Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta warned his players their lack of ruthlessness in front of goal will cost them this season if they don’t improve as the campaign goes on.
The Gunners got their season off to a fantastic start with a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Friday night.
Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring from a well worked corner routine but the second goal came minutes from time when Marc Guehi headed Bukayo Saka’s cross into his own net.
Arsenal controlled the first half and had opportunities to add to Martinelli’s opener, which would have given Crystal Palace a mountain to climb.
But the Eagles stayed in the match until the 86th minute when Arsenal found their second.
And Arteta says his side ‘lacked’ the ruthlessness in front of goal, which would have made the game a lot more comfortable.
Asked if Arsenal should have wrapped up the game earlier, Arteta replied: ‘Yes, much sooner, and be more ruthless in front of goal – because we had a situation to finish them better, even in the second-half as well.
‘But that’s something that has to come. We have been scoring a lot of goals – today we lacked that.
‘We didn’t latch on to that final ball, we didn’t finish enough actions, and then they have some transitions moments and that’s what they like to do. So there were parts of the game that obviously we have to do better.’
Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and William Saliba made their debuts for the club in south-west London.
Saliba was the pick of the bunch, impressing as he made his first start three years after joining the club.
But it was a fine all-round performance from the new boys.
Arsenal take on Leicester City at the Emirates in their next fixture.
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