Aug 16, 2014 at 5.30pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Crystal Palace
Koscielny (46'), Ramsey (91')
Chambers (44'), Cazorla (60')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Hangeland (35')
Puncheon (48'), Chamakh (68'), Kelly (77')
Puncheon (87')

Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-1 Crystal Palace - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates, which the home side won 2-1.

Arsenal opened their 2014-15 Premier League campaign with a home match against Crystal Palace this evening.

Palace took a shock lead after 35 minutes through former Fulham centre-back Brede Hangeland, but Laurent Koscielny levelled for the home side in the latter stages of the first period.

The Gunners continued to press in the second half as Palace were reduced to 10 men when Jason Puncheon was sent from the field.

Eventually a winner came in stoppage time when Aaron Ramsey converted from close range.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

4.31pmHello all! Sports Mole's 2014-15 Premier League coverage continues from the Emirates as Arsenal welcome Crystal Palace for this all-London affair. The home side have been tipped for a title challenge this season, but it could now be a difficult season for Palace, with boss Tony Pulis walking away from Selhurst Park on Thursday evening. Just to note - the team news is fast approaching.


Arsenal: Szczesny; Debuchy, Koscielny, Chambers, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere; Sanchez, Ramsey, Cazorla; Sanogo

Palace: Speroni; Kelly, Dann, Hangeland, Ward; Puncheon, Jedinak, Ledley; Bolasie, Chamakh, Campbell

4.37pmSo there we have it. There are Premier League debuts for Mathieu Debuchy, Callum Chambers and Alexis Sanchez in the Arsenal XI, while Yaya Sanogo is given the nod in attack. Aaron Ramsey will seemingly operate behind the French striker, with Mikel Arteta (skipper) and Jack Wilshere holding the central midfield.

4.40pmPalace, meanwhile, also have debut boys, with Martin Kelly, Brede Hangeland and Frazier Campbell all starting. Jason Puncheon is also fit for the capital outfit, while experienced goalkeeper Julian Speroni has been preferred between the sticks with January signing Wayne Hennessey on the bench at the Emirates.


4.45pmAs mentioned, the corresponding match between the two sides last season ended in a 2-0 Arsenal win. That was also the score when the Gunners travelled to Palace last October. Both sides have strengthened their squads this summer, but Pulis's inability to secure a number of leading targets is believed to be the main reason for his untimely departure as head coach. It really could not have come at a worse time.

4.45pmAs mentioned, the corresponding match between the two sides last season ended in a 2-0 Arsenal win. That was also the score when the Gunners travelled to Palace last October. Both sides have strengthened their squads this summer, but Pulis's inability to secure a number of leading targets is believed to be the main reason for his untimely departure as head coach. It really could not have come at a worse time.

4.48pmSpeculation of a managerial change at Palace had been gathering pace over the last week and it indeed came to a head on Thursday, when talks with co-chairman Steve Parish led to the former Stoke City manager departing the club. Pulis led relegation-threatened Palace to an 11th-place finish in the league last season and was named the Premier League's manager of the year in May, but now assistant Keith Millen will act as caretaker until a new manager is appointed.

Tony Pulis manager of Crystal Palace with Yannick Bolasie of Crystal Palace after the Barclays Premier League match against West Ham United on April 19, 2014© Getty Images

4.51pmArsenal, however, have no such managerial problems. Arsene Wenger has added the likes of Debuchy, Chambers and Sanchez to his squad this summer, with the signing of the latter catching the imagination of the supporters. The Gunners flirted with the title last season before falling away to finish fourth, but there is a feeling that they could sustain a challenge this time around.

4.54pmPalace's only Premier League win over Arsenal in 10 attempts came a decade ago, when they picked up a 2-1 victory at Highbury. Arsenal did lose on the opening day of last season – a shock home defeat to Aston Villa. However, that was their only defeat in their last 13 league games on the opening weekend. That said, they haven't won any of their last four opening-day fixtures in the Premier League.

