Arsenal ensured there was no repeat of their disastrous start to last season as Mikel Arteta’s men saw off Crystal Palace 2-0 on Friday to open the 30th season of the Premier League.
The Gunners were beaten 2-0 at Brentford on the opening night of last year’s season, which triggered their worst start to a league campaign for 67 years.
But they backed up their blistering pre-season form as Gabriel Martinelli’s first-half header and a late Marc Guehi own goal made amends for a 3-0 defeat at Selhurst Park in April.
That defeat sparked a run of five defeats in the final 10 games of the season to cost Arsenal a place in the Premier League top four for a sixth straight year.
But the board has kept faith with Arteta and backed the Spaniard with over £100 million to spend in the transfer market.
Gabriel Jesus’ arrival to fill the need for a centre-forward has been Arsenal’s marquee signing of the summer and the Brazilian nearly marked his debut in style after just four minutes.
Jesus slalomed through the centre of the Palace defence and when his initial effort was blocked, Martinelli should have done better than slot the rebound wide of the target.
The visitors were utterly dominant in the opening quarter, but it took a set-piece to make the breakthrough.