Giroud leads Arsenal attack in 2-1 win over Crystal Palace
LONDON (AP) — A stunning scissor kick by Olivier Giroud set Arsenal on its way to a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace and a first victory of the Premier League season on Sunday.
It required an own goal in the 55th minute from Palace defender Damien Delaney for Arsenal to clinch all three points at Selhurst Park and rebound from a surprise opening-round home loss to West Ham.
Giroud put Arsenal ahead in the 16th when the France striker met Mesut Ozil's left-wing cross with a flying left-foot volley which went into the bottom corner.
Joel Ward equalized with a drilled shot inside the far post in the 28th, but the Palace right back was beaten in the air by Alexis Sanchez, whose header was turned into the net by the stretching Delaney.
Arsenal showed no ill-effects from the 2-0 loss to West Ham, attacking with purpose and energy straight from the kickoff. Sanchez had a shot cleared off the line in the seventh minute before Giroud made it 1-0 with an early contender for goal of the season.
Palace is being widely tipped as a potential surprise package this season, with the summer signing of Yohan Cabaye supplementing an already impressive midfield. And the hosts caused Arsenal problems going forward, even if they were open at the back.
Petr Cech, the Arsenal goalkeeper who was to blame for both of West Ham's goals last weekend, wasn't unduly concerned until he had to pick the ball out of the net when Ward's low, angled shot flew past him.
Connor Wickham, making his first start for Palace since a summer switch from Sunderland, guided a close-range shot against the post in the 48th.
Arsenal's passing and movement continued to be crisp and, when right back Hector Bellerin sent a cross to the far post, Sanchez leapt to power the ball across the face of goal and Delaney accidentally turned it in.
Palace was aggrieved that Arsenal finished the match with 10 men, after defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin escaped a second booking despite persistent fouling. Coquelin was withdrawn by manager Arsene Wenger in the 64th.