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EPL: Wenger relieved as Arsenal reign over Crystal Palace

London: Arsenal got back on track after their opening day meltdown as Olivier Giroud’s superb volley inspired a 2-1 EPL win against Crystal Palace yesterday.

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech (left) and teammate Per Mertesacker celebrate their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in London yesterday. pic/afpArsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech (left) and teammate Per Mertesacker celebrate their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in London yesterday. Pic/AFP

Arsene Wenger’s side were embarrassed by a woeful 2-0 home defeat against West Ham United last weekend, but they went some way to restoring their confidence with a gritty display at Selhurst Park. While it was still far from a vintage Arsenal performance, there were reasons for Wenger to be encouraged — none more significant than the memorable strike from much-criticised France forward Giroud which opened the scoring in the first half.

Also heartening for Wenger was the way Arsenal refused to be shaken by Joel Ward’s excellent equaliser, keeping their equilibrium to regain the lead through a Damien Delaney own goal and holding firm in the closing stages to secure their first win of the season.

Giroud’s superb volley came in the 16th-minute after which Ward blasted Palace level in the 28th minute. Thereafter, came Delaney’s own-goal in the 55th minute.

The Gunners hadn’t lost at Palace since 1979. “I’m very pleased with the three points. If we had gone two games and zero points it would be difficult and we knew this would be a tricky one. Last week we had a stroll. Today we played real Premier League football from the first minute to — AFPthe last. "With the ambitions we have made you have to have full commitment and we had that today,” Wenger said

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