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Own goal helps Arsenal win at Palace in Premier League opener

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Arsenal battled to beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on Friday as the new Premier League season got underway.

Gabriel Martinelli opened scoring for the first goal before home defender Marc Guehi turned the ball into his own net late on at Selhurst Park.

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus, who arrived from Manchester City in the close season, looked set to get off to a flying start by dancing through the Palace defence only to see his shot blocked, with Martinelli dragging the rebound wide of the post.

Oleksandr Zinchenko, another new signing from City, also looked lively and had an early shot blocked as Arsenal quickly raised the tempo but the Ukrainian soon had a hand in the opening goal as Palace were caught flat-footed at a corner.

Bukayo Saka’s inswinger found Zinchenko in acres of space and he headed the ball back across goal where Martinelli was on hand to nod it into the net.

Palace could have levelled before the break as Odsonne Edouard headed goalwards, but visiting goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale pulled off a superb reflex save to preserve his side’s lead.

The hosts wasted another great chance to draw level after the break when Wilfried Zaha sliced open the Arsenal defence with a perfect pass but again Ramsdale was quick to react, getting out to block Eberechi Eze’s shot.

Bukayo Saka’s inswinger found Zinchenko in acres of space and he headed the ball back across goal where Martinelli was on hand to nod it into the net.

The hosts wasted another great chance to draw level after the break when Wilfried Zaha sliced open the Arsenal defence with a perfect pass but again Ramsdale was quick to react, getting out to block Eberechi Eze’s shot.

After guiding his side to a fifth-place finish last term, Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta looked worried as they became increasingly ragged in the second half but, aside from Zaha, the Palace attack looked out of sync.

Sensing they might snatch a draw, Palace coach Patrick Viera threw everyone forward for the last 15 minutes but the visitors doubled their lead when Saka’s cross was deflected into his own goal by Guehi in the 85th to seal the points for the away side.

“We started really sharp … to win here you need to suffer,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“We’ve done it and that’s part of the mentality that we want to build, to come to these places and find a way to win”

French defender William Saliba was outstanding for Arsenal as he finally made his debut after three years spent on loan at different clubs in France.

“We knew it would be hard here but we were strong and solid,” the 21-year old said.

“I’ve waited a long time to make my debut and I’m happy to start with a clean sheet and a win, it’s important for confidence.”

 

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EPL: Lee Sharps wants ex-PSG coach to replace Ten Hag at Man Utd

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Former Manchester Player, Lee Sharps wants former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery to replace Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag’s long-term future at Man United is unclear because of the Re Devils’ performances this season.

Man United currently sit outside of the Premier League top four behind the likes of Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City.

In a recent interview with DAZN, Sharpe said:

“If I were choosing and Erik ten Hag was to go, Unai Emery would be at the top of my list.

“I think given the support and the full backing, he could replicate what he has done at [Aston] Villa. I think he’d be a class manager for United.”

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Europa League: Klopp reacts as Atalanta sends Liverpool out of competition

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Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, has hailed his players despite their exit from the Europa League.

The Reds beat Atalanta 1-0 in Bergamo, but lost the tie 3-1 on aggregate.

After Mohamed Salah’s early penalty, Klopp’s men failed to get more goals, despite having control for most of the game.

Klopp has now said they will concentrate on the Premier League, where they are in third place, two points behind leaders Manchester City.

“It was clear we gave ourselves a massive hurdle. I liked the game a lot tonight with the desire and power the boys show. It was incredible from them.

“It was really tricky and we were too hasty in moments. We won the game and that was the reaction we wanted to show. It was difficult and we knew it would be but they deserve to go through 100%.

“We have to focus on the league and that is exactly what we will do from now. Tonight we won the game so we are back to winning ways.

“We have a few days to recover to go again against Fulham. That will be a different game but it will be tricky,” Klopp said.

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Juventus releases statement after order to pay Cristiano Ronaldo’s unpaid wages

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Italian giants Juventus have released a statement after being ordered to pay their former player, Cristiano Ronaldo his unpaid wages.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS, ordered the Serie A giants to pay Cristiano Ronaldo his unpaid wages.

The court gave the verdict following a dispute arising from pay reductions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ronaldo, who now laces his boots for Saudi Super League side, Al-Nassr, told the court he was owed €19.5 million ($20.81 million) by the Turin giants in unpaid wages.

The Court ruling will see Juventus pay Ronaldo around half that amount, with a €9.8 million settlement reached.

The Italian giants quickly moved to make a statement after the ruling, stating, “The arbitration tribunal ruled Juve had to pay half of the sum requested by the 39-year-old Portugal striker.

“They partially granted the request made by [Ronaldo]… ascertaining Juventus’ pre-contractual liability resulting from the failure of negotiations and ordered the defendant to pay an amount of approximately Euro 9.8 million.”

Juventus have also hinted at their desire to contest the ruling in their statement, saying:
“The Company, also with the support of its legal counsel, is reviewing the decision made by the arbitration board, reserving all assessments and initiatives to preserve its rights.”

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