Skip to main content

EPL: Arsenal snatch late opening day win over Crystal Palace

August 17, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Arsenal players celebrate after Aaron Ramsey scores a late winner against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal players celebrate after Aaron Ramsey scores a late winner against Crystal Palace.
  • Arsenal claim 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace thanks to stoppage time goal
  • Hangeland puts Palace in front but Koscielny equalizes before half time
  • Aaron Ramsey scores in injury time to ensure Arsenal win
  • Manchester United lose to Swansea on opening day

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Arsenal left it late but an injury time goal from Aaron Ramsey was enough to get the better of Crystal Palace and secure a closely fought 2-1 victory on the opening day of the 2014/15 EPL season.

Brede Hangeland had given Palace -- who parted company with manager Tony Pulis on Thursday following reported disagreements over transfer policy -- the lead midway through the first half as the Norwegian rose highest to flick a Jason Puncheon corner beyond a static Wojciech Szczesny in the Arsenal goal.

Laurent Koscielny drew the Gunners level on the stroke of halftime, nodding home a Santi Cazorla free kick after being left unmarked in the Palace box.

Despite controlling much of the game and having far greater possession, Arsenal struggled to create much in the way of clear-cut chances.

Puncheon was sent off after 88 minutes for sliding in late on Nacho Monreal to receive a second yellow card.

It was perhaps a harsh decision but one that had little bearing on what was to follow as Ramsey fired home after Palace keeper Julian Speroni had reacted to keep out Mathieu Debuchy's close range effort.

"It was very difficult. They came out and defended really well and were very tough to break down," Ramsey told Sky Sports after the match.

"They lost their manager earlier in the week but you'd never have known that the way they played. But that's irrelevant. The result is what we were looking for and we got the three points."

Hopes are high for the Gunners this season thanks to May's FA Cup win and a convincing victory over reigning EPL champions Manchester City in last weekend's Charity Shield.

Arsene Wenger has also invested considerably, spending over $100 million on players like Debuchy, Alexis Sanchez, David Ospina and Calum Chambers.

However, they will need to improve on Saturday's performance to have any chance of winning the league crown for the first time since 2005.

Wenger's men will at least be lifted by the imminent return of German World Cup winning trio Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski who were given extended summer leave to recover from their heroics in Brazil.

"Credit to Palace, they fought hard. They were physically strong and well organized," Wenger said of his opponents later.

"We still lack a little bit a change of pace, but they gave us big problems in defense. (But) we keep going, that's one of our strengths, and it paid off today."

Arsenal will now prepare for Tuesday's Champions League playoff first leg match against Turkish side Besiktas in Istanbul.

EPL Roundup

In Saturday's other games, Louis Van Gaal suffered defeat in his first EPL match as Manchester United went down 2-1 to Swansea City at Old Trafford.

Lampard: Leaving Chelsea now feels right
Lampard determined to make mark on MLS

Goals from Ki Sung Yueng and Gylfi Sigurdsson either side of a spectacular Wayne Rooney overhead kick ensured the Swans left Manchester with a well deserved victory.

There was late drama at Upton Park as 20-year-old defender Eric Dier scored in the 90th minute to hand Tottenham Hotspur a narrow 1-0 win over London rivals West Ham.

Both sides had men sent off earlier in the game which marked former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino's first game in charge of Spurs. West Ham's Mark Noble also missed a penalty.

Hull City won away from home at newly promoted Queens Park Rangers thanks to a solitary goal from James Chester. Rangers blew a golden opportunity to salvage a point, however, when Charlie Austin's penalty was saved by Hull keeper Allan McGregor.

A single Andreas Weimann goal was enough to give Aston Villa victory over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium while Sunderland and West Brom drew 2-2 as did newly promoted Leicester City and Everton.

Sunday will see Liverpool take on Southampton at Anfield while defending champions Manchester City will begin their campaign away to Newcastle United.

Burnley will welcome Chelsea on Monday.

Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.