His set piece led to Koscielny’s goal.