Crystal Palace v Arsenal

Press conference

Arteta on the win, Saliba and our resilience

Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta was full of praise for our show of resilience against a tough opponent on the opening night of the Premier League.

on how pleased he is to start the season with a win…

Yes really pleased, to be winning. Three points, a clean sheet, against a really difficult opponent and a really tough place. They got the people going, and as we expected we were going to have tough periods in the match. We showed great resilience to get through them, and (it is) really positive the way we started. We started really sharp, really mobile, really determined to play the way we wanted to play. Overall, positive.

on whether the resilience was what pleased him the most…

Yes because you don’t win here without it. We experienced that last season. We started in a really different way that we did last season here, but building that mentality and finding a way to go through those moments. Finding a way to maintain clean sheets in this league is going to be vital for our success, and we have managed to do that so hopefully that will build some confidence as well in the team.

on Saliba’s performance in defence…

You don’t really see that. At 21 years old, debut in the Premier League, against this opponent, against physical players - and resolve that situation the way he has done it. With that composure, with that calmness and with that presence. So big credit to the boy.

on whether he would like to see the team get that second goal sooner…

Yes, much sooner, and be more ruthless in front of goal - because we had a situation to finish them better, even in the second-half as well. But that’s something that has to come. We have been scoring a lot of goals - today we lacked that. We didn’t latch on to that final ball, we didn’t finish enough actions, and then they have some transitions moments and that’s what they like to do. So there were parts of the game that obviously we have to do better.

on the first goal, and whether it was off the training ground…

I think all of the teams practice routines and ways to hurt the opponent in different ways. Whether it’s open-play or set-pieces, and obviously we work on that as well.

on whether there is a deliberate emphasis on being more attacking this season…

Well, you need the players. Last year the deficiency in the final third we had was not good enough. For the amount of situations that we created, where those situations finish it wasn’t good enough. It was nowhere near the top teams, and we have to improve that and still we have to do that better. But you still feel the threat in the final third when we are there. That’s something that is going to happen, and that will create fear to the opponents.

on Gabriel Jesus contributing to that...

He was electric, really mobile, really determined and really wanted to hurt the opponent and he transmitted that. He creates uncertainty and spaces, and created movement for his teammates and it’s great to have him.

on whether he said anything to Saliba before the game...

I wanted to let him be and let him play, that’s the way we have tried to develop that player. To sign him at 19 years old and bring him back two years later is something unusual and he has been so determined and willing to come here and now proved the point that he is ready. Now we are exposing the player in a really difficult environment where he can navigate and enjoy it and be comfortable.

on what has changed about the squad to bring more resilience... 

We have to build that even more, those results help you to do that. It’s what the big teams do, they find a way to win and in difficult moments they have to manage the game in a different way and they do it, and they turn the press into a positive thing for the team, and we have managed to do that tonight.

on Ben White playing at right-back, and how he coped with Zaha tonight...

He did really well. We all know individually even when you are toe to toe with him how difficult it is to win the ball off him [Zaha]. The way he tries to play the game is really tricky. Ben has the capacity to play in different positions and that’s a big plus for any player.

Post-Match Gallery

The best photos from our win at Selhurst Park

Gabriel Martinelli scores against Crystal Palace

We got our Premier League campaign off and running last night with a well-earned 2-0 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, and you can see the best of the photos in our gallery.

It includes Gabriel Martinelli's opener and Bukayo Saka forcing Marc Guehi into an own goal, as well as plenty of celebration shots as our players and supporters united in glee at the final whistle as the campaign began in the best possible fashion.

Take a look at the best images from the night in our gallery below:

See Full List

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