Arsenal Beat Palace As Man City Hammer Chelsea

Arsenal recovered from their opening-day defeat by West Ham to record a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace.

Alexis Sanchez had three shots blocked as the Gunners began aggressively before Olivier Giroud got the opener.

The Frenchman’s superb scissor kick put away a Mesut Ozil cross but the lead lasted 12 minutes until Joel Ward’s driven shot drew Palace level.

Connor Wickham hit the post on his home debut before Damian Delaney sliced a Sanchez header into his own net.

Jordon Mutch almost inadvertently grabbed a late equaliser when the ball struck his head and went over from a corner, while Petr Cech held a Ward header in a frantic finish.

But despite Palace’s combative display, Arsene Wenger’s side ultimately deserved the three points for the quality of their movement and resilience in defence.

Meanwhile, Manchester City laid down a significant early marker in the Premier League title race with a commanding dismissal of champions Chelsea at Etihad Stadium.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s turbulent week, shaped by the controversy surrounding the demotion of medical staff Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearn, ended in misery as he saw his side outclassed by a resurgent City with three un-replied goals.

Sergio Aguero had been thwarted three times by Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic before giving City a deserved lead just after the half-hour, an advantage they never looked like losing.

City’s superiority was emphasised with two more late goals as captain Vincent Kompany headed in David Silva’s corner and midfielder Fernandinho sent a thunderous finish past Begovic, whose excellent performance was just about the only positive for Chelsea.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini was left frustrated last season as his lavishly talented squad failed to live up to their potential, but all the riches were on show in front of a record crowd of 54,331 at the newly extended Etihad as they demonstrated a desire to reclaim the title Chelsea took from them last season.

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