Tuesday, August 22, 2023
Arsenal's bench erupted in an enthusiastic celebration after securing a narrow 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace, a moment reminiscent of a Premier League title clincher.
Despite being just the second week of the season, the Gunners clinched three points even in the face of Takehiro Tomiyasu's second-half expulsion, showcasing their mettle.
Tomiyasu, the Japanese defender, fell afoul of stricter time-wasting rules, incurring a yellow card for delaying a throw-in at the 60-minute mark and later receiving a red card for tugging on Jordan Ayew's jersey in the 67th minute.
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal's coach, interpreted the celebrations as a testament to the team's unyielding determination. He praised the bench's impact in changing the game's dynamics, acknowledging their invaluable contribution to the victory.
Arteta anticipated a period of adjustment for teams in response to the intensified scrutiny of time-wasting. The crackdown, which has led to an uptick in yellow cards and additional time, would demand a shift in teams' playing styles.
"We will have to play with 10 or maybe with nine or with eight depending on where we put the standards and the level. We can play eight against eight, it can be very entertaining," remarked the 41-year-old coach with a touch of wry humor.
Roy Hodgson, his counterpart at Crystal Palace, adopted a pragmatic outlook, acknowledging the inevitability of rule changes and the need to adapt.
Despite Tomiyasu's dismissal, Arsenal extended their unblemished start in the Premier League. Martin Odegaard's second-half penalty at Selhurst Park propelled the Gunners to their second consecutive victory. In the face of adversity, Arsenal's ability to retain their lead showcased their prowess.
Arteta expressed elation at his team's refusal to concede, propelling them to third place in the standings, trailing Brighton and Manchester City solely on goal difference. The coach commended the subs for their outstanding performance, particularly in a challenging 30-minute stretch with 10 men.
Expected to mount a formidable title challenge this season, Arsenal displayed a robust attitude after last season's late-season collapse. Although their gameplay hasn't peaked yet, the victory could serve as a foundational stepping stone toward their first title since 2004.
Defying Crystal Palace's late flurry, Arsenal displayed their defensive resilience. Amidst attention on new goalkeeper David Raya and the ongoing battle for the goalkeeper position with Aaron Ramsdale, it was Ramsdale who stood tall with a confident display from the match's outset.
In tactical emulation of Pep Guardiola, Arteta deployed Thomas Partey in a unique right-back role to bolster possession. The strategy paid off with Arsenal's dominance, despite Eddie Nketiah's struggles to convert chances.