Football News

Crystal Palace 0-1 Arsenal: Players ratings as Odegaard penalty helps 10-man Gunners sink the Eagles

By Jonathan Davies

Published: 22:26, 21 August 2023

Martin Odegaard’s penalty proved the difference as Arsenal battled past Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Both sides were looking to build on winning starts to the Premier League season. Arsenal beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 on the opening weekend, with Palace edging out Sheffield United 1-0.

But it was the Gunners who maintained their perfect start to the campaign with Odegaard settling the contest from 12 yards after Sam Johnstone brought down Eddie Nketiah.

Mikel Arteta’s side were forced to dig deep when they were reduced to 10 men as Takehiro Tomiyasu received a second yellow card, but they held on despite being under prolonged pressure later on.

As the dust begins to settle, here are our player ratings:

Crystal Palace

Sam Johnstone – 5 – Although he only had two saves to make all game, the Palace goalkeeper was punished for catching Nketiah late. Odegaard subsequently rolled in the winner from the penalty spot.

Joel Ward – 6 – The Palace skipper endured a busy evening dealing with the pace of Arsenal’s front three. Nevertheless, he was well-placed to block a dangerous Martinelli cross early in the second half.

Joachim Andersen – 6 – Generally solid in the heart of defence. Meanwhile, he played the most passes inside the opposing half with 40.

Marc Guehi – 7 – Made a couple of strong blocks to keep Saka and Nketiah at bay. Completed 65 passes throughout the match – more than any other player.

Tyrick Mitchell – 6.5 – Gained possession the most times for Palace throughout the contest (nine). He delivered a couple of dangerous crosses after the break, including one that Edouard should have done better from later on.

Jefferson Lerma – 6.5 – Helped out his defence with good coverage inside the hosts’ penalty area. No Palace player produced more clearances (four) and interceptions (two).

Cheick Doucoure – 6 – Only the two centre-halves completed more passes for Palace than Doucoure (40), who was booked later on for fouling Havertz.

Jordan Ayew – 7 – Carried a strong threat down both flanks and caused Arsenal plenty of problems along the way. He was booked in the 26th minute for catching Havertz late, but maintained his discipline for the remainder of the game.

Eberechi Eze – 6 – No player recorded more shots during the match than Eze (four), although just one of those were on target.

Jeffrey Schlupp – 5.5 – His sloppiness in possession culminated in the opportunity from which Nketiah hit the post. He made two key passes in the first half before being replaced by Ahamada with 17 minutes remaining.

Odsonne Edouard – 5 – The Palace front man was generally isolated for most of the contest. However, he should have done better with his 86th-minute header from Mitchell’s cross, which he could not direct towards the goal.

Substitutes:

Naouirou Ahamada – N/A – Replaced Schlupp in the 73rd minute.

Jesuran Rak-Sakyi – N/A – Replaced Ward seven minutes from time.


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Arsenal

Aaron Ramsdale – 7 – With David Raya watching on from the bench, Ramsdale did his hopes of retaining the number one jersey no harm with a solid display between the sticks.

Thomas Partey – 7.5 – Produced another solid display at right-back. The former Atletico Madrid man was the only player to win all of his duels (seven out of seven), while he also tested Johnstone with a fierce long-range shot just after the hour.

Ben White – 7 – Looked solid alongside Saliba in the heart of defence. No player completed more passes for the Gunners (49).

William Saliba – 8 – Recovered from his initial mistake with a brilliantly timed challenge to deny Ayew during the first half. But he gave nothing away thereon, recording the most clearances during the match (eight).

Takehiro Tomiyasu – 3 – Starting after Jurrien Timber’s injury on the opening weekend, Tomiyasu was unable to make the most of the opportunity. He was walking a tightrope when booked for timewasting on the hour, before picking up his second yellow card just seven minutes later for dragging back Ayew.

Martin Odegaard – 7.5 – Stung Johnstone’s palms with a fierce 25-yard strike just before half-time. He then delivered the decisive blow eight minutes after the break, calmly rolling home the winning goal from 12 yards out.

Declan Rice – 6.5 – Involved in a game-high seven aerial duels and made a couple of good defensive blocks to keep Palace at bay.

Kai Havertz – 5.5 – Completed 24 of his 27 passes, but endured a fairly quiet game in the heart of midfield. The former Chelsea man volleyed not far wide from a tight angle on 66 minutes, while he was booked for timewasting in stoppage-time.

Bukayo Saka – 6.5 – Equalled Paul Merson’s 26-year record as he played his 82nd consecutive Premier League game for Arsenal. Although he was unable to mark the occasion with a goal, the England winger produced the most crosses during the contest (nine).

Eddie Nketiah – 7.5 – Looked lively and had two great chances to score, hitting the post and lifting over from inside the six-yard box. His quick movement saw him fouled for the penalty that Odegaard converted. He was replaced by the more experienced Jorginho for the latter stages.

Gabriel Martinelli – 7 – Played a key role in the winning goal with his quick thinking to pick out Nketiah, who was subsequently brought down by Johnstone. The Brazilian was replaced by compatriot Gabriel with 20 minutes remaining.

Substitutes:

Gabriel Magalhaes – 5 – Replaced Martinelli after Tomiyasu’s red card and neatly slotted back into the Gunners defence.

Jorginho – N/A – Replaced Nketiah in the 79th minute.

Jakub Kiwior – N/A – Replaced Saka in the 89th minute.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – N/A – Came on in place of Odegaard for the last minute plus stoppage-time.

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