London, UK | THE INDEPENDENT | It’s always a special feeling when Premier League football returns in August. The anticipation was ramped up even more by the noise emanating from the Holmesdale, as a giant display honouring the club’s history was hoisted aloft as the players emerged. Arsenal started the faster of the two sides, and Gabriel Jesus was a real threat in the opening exchanges. Their opening goal came from a set-piece, however, as Zinchenko was in space to head a deep delivery back across goal, and Martinelli could nod home. Palace responded, and would have been level were it not for a smart stop from Aaron Ramsdale. It was a set-piece of their own this time, with Andersen the man at the far post – Edouard showed good strength to get to the ball, but his headed effort was saved. A goal down at half-time, there was plenty for the Eagles to do after the restart. They emerged with real positivity, and should have been level almost straight away; Ebere Eze was slipped in behind, but could not beat Ramsdale one-on-one. The visitors were a threat on the break – and Bukayo Saka came close from a rapid counter-attack – but it was who dominated proceedings in search of an equaliser. Jeff Schlupp saw an effort deflected behind, while Jean-Philippe Mateta caused real problems after his introduction. With an equaliser seeming the likeliest outcome, Arsenal’s second came as a real sucker-punch. It was an unfortunate goal to concede, too, as Marc Guéhi inadvertently deflected Saka’s cross into his own net. With just five minutes remaining, it proved an insurmountable task for the Eagles to turn the game around, and Arsenal returned to north London with all three points.