“man of the match”; Watch William Saliba display master class defence against Crystal palace|best in football history

What a brilliant start up for the gunners last night as they display professional against Crystal palace

Crystal palace 0:2 Arsenal full highlights here

Arsenal’s Premier League season got off to the perfect start as they ran out 2-0 winners over Crystal Palace at a noisy Selhurst Park.

For the second successive top-flight campaign, the Gunners were put in the opening match. But unlike 12 months ago, when they were outfought and outplayed by Brentford, Mikel Arteta’s side stood up to the challenge.

Of the Squad, the most two impressive and noticeable performance is that of Gabriel Jesus and William Gabriel Saliba master class defence.

The pressure from the eagles demand some good defending for Arsenal to claim the points and much of that came from Saliba. Supporters had waited three years and three loan moves to see him in the side and he did not disappoint with a commanding display in difficult circumstances.

Ben White, pushed to right-back to accommodate the France international, was struggling to contain Zaha. But when White was beaten, there was Saliba. His tackle inside the penalty box early in the second half was expertly timed and absolutely essential.

The distribution was simple but effective. He had the best passing accuracy of anyone on the pitch. When the ball had to be headed away, he was there. No Arsenal player made as many clearances as he did. “He was very impressive,” said Carragher.

“Even before you see him play, he looks like a player, he looks the part. You are just looking for signs of it and for such a young age, how he dealt with that second half, a couple of times helping out Ben White and balls into the box. He looked the real deal.”

It may have taken three years, but Saliba could have scarcely wished for a more impressive Arsenal debut. The fact it has taken more than 36 months to get his bow has been a source of constant debate between fans.


There will be steeper tasks for Saliba than he was presented with at Selhurst Park, but he went a long way to securing a long-term starting berth, even when everybody is fit.

A returning loan player being like a new signing is a cliche that drives supporters mad, however, Saliba may prove to be the exception to the rule.

If there was any doubt on Saliba’s ability before today, it was soon washed away as he put in a very impressive performance, dealing with every Palace attack that came the Gunners’ way.

It was a debut for Saliba, after numerous loan spells in France, despite signing for around £27 million in 2019, and at just 21 years old he commanded the back line with his pace and power, and deservedly won the Man of the Match award.

William Saliba Special To perform like that, in an environment like Selhurst Park, on your Premier League debut was nothing short of incredible. Wow.


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