“We’re so lucky to have him”, “absolute rolls royce” – Arsenal fans hail ‘otherworldly’ performance from ‘outrageous’ Gunners star in 2-0 win over Crystal Palace

Arsenal fans heap praise on young defender
Arsenal fans heap praise on young defender
Jack Spedding

Arsenal fans have heaped praise on defender William Saliba after his strong defensive display in the Premier League opener against Crystal Palace.

The Gunners have begun their Premier League campaign with an impressive 2-0 victory away at Crystal Palace, on Friday, 5 August.

The Gunners enjoyed an excellent pre-season and dominated the early part of the encounter at Selhurst Park. They took a deserved lead when Gabriel Martinelli headed home from close range following a well-worked corner.

Palace improved in the second period and put plenty of pressure on their London rivals. But Mikel Arteta's side stood firm and secured an all-important victory thanks to a late own goal from Marc Guehi.

Three points for The Arsenal. The perfect start to 2022/23 ✅

It was an impressive defensive display from the visitors, but one player who really stood out was William Saliba. The youngster was making his long-awaited Premier League debut for the Gunners, having initially signed three years ago.

Saliba had been on loan at a Ligue 1 outfit ever since and was named the division's 'Young Player of the Season' while at Marseille last term. The France international put on a commanding display for his side as he helped guide them to an opening day victory.

The centre-back was given the 'Man of the Match' award following the win, with Arsenal fans full of praise for him on Twitter after the full-time whistle:

William Saliba vs. Crystal Palace: 90 minutes played 62 touches46 passes (93.9% accuracy)3 ground duels (2 won)7 clearances 1 block5 long balls (3 successful)1 dribble (100% completion)Man of the match. 🇫🇷
William Saliba is so, so special. Man of the Match to mark his Arsenal debut. We’re so lucky to have him.
William Saliba is genuinely one of the most outrageous talents I’ve ever seen. 21 years of age.
William Saliba is honestly like a new £60 million signing… absolute rolls royce
William Saliba with a MOTM display on his Premier league debut. How many 21 year old central defenders can do it at this level on their debut at a tough away ground like Selhurst Park? Not many. A world class talent who will go on to become one of the best in this coming decade.
What a Beast of a player. Big big future ahead for William Saliba 🇫🇷
Rumours circulating that they’re set to remake the film Titanic. William Saliba has been cast as the iceberg.
COME ONNNN! What a win. Tough ground to play in, what a result. William Saliba, otherworldly in his Premier League debut.
William Saliba's contract extension should include a £100B release clause
Without exaggeration, William Saliba didn’t put a single foot wrong today.…

Mikel Arteta hails 'superb' William Saliba performance following Arsenal victory

The Frenchman received praise from several high-profile names for his performance at Selhurst Park on Friday, including his manager.

Arteta must have been delighted by what he saw from his team in South East London. But he went out of his way to heap praise on Saliba following a clean sheet on his debut. The Spanish boss told Sky Sports (as per BBC Sport):

"Saliba was superb tonight. The way we started the game and played in the first half hour was superb - we should have scored more. We had to play the game in ways we didn’t want to as it went on because Palace are able to do that to you.
"To win here, you need to suffer - we’ve done it and that’s part of the mentality we want to build, to come to places like this and win."

Arteta also felt that there was room for improvement for his team following the win, as he declared:

"The most important thing is to win the first match, to build confidence and momentum, and then you can talk about things we need to improve - there were quite a few today, to be honest."
Our Man of the Match tonight? 🏆100% take-ons completed100% aerial duels won94% pass accuracy7 ball recoveries6 clearances🇫🇷 Debutant William Saliba 👏

Edited by Akshay Saraswat


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