Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 2 – Sanchez makes all the difference for Gunners
Arsenal bounce back from opening day defeat to land three points at Selhurst Park
August 16th, 2015
Arsenal got their season back on track thanks to a deserved 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace, with Arsene Wenger’s side producing a classy performance at a noisy Selhurst Park.
Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin were drafted into the starting XI and it was the Chilean who produced a lively performance and ultimately the match-winning goal after heading home Bellerin’s cross via a deflection off Damien Delaney.
Sanchez could have scored more than the winner, with the forward a constant menace in attack, especially during the early stages of the game where Crystal Palace were regularly exposed on the counter-attack.
After missing some great chances, the visitors broke the deadlock when the excellent Mesut Ozil crossed from the left and Olivier Giroud was able to volley the ball back across goal for the opener.
Arsenal controlled the match for the most part, although Yanick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha were lively for the home team even if Conor Wickham was somewhat isolated in attack.
Palace’s goal came from a full-back, with Wickham offsetting the ball to Joel Ward who produced a pin-point finish from range to beat Petr Cech and the home fans were bouncing once again.
However, Arsenal were the likelier team to score and Sanchez’s header as he got above Ward caused alarm and an outstretched leg from Delaney merely saw the ball poked into the net.
Arsenal will now look to build on this victory against Liverpool in their next match, with Wenger delighted that Sanchez appears to be nearing 100% fitness with the Chilean looking very lively throughout.