We round up the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Crystal Palace v Arsenal in our Scout Notes summary.
ENCOURAGING SIGNS FOR ARSENAL ATTACK
Arsenal were left frustrated at missing out on Champions League football last season, but there was a lot to like about their performance at Selhurst Park on Friday, especially in an attacking sense.
In the early stages, they were electric up front, with Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m) – owned by a whopping 77.1% of FPL managers at kick-off – showing glimpses that the hype built up in pre-season was justified.
The opener arrived from a set-piece routine after some sloppy marking, an ongoing issue for Palace that clearly hasn’t been fixed over the summer.
Gabriel Martinelli (£6.0m) headed home Oleksandr Zinchenko’s (£5.0m) nod back from a corner, a relief for the Brazilian after he had missed a huge chance earlier on after some good work from Jesus.
As a result, only Liverpool and Manchester City (15) have scored more Premier League goals from corners than Arsenal (14) since the start of last season, which is worth noting with Leicester City up next, another side who struggled to defend dead-ball situations in 2021/22.
Arsenal secured the three points against the run of play as Bukayo Saka’s (£8.0m) cross took a huge deflection and hit the net.
“The game he (Jesus) played right from the start is just a nightmare for defenders. He is electric, he never stops, he is always on your shoulder, he is ready to go with and without the ball and I am really pleased with his performance.” – Mikel Arteta on Gabriel Jesus
ZINCHENKO AND SALIBA IMPRESS
Oleksandr Zinchenko put in a solid shift for Arsenal at left-back, producing a 12-point haul via an assist, clean sheet and maximum bonus.
During the match, he registered one shot in the box and created two chances for his team-mates, whilst his movement often saw him invert as Arsenal settled into a 3-2-4-1 shape in possession.
And it worked very well for the most part, with Martinelli and Jesus linking up nicely in the final-third.
Above: Arsenal’s average position map v Crystal Palace in Gameweek 1, featuring no 35 Oleksandr Zinchenko
“Both of them (Jesus and Zinchenko), the way we started shows how hungry they are, the risks they take, the initiative they give in the game. They are really big additions for us. That is something he (Zinchenko) gives, that ability and versatility – and it is something we don’t have.” – Mikel Arteta
Elsewhere, French defender William Saliba (£4.5m) made his first start in an Arsenal shirt and was excellent, while Aaron Ramsdale (£5.0m) made two important saves to deny Odsonne Edouard (£5.5m) and Eberechi Eze (£5.5m), ensuring the Gunners clean sheet was kept intact.
“Wili (Saliba) was phenomenal – his relationship with Gabriel, his understanding with the back four, for him to play his first Premier League game away from home against Palace, really credit to the boy because he stood with a big presence and a lot of composure.” – Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta’s side now have an appealing set of games to come, which includes back-to-back matches against newly-promoted sides in Gameweeks 3 and 4.
PALACE START SLOWLY
Palace improved as the game wore on, with Edouard and Eze forcing Ramsdale into a couple of fine stops, but a slow start essentially cost them.
Patrick Vieira had said on Thursday that his team were behind tactically after being split up during pre-season, and it was evident as Arsenal launched wave after wave of attacks in the early stages.
Eze, meanwhile, didn’t see enough of the ball during that spell but improved significantly after the break and should have scored, while Joachim Andersen’s (£4.5m) long-range passes to the flanks caught the eye.
“It’s something we spoke about: we know Arsenal shuffle a lot and switch sides, so it worked well. I found Wilf and Jordan a few times.” – Joachim Andersen
However, the Eagles will be disappointed with their start in Gameweek 1, and it doesn’t get any easier with trips to Liverpool and Man City in their next three fixtures.
“Football is about trying to score goals and we played against a good side. It’s really difficult to control the game against teams that have really good players. We had the ball, we had situations but we didn’t create very much. In the key moments, we didn’t score to lift the crowd and build momentum. That is something we have to work on.” – Patrick Vieira
Crystal Palace XI: Guaita, Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Doucoure (Milivojevic 75), Schlupp (Hughes 86), Eze (Ebiowei 86), Ayew, Zaha, Edouard (Mateta 58)
Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko (Tierney 83), Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard (Lokonga 90+3), Martinelli, Jesus (Nketiah 83)