Arsenal relied on Martin Odegaard’s 54th-minute penalty and an obdurate defensive effort when down to 10 men and secure a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace in the English Premier League on Monday.
Takehiro Tomiyasu was sent off in the 67th minute after collecting a second yellow card, forcing Arsenal to retreat to preserve its second straight victory to open the campaign.
In the end, a penalty separated the teams, with Odegaard sending Sam Johnstone the wrong way from the spot after the Palace goalkeeper brought down Eddie Nketiah following a quickly taken free kick. Bukayo Saka usually takes Arsenal’s spot kicks but he handed the ball to Odegaard, the captain.
Arsenal is keeping pace with likely title rival Manchester City by earning back-to-back wins. The first – 2-1 at home to Nottingham Forest – didn’t come easy, either.
Palace offered little attacking threat until Tomiyasu, who was yellow-carded in the 60th for taking too long at a throw-in, was adjudged to have pulled the jersey of Jordan Ayew after the Palace forward spun round to chase a ball over the top.
The second booking looked harsh and Tomiyasu appeared stunned by the decision.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta withdrew a raft of attackers in the final 20 minutes and replaced them with defenders to protect the lead. Center-backs William Saliba and substitute Gabriel, in particular, were impressive in helping Arsenal see the game out.
In the first half, Nketiah wasted two great chances when played through first by Saka and then by Declan Rice.
Palace won its opening game at Sheffield United 1-0. Aside from City and Arsenal, Brighton was the only other team with a maximum of six points after two games.
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