Own goal helps Arsenal

Arsenal got off the mark for the season as Damien Delaney’s second-half own goal gave them a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace, Sky Sports reports.

The Irishman shinned an Alexis Sanchez header into his own net (55) after Olivier Giroud (16) and Joel Ward (28) had exchanged excellent first-half goals, ensuring an immediate Arsenal response to their opening-day shocker against West Ham.

Palace are entitled to think it might have been different but for Lee Mason’s lenient treatment of Francis Coquelin’s persistent misdemeanours, but there was enough early swagger and defensive character about the visitors to encourage belief last week’s performance was a false start and no more.

And Arsene Wenger will have noted that the improvement was in no small part down to his decision to restore Santi Cazorla to the central role in which he excelled in the second half of last season.

The Spaniard’s place on the left was taken by Sanchez, whose extended spell on the sidelines lasted all of 67 minutes last week before the SOS went out and who was deemed fit to start at Selhurst Park.