Arsenal pick up their first win of the season with a hard fought victory over a hard fighting Crystal Palace side.
BY STEVE NJUGUNA
Arsenal picked up their first 3 points of the 2015/2016 Barclays English Premier League with an unconvincing win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon during the early kickoff game.
Both sides made changes to the squads in the build up to the game as Coach Arsene Wenger of Arsenal restored Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez to the starting line up in place of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain while Palace coach Alan Pardew withdrew striker Glenn Murray and replaced him with Conor Wickham.
Arsenal controlled the early exchanges of the game as they looked dangerous going forward as Sanchez gave the Palace defense a nightmarish time. Palace were also holding their own when it came to defending as their speedy midfield trio of Yannick Bolasie, Jason Puncheon and Wilfred Zaha worked hard to supply the crosses to Conor Wickham though both defenses were looking very tough. However it was Arsenal who broke the deadlock and in rather spectacular fashion as Olivier Giroud finished off a Mesut Ozil cross with an acrobatic scissor kick in the 16th minute which sent Arsenal fans into a frenzy.
However, Palace were also to respond as Joel Ward sent a low drive to the far left post past Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech for the equalizer in the 28th minute as the teams went into the halftime break tied.
Both teams came into the second half with renewed impetus as Conor Wickham almost doubled Palace’s lead with a volley immediately after halftime but could only hit the post.
Arsenal also responded with their own as Sanchez looked particularly dangerous on attack. It was one such move that got Arsenal their winner in the 65th minute as Sanchez bravely got on the end of a Hector Bellerin cross to head goal wards and an attempted clearance by Damien Delaney saw the Crystal Palace captain turn the ball into his own net. Arsenal managed to hang on for the remainder of the game to claim their first win of the season.