The best and worst Arsenal players in the tight victory over Crystal Palace.

Mikel Arteta and his team received a huge boost from Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

It’s never easy to travel to South London, but Martin Odegaard’s second-half penalty made sure that Arsenal kept their perfect record of victories intact. It’s still early in the season, but there’s no denying the value of early momentum.

In reality, Arsenal might have had Palace beat before Takehiro Tomiyasu’s second-half red card forced the Gunners into a more cautious, lead-preserving mode. In the first 45 minutes, Eddie Nketiah had a few excellent opportunities to score, but Arsenal didn’t stifle Palace with heavy punishment.

Both positive and negative aspects of the game can be taken away, and the best and worst players for Arsenal that night could be distinguished with ease.

The best Arsenal player against Crystal Palace.

Odegaard, Martin.

The captain of Arsenal not only won the game, but he was also their best player that evening.

The Norwegian put on a performance similar to what we’ve come to expect of him, completing 32 of the 35 passes he attempted and winning four ground battles. Statistically speaking, however, Odegaard’s agility, timing, and awareness of where to be helped Arsenal neutralize any threat that Palace might have posed.

When it mattered most, he exuded class, and when Arsenal needed to step up their game, he gave them the drive. When it came to the penalty, Odegaard was the epitome of coolness. He buried the ball skillfully in the bottom right corner while shoving Sam Johnstone the wrong way.

An example of what Odegaard can provide from midfield was his 15 Premier League goals, and if he keeps performing at this level, there’s a good chance he could match those totals.

Declan Rice deserves a mention.

Due to his £105 million transfer fee, Rice is under tremendous pressure to perform, and this was the first game in which he was truly able to establish his dominance. The 24-year-old was decisive in everything he did as Arsenal seized control of possession, and it is obvious that Mikel Arteta has given him more freedom to roam forward.

He balanced the need for progressive passing with the need to slow the game down and keep things moving at Arsenal’s pace, which helped create a clear-cut opportunity for Eddie Nketiah in the first half.

Of course, there’s more to come, but for Rice and Arsenal supporters, this was very encouraging.

Rating for 90 minutes: 8.

Against Crystal Palace, the worst player for Arsenal.

Tomiyasu Takehiro.

Takehiro Tomiyasu actually had a good game for Arsenal in terms of pure defense.

The Japanese international, who replaced the injured Jurrien Timber in the lineup, recovered the ball six times, kept the Gunners’ defensive alignment, and generally looked up to speed.

The game, however, took a turn for the worse when Tomiyasu was given a caution for time wasting at a throw-in by David Coote, who decided that he should be booked for holding onto the ball for eight seconds on the sidelines. This may have been unfair, but it changed the course of the game.

Soon after getting Jordan Ayew’s backside wrong, he gave the referee a decision to make even though there was barely any contact with Palace’s forward. No matter how forceful the hands are, they will almost always result in a yellow card when the opposition is trying to counter. Arsenal was in trouble after the ensuing red card, but they were able to recover.

90-minute rating: 4.0/10.

Aaron Ramsdale is an unworthy mention.

David Raya and Mike Hewitt/Getty Images are Aaron Ramsdale’s main rivals.

Many people were surprised by David Raya’s decision to join Arsenal and take over for Aaron Ramsdale, mainly because they believe Raya is too talented to be a number two.

Arteta obviously holds a different opinion; he thinks Ramsdale will advance to greater heights as a result of the competition for spots, while also ensuring that Arsenal is prepared for all contingencies.

Ramsdale’s performance at Selhurst Park showed signs of trepidation, and his composure and passing accuracy fell short of what we’ve come to expect. Ramsdale attempted numerous long balls, all of which resulted in Arsenal losing possession, something that Arteta would like to prevent at all costs.

He made a few saves as Palace failed to pose a serious threat, but it will be interesting to see how he develops over the coming days.

Score for 90 minutes: 6.

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