Home Football Arsenal striker joins exclusive list; display mature performance at Selhurst Park

Arsenal striker joins exclusive list; display mature performance at Selhurst Park


There have been 61 different goalscorers from Brazil in the 30 years of the Premier League, but none had had the honour of scoring the first goal of a season until 2022/23.

Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli put his name in the exclusive list after his strike at Crystal Palace on Friday. Martinelli, who struck on 20 minutes for Arsenal in their 2-0 win at Crystal Palace.

It was the fifth time that an Arsenal player had got the opening goal of a campaign and its timing was just ahead of the average of 22 minutes for such a goal.

He’s the fourth South American to register the opening goal of a Premier League season.

He follows in the footsteps of Faustino Asprilla (Colombia)for Newcastle United in 1997/98, Carl Cort (Guyana) for Wimbledon in 1999/00 and Luis Suarez (Uruguay) for Liverpool in 2011/12.

The gunners got their Premier League season off to a winning start as they battled to a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Confidence was high for the Gunners going into the opening night of the campaign, with a squad buoyed by a number of strong signings and an impressive run of pre-season victories.

There was more of that form on show against Palace, as the visitors took a first-half lead through Gabriel Martinelli’s header and threatened to overrun Patrick Vieira’s side.

The inevitable response came from Palace but Arsenal held firm in front of a typically boisterous crowd in south London, ensuring there was no repeat of last season’s opening day woes against Brentford, and the three points were sealed late on as Marc Guehi headed a dangerous cross from Bukayo Saka into his own net.

Mikel Arteta handed competitive debuts to William Saliba, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus, while Cheick Doucoure was given the nod in midfield for Palace.

At the other end of the pitch Martin Odegaard proved too keen to provide for Martinelli. Brilliant work from Jesus saw him shrug off Marc Guehi, pull the back perfectly for his captain but Odegaard opted not to shoot when completely free in the box, and his attempt at a cute pass to Martinelli was an unsuccessful one.

The Gunners found themselves pinned back for much of the final 25 minutes, as Palace went in search of an equaliser. Wilfried Zaha was a constant threat down the left, particular when Ben White was booked for one foul too many on the winger.


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