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Crystal Palace v Arsenal: Premier League – live


Key events

HALF TIME: Crystal Palace 0-0 Arsenal

Arsenal have dominated. Nketiah has hit the post and floated a one-on-one opportunity over the bar. But Roy Hodgson sides are nothing if not stubborn, and so here we all are. Mikel Arteta walks off with the air of a man in a miff.

45 min +1: Edouard strips Odegaard of possession in the centre circle and tears forward. He tries to release Eze into the box down the left channel. White comes across and Eze goes to ground. No penalty. For a second there, Arsenal were in bother as Palace poured forward on the break. Edouard was a bit hesitant with the pass.

45 min: There will be two minutes of additional first-half time. “Off the ball are the key words when talking about Havertz,” opines Jeff Sax. If we get a more tinder-dry missive this season, I’m going to enjoy reading it.

43 min: Martinelli, just to the left of the D, meets a right-wing cross and attempts a spectacular volley. The result is less Henry, more Mudryk.

42 min: The previously quiet Odegaard turns up the volume. He drops a shoulder to make space down the inside-right channel and leathers a shot towards the top right. Johnstone tips acrobatically over the bar, and nothing comes of the corner. That was Arsenal’s first shot on target.

41 min: Saka dribbles at Mitchell down the right and makes just enough space for a shot. He skies it. “Please reassure Arsenal fans that Havertz is doing wonderful work off the ball, as a decoy, as an inspirational whisperer – anything,” asks Charles Antaki. “Otherwise, the hook at half-time?” We all know how this half is going to end now, don’t we.

39 min: In fact everyone takes the opportunity to stop and have a quick drink.

38 min: Play stops as Edouard clatters Odegaard on the back of the head … but only because White had been climbing on his back. All accidental, and happily everyone’s quickly back up and ready to go again.

36 min: Rice’s contact lens is clearly back in position, because he spots a narrow opening down the inside-right channel, dinking cutely to release Nketiah into the box. Nketiah lobs Johnstone but clears the bar as well. A huge chance.

Arsenal's Declan Rice receives medical attention after sustaining an injury
Arsenal’s Declan Rice receives medical attention after sustaining an injury Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters

35 min: When the game restarts, Saliba takes a heavy touch and allows Ayew to barrel clear down the middle. He redeems himself with a perfectly timed sliding tackle as Ayew enters the box and cocks his leg to shoot. What a challenge! The home fans want a penalty kick, but Saliba got the ball, and VAR confirms it.

34 min: “I need a mirror!” Declan Rice shouts a request to his bench. But he’s not after checking out his quiff. A contact lenses has moved. On comes the physio to help him out.

33 min: Odegaard has been quiet by his own standards. But here he is, needlessly caught offside upon receiving a simple pass down the right flank. He cocks his head back in irritation, things not quite going his way this evening so far. There’s time.

31 min: During the last five minutes, only three percent of the play has taken place in the Arsenal final third. The visitors beginning to impose themselves.

29 min: Nketiah elegantly spins Andersen and Guehi down the inside-right channel, then storms into the box. He shoots across Johnstone, but agonisingly off the bottom of the left-hand post and away. The spin to create a chance out of nothing deserved better reward. Lovely play.

Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah shoots at goal and hits the post as Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi and Sam Johnstone look on
Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah shoots at goal and hits the post as Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi and Sam Johnstone look on Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

27 min: Ayew gently clips Havertz and is rather harshly booked. Seconds earlier, Nketiah went down while trying to burst past Ward. He wanted a penalty for a push from behind but the referee wasn’t so interested in that, correctly so.

25 min: Ward sends Ayew into acres down the right. This time, Ramsdale deals with the resulting cross authoritatively. “Mention of Barry Mooncult really does take me back,” writes Julian Menz. “Flowered Up used to frequent our pub. Top lads, It’s On is a lost classic.”

23 min: Arsenal play it around in a style Arsene Wenger used to consider sterile.

21 min: Doucoure strides down the middle, drifting slightly to the right before creaming a shot towards the top left. Always high, but there was plenty of feeling behind that one.