4.57pmThe first goal in this match could be key, especially if it falls to Arsenal. The Gunners scored first in 24 league games last season and went on to win 22 of them. In Olivier Giroud, meanwhile, they have a striker in form at the Emirates. The Frenchman, who scored last week against City, has netted six goals in his last six Premier League appearances in this particular stadium, but he starts this game on the bench.

4.54pmPalace's only Premier League win over Arsenal in 10 attempts came a decade ago, when they picked up a 2-1 victory at Highbury. Arsenal did lose on the opening day of last season – a shock home defeat to Aston Villa. However, that was their only defeat in their last 13 league games on the opening weekend. That said, they haven't won any of their last four opening-day fixtures in the Premier League.

5pmHowever, it has been a mixed pre-season for Arsenal. They opened their preparations for the new campaign with a 2-0 win over Boreham Wood on July 19, but lost 1-0 to New York Red Bulls one week later. They then put five past Benfica, but were beaten 1-0 at home by Monaco in their next match. As mentioned, last weekend saw the Gunners beat Man City 3-0 in the Community Shield.

5.03pmLooking ahead for a moment, following this match Arsenal will travel to Turkey, where they will face Besiktas in the first leg of their Champions League playoff. The second leg is on August 27, but sandwiched between the two European affairs is a trip to Everton in the league. The Gunners will end the month with a trip to newly-promoted Leicester City.

5.06pmPalace, meanwhile, have suffered just one defeat in pre-season. They put 13 goals past Grazer AK on July 16, before drawing 2-2 with Columbus Crew. They then beat Philadelphia Union and Richmond Kickers before returning to the United Kingdom, where they lost to Brentford at the start of the month.

5.09pmFollowing this match, Palace host West Ham United next weekend, before travelling to Walsall in the League Cup on August 26. Palace end the month with a trip to Newcastle United. It remains to be seen how long the club wait before announcing a new manager. Malky Mackay is believed to be in the running...

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay prior to kick-off in the match against Manchester United on November 24, 2013© Getty Images

5.12pmPalace have won just one of their five opening-weekend fixtures in the Premier League, meanwhile, losing twice in the process. Last season was the first time that Palace avoided relegation from England's top flight, with their previous four Premier League campaigns ending in relegation. The fact that they were in the bottom three when Pulis took charge and eventually finished 11th is a demonstration of the job that was performed. Right, little over 15 minutes until kickoff at the Emirates.

5.15pmPalace also lost nine of their first 10 league matches last season, but they ended the campaign with Champions League form – winning five of their last eight games and suffering just one defeat in the process.

5.18pmGoals, however, were a serious problem for Palace last season. In fact, only Norwich City and Cardiff City (who were both relegated) scored fewer than Palace's 33 goals. It is understood that Pulis wanted to bring in Michu from Swansea City and although Frazier Campbell has arrived from Cardiff City, Palace still seem a squad short of a player that can guarantee double figures.


5.24pmPREDICTION: In truth, I just cannot see anything other than a comfortable home win at the Emirates. Palace have players that could hurt Arsenal, but I worry if they will see enough of the ball. My score prediction is 3-0 Arsenal, with Sanchez on the scoresheet for his new club.

5.27pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. Following the pre-match handshakes and exchanging of flags, we will be ready to get this Premier League clash underway.

0 minArsenal will be looking to send out a statement this evening, but Palace are more than capable of causing a shock here. It is the away side, in their yellow and blue kit, that get the first period underway.

2 minPalace make a fast start from kick off as Puncheon heads straight for the Arsenal back four, the Szczesny is out to collect. Ward is down the left for Palace moments later, but the move breaks down and Arsenal start to play their football in the middle of the pitch. Competitive and lively start to this match.

