On 53 minutes, the skipper buried a penalty kick after Eddie Nketiah was hauled down in the box by Sam Johnstone. This was our first Premier League dismissal since May 2022. Takehiro Tomiyasu was sent off for two yellow cards.
Mikel Arteta’s squad, though, kept the points thanks to a resolute defensive effort from that point on, and they are now 6-0 to start the season.
Early proceedings lacked the same intensity as the teams’ entrance, which featured pyrotechnics, flames, loud music, and cheerleaders. The home team enjoyed the better scoring chances, with Eberechi Eze requiring an easy save from Aaron Ramsdale on 15 minutes and Cheick Doucoure blasting a shot from 30 yards into the home fans behind our custodian.
Our confidence rose as the half progressed, and on 28 minutes, after shifting through the gears, we produced the best chance of the half when Kai Havertz won possession and played a through ball for Eddie Nketiah between Eagles centre backs Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi. He avoided being tackled by both opponents and managed to sneak a shot past custodian Sam Johnstone, but it hit the post and went out of play.
A few minutes later, Odegaard and Declan Rice combined to put Nketiah in on goal, but the striker’s dinked shot went high and wide. With four minutes remaining in the first half, the captain took a long-range shot that Johnstone tipped over, and then Gabriel Martinelli volleyed a Thomas Partey cross wide of the goal.
The enthusiasm from the first half carried over into the second, and after only eight minutes we finally made the breakthrough we’d been looking for. We were awarded a free kick, and after the Eagles failed to defend it, Martinelli put Nketiah in a scoring position before Johnstone took him down. After a review by the video assistant ref, Odegaard took the penalty kick and beat the home team’s custodian to the left.
Partey’s shot was saved, and Havertz’s attempt went just wide of the post, but the game took an unexpected turn with 67 minutes remaining. Tomiyasu was booked for a second time after Jordan Ayew twisted away from him after a throw-in, but video review revealed that the two players barely touched.
From there, we had to hang firm on our slender lead against Palace’s persistent probing to see if they could make the most of their man advantage. Mikel Arteta tried his best to get us to the fourth quarter, but we needed Gabriel and Jorginho to steady the ship.
It worked, and despite Palace spending most of the second half in our half, we were able to limit their threat to only brief instances; nonetheless, their best opportunity went begging when Odsonne Edouard blasted a header well wide after a good Tyrick Mitchell cross.
After seven minutes of stoppage time, Mitchell lashed a half-volley over after a scramble in the box to deny Roy Hodgson’s team any further chances, and our players celebrated fervently after the final whistle, relieved to have overcome adversity to record consecutive victories.
We kept our 200th away clean sheet in the Premier League tonight, joining Manchester United (205) and Chelsea (204). We have preserved a clean sheet in 28 of our 68 away games (41%) under Mikel Arteta, second only to their record under Bruce Rioch (8/19, 42%) in the Premier League (min. five games).
As a result, we are now unbeaten in 13 consecutive London derbies in the league (W11 D2), and we have won consecutive away league games against Palace for the first time since a run of three wins between October 2013 and August 2015.
Martin Odegaard converted a penalty kick for the first time in a league game since May 2019 for Vitesse against De Graafschap in the Eredivise. In fact, he joined Erling Haaland and Harry Kane (both 16) as the only players to score at least 10 goals in the Premier League away from their home stadium since the beginning of last season.
They have only won their opening home league game of the season once in the 11 Premier League seasons since 2013-14 (W1 D2 L8), and this was Roy Hodgson’s first defeat at Selhurst Park since returning in April (P5 W3 D2 before today).
This evening’s game became Bukayo Saka’s 82nd consecutive Premier League appearance for us, matching the club record established by Paul Merson from February 1995 to February 1997.