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ARSENAL got off to winning ways as they began the new Premier League season with three points at Crystal Palace.

The Gunners opened the scoring after 20 minutes with a very well-worked corner routine.

4Arsenal kicked their Premier League campaign off on the right footCredit: Reuters

Bukayo Saka lifted a corner to the far post where debutant Oleksandr Zinchenko headed back into the six-yard box for the unmarked Gabriel Martinelli to nod home.

Palace rallied at the end of the first half and caused problems for the visitors throughout the second.

The Gunners had to hold on to claim all three points but managed to do just that before Saka drove up the other end and saw Marc Guehi head his cross into the back of the net.

Here's how Jack Rosser rates Arsenal's performers against Crystal Palace for SunSport:

Read More on ArsenalGUNNERS NEWS Tielemans boost as Aouar deal lined up, Maddison waiting on BID Aaron Ramsdale - 6

A couple of nervy moments in the first half but saved well from Odsonne Edouard’s header and was quick off of his line to deny Eberechi Eze shortly after the break.

Ben White - 7

A decent showing from the former Brighton man, especially considering he was being played out of position and up against Wilfried Zaha.

Could face a fight for a role at centre-back with William Saliba this season.

William Saliba - 8 MOTM

A solid and composed performance on the Frenchman's long-awaited debut, one of the most impressive players on the pitch.

Dominated against both Edouard and Jean-Philippe Mateta.

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Rarely troubled at the back and could form a handy partnership with Saliba over the season ahead.

Held things together well as Palace ramped up the pressure at the back.

Oleksandr Zinchenko - 7

A fine debut, with a well-worked header back across the box to set up the opening goal for Martinelli.

Some very intelligent play

Thomas Partey - 6

A couple of loose challenges in midfield but just about kept control of the game for the visitors.

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4Arsenal defeated Crystal Palace 2-0 thanks to an impressive performanceCredit: Getty Granit Xhaka - 6

Fitting that he should pick up the first booking of the new season, this one for diving.

Combined well in midfield at times and covered on the left when Zinchenko pushed forward.

Bukayo Saka - 7

Showed good intent to relieve the pressure as he skipped past Tyrick Mitchell and saw Marc Guehi turn it into his own net.

Good set-piece delivery to open up Palace in the build up to the opener.

The winger offered plenty of help to White down the right hand side as they tried to shackle Zaha.

Martin Odegaard - 6

Should have bagged a second for the Gunners but instead decided to try to play one pass too many.

Could form an exciting relationship with Gabriel Jesus this season.

4Arsenal ace William Saliba stood out on his Premier League debutCredit: Getty Gabriel Martinelli - 7

Woeful finish for an early chance but made up for it with the first goal of the new season, heading in the opener.

Gabriel Jesus – 7

Everything but the goal.

Showed fantastic energy and purpose from the first minute. Looks a fantastic addition for the Gunners.

4Arsenal won 2-0 thanks to Gabriel Martinelli's goal and Marc Guehi's own goalCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun SUBS Kieran Tierney (on for Zinchenko, 83) - 6

Helped Arsenal wrestle back control of the game late on after a long spell of pressure from the hosts.

Eddie Nketiah (on for Jesus, 83) - 6

Showed that he can be just as lively as Jesus with a smart turn and pass under pressure on the edge of the Palace box.

Albert Sambi Lokonga (on for Odegaard, 90+2) - N/A

News Source: the-sun.com

Tags: arsenal transfer news football premier league control of the game oleksandr zinchenko what to know gabriel martinelli the new season for the visitors for the gunners crystal palace william saliba the first half premier league gabriel jesus three points the pressure this season the gunners at the back in midfield well worked a couple bukayo saka

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Patriots Leaving the Locker Open For Unsigned Legend

Getty Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots seem to have made it clear that the door is still open for the return of legendary linebacker and three-time Super Bowl champion Dont’a Hightower.

Hightower hasn’t made his plans for the future known publicly, but the 32-year-old who has played all nine of his NFL seasons with the Patriots remains unsigned. A report from The Athletic’s Jeff Howe said the Patriots “would welcome [Hightower] back with open arms,” if he wanted to return.

Also, the Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels tweeted a little detail he noticed as the media made their way back to the Patriots locker room following Thursday’s preseason opener against the New York Giants:

We were back in the Patriots locker room for the first time since the 2019 season.

One thing I noticed – the locker once held by Dont’a Hightower is still vacant. It’s prime real estate- near the exit – where lots of veteran LBs have been in the past.

— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 12, 2022

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Hightower isn’t coming off one of his strongest seasons. Always more of a physical, line-of-scrimmage linebacker rather than a sideline-to-sideline player, Hightower looked especially slow and plodding in 2021.

He’d sat out all of the 2020 season on the COVID-19 opt-out list. Last season, Hightower was seemingly victimized in pass coverage, and he struggled to do his part to contain mobile quarterbacks like AFC East rivals star the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen.

Hightower had 64 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a tackle for loss, 4 quarterback hits, and an approximate value of 8, per Pro Football Reference. Over the years, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has always spoken glowingly about Hightower. While the aging linebacker is past his prime, if New England is willing to welcome him back and keep his locker open, they must believe he has something to offer.

Cameron McGrone Potential Injury

New England was hoping to have young inside linebacker Cameron McGrone make an impact this season. However, after missing all of his rookie season in 2021 recovering from a torn ACL, McGrone was seen with a “large wrap” on his elbow after the preseason opener on Thursday night, per NESN’s Zack Cox.

LB Cameron McGrone walked through the locker room with a large wrap on his right elbow.

— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 12, 2022

If that injury proves to be a serious one, the Patriots’ inside linebacker depth will take a hit. Likewise, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Jahlani Tavai suffered an injury on August 4.

LB Jahlani Tavai has to be helped off the field this morning, as he fell in a heap in an 11-on-11 red-zone drill. Did not appear to be any contact. Teammates kneeled around Tavai as he remained down.

— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 4, 2022

Tavai returned to practice on August 8, per Patriots.com’s Evan Lazar, but he didn’t play on Thursday against the Giants.

Matt Judon and Jahlani Tavai are back at practice. Only absences are RB James White (PUP) and OL Andrew Stueber (NFI). #Patriots

— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) August 8, 2022

Tavai’s availability will be an interesting story to watch heading into the Patriots’ second preseason game.

Patriots Notes and Quotes
  • James White Announced His Retirement From Pro Football

Several Patriots players paid their respects to the retiring James White on Thursday. Several current and former Patriots took to social media to pay their respects to one of the most beloved players in recent team history.

White suffered a season-ending hip injury during a Week 3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in 2021.

The injury landed him on injured reserve and out for the remainder of the season. White began training camp on the physically unable to perform list along with other veterans like David Andrews, Jabrill Peppers, and Jonathon Jones. While Andres, Peppers, and Jones were activated and participated in training camp, White remained on the shelf.

Still, hearing his retirement announcement was a bit of a surprise. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, New England may turn to Ty Montgomery and rookie running back Pierre Strong Jr. to play the pass-catching-back role that White mastered during his time with the Patriots.

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