4 minIt's bright work from Sanchez as the Chilean combines with Debuchy, but his cross is cleared by Hangeland, before Ramsey heads wide of the post. The sun is shining in north London and there is a feel-good factor inside the stadium this early evening. The home supporters are expecting goals from their side.

6 minNot too much to report in terms of attacking football in the opening six minutes, but Palace will be pleased with their start to proceedings. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - will be vital in this type of match. Cazorla is currently on the deck following a high challenge with Chamakh.

8 minPenalty shout for Arsenal as Ramsey goes down in the box under pressure from Dann, but the referee is not interested. It is indeed the correct decision - Dann was simply stronger than the Welshman. Arsenal have quickened the pace in the last few minutes with Sanchez and Wilshere both getting on the ball.

10 minJedinak has been brilliant for Palace in the early stages of this match, with the skipper twice producing brilliant blocks outside his own box. The away side just cannot keep the ball at the moment as Ramsey threads a pass into Sanogo, but the Frenchman cannot gather under pressure from Hangeland. Still goalless.

13 minPlenty of possession for Arsenal thus far, but Palace are so well-organised in defensive areas. Hangeland could prove to be a brilliant signing for the London outfit. Palace earn a free kick in their own half and a well-deserved rest when Campbell is brought to the ground by Arsenal skipper Arteta.

15 minHalf-chance for Palace as Puncheon finds some space in the final third before whipping a cross towards Campbell, but Szczesny is on hand to collect. Arsenal are down the other end with Sanchez moments later, but Ward comes across to clear the danger. Plenty happening, but no real chances for either side thus far.

17 minArsenal threaten with a couple of set pieces, but Palace have no problems clearing the danger with Hangeland and Dann both strong in the air. Sanchez has a sight of goal moments later, but curls one high and wide.

20 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of minutes, with both sides guilty of losing possession in forward areas. Arsenal will need to show patience this evening, but you just get the feeling that chances will arrive as the match gathers pace. Palace, however, look very dangerous on the counter attack.

22 minIn truth, it is a little bit like a training exercise at the moment. Arsenal with all the ball, but Palace defending for their lives. For the neutral, a Palace goal would certainly increase the entertainment.

24 minSanchez again shows a glimpse of his pace as he beats Ward before delivering, but there are no takers on the cross. The atmosphere has just dropped inside the stadium, which is a reflection of matters on the field. Palace will be pleased with their opening 24 minutes of work at the Emirates.

26 minPlenty of tasty challenges flying in from both sides at the moment, but fair ones and the referee is allowing the match to flow. Palace continue to gain confidence in the final third, but that last pass has been poor thus far. It is a similar story for Arsenal, who are yet to create a clear opportunity this evening.

28 minHalf-chance for Arsenal as Sanogo turns on the edge of the Palace box before firing an effort towards the bottom corner, but his strike moves wide of the post. Little over 15 minutes of the half to play.

30 minCHANCE! First real sight of goal for Arsenal as Wilshere unleashes one towards the bottom corner, but Speroni is across to make a bright save, before Sanchez heads over from the resulting corner. Speroni, meanwhile, has been warned for timewasting, even at this stage of the match.

33 minThe frustration for Arsenal continues as Cazorla brings Campbell to the ground in a wide position. Kelly delivers a cross from the right moments later, but it goes behind for an Arsenal goal-kick. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining and Palace have been comfortable at the Emirates.

35 minGOAL! Arsenal 0-1 Palace (Hangeland)

36 minOh my word! Palace take the lead with a set piece as Hangeland rises at the near post before planting his header into the bottom corner. Brilliant header from the Fulham centre-back. The corner came following bright work from Campbell, who went toe-to-toe with Koscielny inside the box following a long-range effort from Jedinak. Can Arsenal respond before the interval?

38 minArsenal continue to frustrate in the final third as Sanogo loses possession following a smart pass from Ramsey. Palace look comfortable in dealing with the threat in both wide areas and through the middle.