20 min: A gentle game of head tennis ends with Rice sending the ball wafting into Johnstone’s arms like a feather.

19 min: Martinelli takes. Lerma heads behind for another corner. Martinelli to take again.

18 min: Tomiyasu looks better going forward, and he powers his way down the left, skipping past a couple of challenges before winning a corner.

16 min: Edouard probes down the left and enters the Arsenal box. White falls over. The ball hits him. Palace claim a penalty for handball but the ball hit the defender’s hip.

15 min: Ayew looks to have the beating of Tomiyasu. A shake and a shimmy and he’s away again down the right. He whips in a fierce low cross. Ramsdale parries out to the edge of the box. Doucoure and Eze get in each other’s way as they try to latch onto the loose ball, and Arsenal clear. The keeper got away with one there.

Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu in action with Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew
Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu in action with Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters

14 min: Nketiah dribbles down the right and looks for Saka in the middle. A reversal of roles, but the same result: a corner that leads to nothing. Everything is coming down this Arsenal right wing, though.

13 min: Arsenal slow it down again, but this time without the burst, allowing more time for idle selection chat. “Kieran Tierney has to get away from Arteta as fast as he can now, before his career disappears completely,” suggests Edward Rae. “Hopefully, there is an escape plan afoot although it sounds as though KT’s own people were at least partly responsible for him not being at Newcastle now – would have been a great destination. Regardless, run for the hills now, Kieran, run! These people care nothing about you.”

11 min: Saka cuts in from the right and has a dig. It’s an easy one for Johnstone. “When on song this Arsenal make chances better than any team in the league but still don’t have a reliable or reliably fit finisher,” writes Leo Yadda Yadda. “When their first choice back four is available they’re as dependable as you could want. Arteta seems to be experimenting with formations during these early ‘easy’ games: I don’t think he’s put out what he considers his strongest 11 yet (with no disrespect to Palace intended).”

10 min: Arsenal slow it down a bit, just because they can. Then they suddenly turn up the speed with Saka bursting down the right. As he enters the box he fails to combine with Nketiah and Palace bundle clear.

8 min: Ayew barrels down the right, latching onto Edouard’s pass. He twists Tomiyasu this way and that before hammering a low diagonal drive goalwards. Saliba does his job to block.

7 min: Saliba, currently being toasted by his fans with Tequila, launches long. Nketiah tries to take the ball down on the edge of the box but gets overly physical with Andersen and the whistle blows.

5 min: Saka takes it himself but Palace clear their lines easily. One big blooter forward. Edouard scampers after it, and would get there first, clear on goal, had Ramsdale not read the danger very early. The keeper comes miles out of his area to intercept and lay off to White. A nice brisk start by both sides.

4 min: It’s all Arsenal during these early exchanges. Saka sashays into space down the right and crosses for Nketiah. He can’t find his team-mate but does win the first corner of the evening.

2 min: Havertz dribbles his way down the right then spots Martinelli in an absurd amount of space to the left of the D. He finds his man. Martinelli is momentarily one on one with Johnstone in the Palace goal, but opts to take a touch rather than a first-time shot and a good chance is gone. Palace were completely exposed there.

1 min: Arsenal … whose kit is more Key Lime Pie than Banoffee, now I look more closely … launch it long through Ramsdale, but Palace deal with it easily enough. A magnificent atmosphere tonight.

Arsenal get the ball rolling … but only before Selhurst Park pays a tribute to former Palace boss Trevor Francis. A minute’s worth of the warmest applause. Here we go, then.

Here come the teams! Crystal Palace wear red and blue halves, while Arsenal sport a vague callback to the early-90s, a swirly yellow-and-black effort that’s less banana, more banoffee pie. Selhurst Park is jumping, as it usually does, its denizens Glad All Over. Kick-off soon!

Palace’s 1990 FA Cup final squad with Derek Jameson parked to one side grooving away and providing vibes (in the manner of contemporary entertainers such as Bez, Cressa or Barry Mooncult).

