Arsenal had to grind out a difficult 1-0 win against Crystal Palace on Monday evening.
Crystal Palace made things very difficult for Arsenal at Selhurst Park. Martin Odegaard’s penalty earned all three points for the Gunners. However, the sending off of Takehiro Tomiyasu meant that Arsenal had to withstand a storm of late pressure from the Eagles. Mikel Arteta will be relieved to be heading back to the Emirates Stadium with the points in tow.
The dismissal of Tomiyasu made things much more complicated for Arsenal in the final half hour of the match. The decision to send the 24-year-old off was certainly a controversial one.
The first yellow card was given to Tomiyasu for time wasting, yet it was his Arsenal teammates Kai Havertz and Thomas Partey who were particularly guilty of slowing the match down in this phase of the game. The punishment for Arsenal’s collective time wasting landed upon Tomiyasu. His second booking came for a slight pull on Jordan Ayew’s shirt, which he was unlucky to be given his marching orders for.
Arteta was pleased with how his team responded to going a man down. The Gunners had to sit deep and soak up a lot of pressure, but didn’t concede any glaring chances to Crystal Palace. The likes of Declan Rice, William Saliba, Ben White, and Martin Odegaard marshalled the team to ensure that Arsenal held on for the victory.
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Arteta calls on Arsenal to adapt
Arteta will have been well aware that Premier League referees will be taking a firm stance against time wasting this season. It is something that he and his players will need to be conscious of throughout the campaign.
Speaking to Sky Sports (Monday Night Football, 22:30, August 21st 2023) after the match, Arteta was asked if he understood the new rules on time wasting. The Spanish coach said, “I’m a really open person. I understand everything…The new rules are one thing…we will adapt…we can maybe play eight against eight. It will be entertaining.”
Arsenal do need to get to grips with the new sanctions for time wasting, else it could cost them more dearly in future than it did against Crystal Palace on this occasion.