A victory by way of revenge, too, since the Gunners had conceded a heavy defeat (3-0) in the same place at the beginning of April, the first of a long series of poor performances which would cost them qualification for the League of champions.
Reinforced by their three recruits, in particular the former Marseillais William Saliba, back from loan, the players of Mikel Arteta showed greater mastery this time, especially in the first twenty minutes, until the opening of the score from Gabriel Martinelli’s header, receiving a header from Zinchenko on a corner from Saka (1-0, 20th).
A deserved goal, a few minutes after a brilliant action by Gabriel Jesus (4th), the Brazilian center forward from Manchester City, already comfortable at the forefront of the system put in place by his coach.
The Gunners, who controlled the ball for two-thirds of the time until the first goal, gradually let Patrick Vieira’s players back into the game.
The latter were restored to confidence by two hesitations in quick succession (38th and 40th) from goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, then created two big chances in the last five minutes, by former Toulousain Odsonne Edouard (42nd and 45th + 1) .
Arsenal could never really regain the initiative in the second half. Eberechi Eze could even have equalized on a bright opening from Wilfried Zaha, but his shot at the entrance to the surface was repelled by Ramsdale (52nd).
Zaha again brought danger to Arsenal’s goal just before Crystal Palace captain Marc Guéhi deflected a powerful center from Bukayo Saka (85th, 2-0) into his own goal.
The Gunners could have taken shelter much earlier, if Martin Odegaard had been less altruistic, following an overflow from Gabriel Jesus (60th).
This first day continues on Saturday with the trip from Liverpool to Fulham (1.30 p.m.), while defending champions Manchester City will travel to West Ham on Sunday (5.30 p.m.).