Our pre-match postbag is positively bulging with two emails. Teeming, it is, and here they both are.

“Pre-season I guaranteed a Man City title repeat. But I think losing KDB is going to hurt City more than some think, giving the Gunners a chance” – Mary Waltz

“Find it remarkable that Gabriel, mainstay of one of the best defensive partnerships in Europe (with Saliba) is benched two games running. Can’t just be ‘tactical surprise’ but also surely can’t be going to the Saudis. If so, deeply depressing and – with the Timber injury – unravels a lot of Arsenal’s good work early this window” – Joshua Hardie

A welcome reminder of how both teams did on the opening day.

During the Monday Night Football build-up, Gary Neville was asked about Manchester United’s handling of the Mason Greenwood situation. United announced earlier today that the striker will “recommence his career … away from Old Trafford.”

They’ve finally got there. I think it was clear from day one, for me and anybody who saw the evidence that was initially released, that he wouldn’t play for Manchester United again.
I would say that the process in getting there has been pretty horrible. When you have significant and difficult situations like this, it requires authoritative leadership, that comes from the very top and Manchester United don’t have that.
On an issue like domestic abuse and violence against women, there needs to be independence. It shouldn’t be that Manchester United are the judge and jury on such a significant issue, not just for themselves but also for the game.
My view is, on issues of this importance and severity, they should be dealt with independently by a panel because it’s been clear that Manchester United have not had the skill and the ability to deal with this situation properly. It’s been well above their grade of experience and ability.

Mikel Arteta takes his turn to be interviewed by Sky. “Today’s the second game of the season, the Premier League is still very early. So the focus is about doing what we have to do to earn the right to win the game, and have the chances and probability to win the game. Be more courageous. Having constant threat. Taking risk. Taking initiative. Playing a high rhythm.”

Roy Hodgson talks to Sky Sports. “We’re looking forward to it. They were very good last season and they look as if they’re going to be good this season as well. But we’re playing at home. It’s a good test for us as well, to see where we are at this early stage of the season. There are certain matches which have a bigger clang, maybe, than others and Arsenal have always been that category, so tonight is a red-letter occasion. And I’m really quite excited to see what sort of performance we can put on and where that performance would take us.”

The 76-year-old also reflects on his touchline rumble last weekend with Sheffield United’s Max Lowe, who is exactly half-a-century his junior. “I don’t know what I was doing there. The tackle took me by surprise. It’s one of the hazards of getting too caught up in the game, of being too concerned about what your team is doing and how the game is going, that suddenly when a tackle comes in, it takes you totally by surprise. I suppose my only excuse is that I’ve not been tackled for the last 40 or 50 years!”

No changes for Crystal Palace. Roy Hodgson names the same starting XI that ran out 1-0 winners at Sheffield United on the opening day of the season.

Arsenal make just one change from their opening-day 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest. Takehiro Tomiyasu comes in at right back, replacing the injury-stricken Jurrien Timber.

The teams

Crystal Palace: Johnstone, Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Lerma, Doucoure, Ayew, Eze, Schlupp, Edouard.
Subs: Tomkins, Clyne, Richards, Ahamada, Matthews, Gordon, Riedewald, Rak-Sakyi.

Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Saliba, Partey, Odegaard, Rice, Havertz, Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli.
Subs: Gabriel, Smith Rowe, Kiwior, Trossard, Jorginho, Vieira, Raya, Nelson, Zinchenko.

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire).


When Crystal Palace and Arsenal meet, goals are almost guaranteed. Last season the Gunners did the double over their London rivals, winning this fixture 2-0 and the return at the Emirates 4-1; the season before that Palace thumped Arsenal 3-0 at Selhurst having earlier in the season been unjustly held 2-2 up north. Pull back the focus and the point still stands: the clubs have met each other on 53 previous occasions, and there have only ever been five nil-nil draws. In conclusion: goals, goals, goals! So should tonight’s game end scoreless, you can blame me for tempting fate by bringing it up. Kick off is at 8pm BST. It’s on!


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