Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and William Saliba all made their league debuts for Arsenal on Friday night at Selhurst Park in a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace under the direction of Mikel Arteta.
After cruising to a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Friday night, Arsenal had the ideal start to the new Premier League season.
In the 20th minute, a well-executed corner routine resulted in a close-range header from Gabriel Martinelli that broke the scoreless tie. In the 85th minute, Marc Guehi’s terrible deflection of Bukayo Saka’s cross into his own goal gave the visitors the victory.
For the trip to Selhurst Park, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta gave their debuts to three players: William Saliba, who had been out of the league for three years, Gabriel Jesus, and Oleksandr Zinchenko, who had been signed this summer. The three debutants were monitored by Mirror Football to see how they performed against Crystal Palace.
Zinchenko shined at the left-back position that the reigning champions used him the most frequently, despite the fact that he has been suggested for a midfield position since leaving Manchester City.
Zinchenko had a steady presence on the ball throughout the whole game and made good forward progress. After slipping into space from a set-piece routine to set up Martinelli for the opening goal, the technically adept ace even managed to commemorate his Gunners debut with an assist.
Zinchenko made an impressive debut performance, albeit from a wide position, and demonstrated some of the playmaking skills that Arteta is seeking to develop, underscoring the reason why the Spaniard was so eager to reconcile with the 25-year-old.
Saliba made it obvious that he was desperate to finally break into the first-team fold at Arsenal after impressing on loan at Marseille last year. And he definitely made the most of the opportunity that was eventually given to him.
The Arsenal backline benefited from Saliba’s much-needed pace and physicality, and the Frenchman frequently came to the rescue of his colleagues in the opening period.
The 21-year-old was the Gunners’ star defender, winning possession the most often and successfully clearing the most balls. And given this proof, it’s difficult to imagine Saliba giving up the first-team berth he’s worked so hard to win.
After failing to buy a striker in January, Arsenal entered the summer in desperate need of a No. 9, but based on this performance, Jesus was more than worth the wait.
The Gunners’ new £45 million player exuded class in south London right away and was a constant threat thanks to some strong, direct runs.
After a wild run in the opening minutes, Jesus appeared poised to make a spectacular breakthrough, but Martinelli’s close-range attempt at stopping the ball was errant.
Jesus was on fire for the Gunners during the preseason, but there weren’t many clear-cut chances to score against Palace, especially after the break. However, Jesus already appears the part, and the objectives will come.