40 minArsenal threaten as Cazorla stings the palms of Speroni, but the resulting corner comes to nothing as Hangeland is once more on hand to clear the danger. You just get the feeling that Palace need to hold on until the break. A goal for the Gunners at this stage would change the entire course of the second period.

42 minThe referee has been forced into action on a number of occasions in the last couple of moments, with Arteta having a nibble at Bolasie once more. However, there have been no cards thus far. Arsenal force a free kick down the right moments later when Puncheon fells Debuchy...

43 min... Palace clear the danger as Ward rises at the far post. The ball comes back into the box moments later, but Speroni is on hand to collect. Still 1-0 Palace with 43 minutes on the clock.

44 minBOOKING! Chambers goes into the book for Arsenal for a tug on Campbell.

45 min

45 min+1GOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Palace (Koscielny)

45 min+2Arsenal equalise in the first minute of stoppage time as Koscielny heads a Sanchez free kick into the back of the net from close range. That is a massive, massive blow for Palace at this stage.

45 min+2HALF-TIME: Arsenal 1-1 Palace

6.18pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Palace holding Arsenal to a 1-1 draw. Hangeland gave the away side a shock lead after 35 minutes, but Koscielny equalised in first-half stoppage time to leave the scores all level. Palace are worth a draw at this stage make no mistake about that.

6.23pmSTATS! Arsenal dominated the ball in the first period with 74% possession, while they had five shots, just two of which were on target. Palace, meanwhile, scored with their only attempt on target. There has been just the one booking, with Chambers in the book for Arsenal following a tug on Campbell.

6.28pmBENCH WATCH! Arsenal have a number of attacking options on their bench this evening in the shape of Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky and Campbell. Palace, meanwhile, have the likes of Gayle and Murray in reserve. It is a match that could indeed be decided from the sidelines.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch at the Emirates for the second period. You just get the feeling that Palace need to ride out the next 15 minutes or so if they are going to take some sort of result from this match. Right, it is the home side that get the second 45 minutes underway.

48 minNo changes from either manager at the interval, which is not much of a surprise at this stage of proceedings. As expected, the home side have started the half on the front foot, with Sanchez and Wilshere immediately joining the likes of Sanogo and Cazorla in the final third. Palace need to remain strong here.

49 minBOOKING! Puncheon is booked for Palace following a poor challenge on Ramsey. Referee Moss allowed the play to continue, but Cazorla lost possession in the final third, before Palace launched a break of their own. End-to-end football with 49 minutes on the clock.

51 minCazorla just cannot keep the ball at the moment as the Spanish international loses out to Ward, who had been dragged across the pitch. The tempo is extremely high at the moment, which will suit Arsenal.

53 minNeither side can keep the ball in the final third at the moment as Ramsey and Wilshere both lose possession for Arsenal in a matter of minutes, while Puncheon dwells down the other end. You can sense a goal is coming, while both managers have a number of subs warming up on the sidelines.

53 minSUB! Arsenal are forced into an early change in the second period as Gibbs leaves the field with a hamstring problem. His replacement is Monreal.

55 minArsenal continue to gain good ground in the final third, but they are finding it difficult to open up this stern Palace defence. Ward in particular has been brilliant for the visitors this evening. Still more than 35 minutes of football to play at the Emirates. I would be surprised if there were not more goals.

57 minBoth managers will be thinking about changes at this stage of the match, with Giroud the obvious choice on the bench for Arsenal. In truth, Sanogo has been poor for the Gunners this far.

58 minHalf-chance for Palace this time as Chamakh finds Puncheon on the edge of the Arsenal box, but his effort is straight into the arms of the Arsenal goalkeeper. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining.

61 minArsenal continue to threaten from set pieces as Kelly is forced to clear for a corner, which is cleared at the near post by Chamakh. Palace attempt to break with Jedinak, but his final ball is poor and the pressure comes straight back from the home side. End-to-end football, but still the score remains at 1-1.

