Mikel Arteta hails Arsenal’s resilience after victory over Crystal Palace

Mikel Arteta hailed Arsenal’s fightback in their season-opening 2-0 win over Crystal Palace but admitted much more was needed from his forwards.

The Gunners ran away with all three points at Selhurst Park thanks to a first-half header from Gabriel Martinelli and a late own goal from Marc Guehi.

Arsenal dominated the opening exchanges, but the Eagles challenged Arteta’s side after the restart as the visitors failed to create second-half chances in Gabriel Jesus’ competitive debut.

“We need to be more ruthless in front of goal,” Arteta said.

“We had a situation to finish them better, even in the second half, but it’s something that has to come. We haven’t scored many goals, we lacked the real edge.

Still, the Gunners boss was pleased with his squad’s overall effort, a marked improvement on the 2-0 loss to Brentford at the start of last season.

Martinelli almost put Arsenal on the scoresheet early in the first half when the ball landed at his feet on the edge of the six-yard box, but the Brazilian’s effort sailed well wide of the target.

Redemption followed after he rose highest to nod in the opening in front of a packed goal in the 20th minute.

Some expected this to be Jesus’ start under the spotlight, but it was debutant William Saliba who shone brightest in a brilliant turn at the back, frustrating attempt after attempt by the Eagles to create opportunities.

William Saliba slides to tackle Wilfried Zaha

William Saliba slides to tackle Wilfried Zaha (Adam Davy/PA)

“You don’t really see that,” said his impressed boss.

“As a 21-year-old in the Premier League, against these physical players and solve the situation like he has, with that composure, that composure and that presence. Great credit to the boy.”

The match was decided when Bukayo Saka’s cross in the 85th minute connected with the head of the unfortunate Guehi.

Arteta was ultimately happy to run away winners under the terrifying lights on Friday night at Selhurst Park, looking a completely different side to the one that fell to the Eagles 3-0 in their last meeting in south London.

“I’m very pleased,” he added. – Three points and zero against a very difficult opponent and a very tough place when they have people going, and as we expected we would have tough periods during the match.

“You don’t win here without resilience. We experienced that last season, we started in a completely different way than we did last season when we were here.

“It’s building that mentality and finding a way to go through those moments, keeping clean sheets in this league, will be crucial to our success, so hopefully that will breed some confidence in the team as well.

Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira saw his side beaten (Adam Davy/PA)

Eagles boss Patrick Vieira, meanwhile, apologized to whoever got away.

The hosts’ best chance came through Eberechi Eze, who found himself one-on-one after receiving a pinpoint pass from Wilfried Zaha but scraped his effort wide.

“Today I think the biggest difference is that we didn’t take that chance or the chances we created to at least get a point tonight,” Vieira said.

“We had some really good momentum at times but the story of the game is that we didn’t score that goal to get back into the game. That’s what the frustration is about today.”

Earlier this week, the Palace boss admitted he had a “lack of numbers” and saw gaps all over the pitch.

Whether solutions come from the transfer window or within, he said, will come down to the coffers – which will have been boosted by Christian Benteke’s exit to DC United just before Friday’s game.

“We are always looking to improve the team,” Vieira added. “If we find the right players with the right budget, we will try to do it.

“If not there are players here who will grow during the season, players who are prepared to work hard for the club and we have to keep challenging these players.”

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