With a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Monday, Arsenal overcame Takehiro Tomiyasu’s red card to continue their unbeaten start to the Premier League season under Martin Odegaard.
However, halfway through the second half, Japanise defender Tomiyasu was controversially sent off for a second yellow card, forcing Mikel Arteta’s team to dig deep to hold onto the points.
Before being dismissed for making little contact with Jordan Ayew, Tomiyasu had been booked for waiting too long on a throw-in. Arsenal’s refusal to give up the advantage allowed them to climb to third position, behind leaders Brighton and second-place Manchester City on goal differential, which will have pleased Arteta.
After City won the trophy last season due to their late collapse, the north Londoners are expected to launch a sustained title push. They are confident after defeating Nottingham Forest on the opening weekend.
Even though they haven’t played their best football yet, this could be a crucial step in their quest for their first championship since 2004. Last season, Arsenal had the best away record in the Premier League and kept a division-high 10 clean sheets while on the road. As they rejected Palace’s final burst of pressure, Arteta’s men once again had the appearance of road warriors.
Aaron Ramsdale, the England international fighting for a spot in the starting lineup, was the center of attention with new goalkeeper David Raya among the Arsenal replacements following his loan move from Brentford.
From the first minute of play, when he denied Eberechi Eze’s long-range effort, Ramsdale confidently stepped up to the plate.
Following in the footsteps of City manager Pep Guardiola, who often orders a defender to charge forward when in control, Arteta positioned Thomas Partey at right-back, giving him the freedom to join plays from his natural midfield position.
Arsenal was able to control possession as a result, but Eddie Nketiah, filling in for the injured Gabriel Jesus, was unable to convert any of their first-half pressure into points. With just Sam Johnstone to beat, the 24-year-old skillfully ducked away from Joachim Andersen, but his effort struck the far post.
When VAR disregarded William Saliba’s slipping tackle on Ayew, Palace was deprived a penalty. Once more, Nketiah showed recklessness as he chipped over from a mere six yards after Declan Rice had identified the unmarked forward.
Arsenal maintained their calm, and Johnstone had no choice but to tip over a powerful 25-yard strike from Odegaard. After Arsenal had dominated play, Odegaard scored from the penalty spot in the 54th minute, ensuring he wouldn’t be denied again.
Quickly, Gabriel Martinelli’s free-kick caught Palace napping, and Nketiah circled Johnstone before the keeper, offended by Odegaard’s smooth penalty, upended him. It appeared as though Arsenal would win easily when Johnstone blocked Partey’s shot from the edge of the box.
But in the 67th minute, Palace had a chance when Tomiyasu was sent off harshly for a small push on Ayew that was not flagged by VAR in accordance with the regulations on second yellow cards.
Palace became increasingly irate as Eze was brought down by Partey’s collision, only to have his penalty demand turned down. The finest opportunity for Palace to equalize in a frantic finish came from Odsonne Edouard, who headed wide from Tyrick Mitchell’s cross. Mitchell wasted a chance as well, shooting wide from six yards out but Arsenal held firm.