61 minBOOKING! Cazorla goes into book for Arsenal following a poor tackle on Ledley.

62 minSUB! Arsenal make their second change of the match as Giroud replaces Sanogo.

64 minSlightly untidy from both teams in the last couple of moments, with Chamakh and Hangeland both making problems for Palace in their own half. Arsenal continue to enjoy possession in the final third, but their passing has been poor in that area. Little over 25 minutes of football to play at the Emirates this evening.

66 minDann, who has been brilliant for Palace, is across to clear a through pass from Cazorla, who had threatened to get Monreal away. The resulting corner comes into the six-yard box, but Hangeland rises to clear.

68 minWell, this second period is flying past. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining and Palace are still holding Arsenal at the Emirates. Wilshere attempts to flick a cross into Giroud, but once more Speroni is on hand to collect. The Gunners still have one permitted change remaining. Oxlade-Chamberlain?

68 minBOOKING! Chamakh is booked for Palace following a lunge on Wilshere.

69 minHalf-chance for Arsenal as Sanchez combines with Cazorla on the edge of the box, but his effort is straight into the arms of Speroni, who has had a comfortable evening until this point.

69 minSUB! Third and final change for Arsenal as Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Wilshere.

72 minArsenal have upped the tempo in the last couple of moments as Cazorla has a low shot blocked at the near post following a period of possession outside the Palace box. Chamakh stays strong from the resulting corner, however, and Palace can move up the pitch once more.

73 minHalf-chance for Arsenal as Sanchez finds Ramsey on the edge of the box, but his effort is straight into the arms of the Palace goalkeeper. Still 1-1 with 73 minutes on the clock.

75 minDann has a problem for Palace here and it looks like the centre-back will be unable to continue.

75 minSUB! That is indeed the case as Damien Delaney replaces Dann.

77 minLittle under 15 minutes of football remaining and still Palace hold Arsenal on the opening weekend of the Premier League season. Monreal delivers a wonderful cross towards Giroud at the near post, but the French forward cannot make contract and Palace live to fight another day.

78 minBOOKING! Kelly goes in the book for Palace following a lunge on Sanchez.

79 minSanchez delivers the resulting free kick, but he fires it high of the crossbar. Really poor from the Chilean international, who has not really been at the races this evening for his new side.

81 minMore frustration for Arsenal as Oxlade-Chamberlain heads out for a goal kick following another period of possession. Palace continue to frustrate the home side, but there is still plenty of time for the Gunners to change the outcome of this match. Chances will surely arrive in the latter stages.

83 minFair tweet from the official Arsenal account:

85 minCHANCE! It's brilliant work from Giroud as the Arsenal forward turns inside the box before flashing one towards the bottom corner, but it moves wide of the post.

86 minSUB! It is the end of Campbell's afternoon as Dwight Gayle enters for Palace.

88 minPalace just cannot get out of their own half at the moment, but Arsenal are finding it difficult to create clear chances in the final third. Little over two minutes of normal time remaining.

89 minRED CARD! Puncheon is sent off for Palace following a lunge on Monreal. Second bookable offence for the former Southampton midfielder.

90 minSUB! Third and final change for Palace as O'Keefe replaces Bolasie.

90 min+1GOAL! Arsenal 2-1 Palace (Ramsey)

90 min+2Arsenal surely win it in second-half stoppage time as Ramsey converts from close range after Debuchy had been denied by Speroni from close range.

90 min+4It is so cruel on Palace, so cruel. They have defended brilliantly this evening, but have been undone by another set piece. Two Arsenal goals from two set pieces. Incredible.

90 min+5Arsenal have a free kick and that should be just about that.

90 min+5FULL-TIME: Arsenal 2-1 Palace

7.25pmSo there we have it. Arsenal win it at the death with a late strike from Ramsey. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Good evening!

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez leaps over Man City's Matija Nastasic during the Community Shield on August 10, 2014
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