Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace: Winners and Losers from Emirates Stadium

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2014

Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace: Winners and Losers from Emirates Stadium

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    Although they struggled against a resilient Crystal Palace, Arsenal eventually overcame their London rivals to secure three points on the opening day of the Premier League season.

    As Arsene Wenger had predicted, the team looked short of the requisite fitness and sharpness to be at their best. However, they showed good patience and determination and were able to emerge victorious thanks to Aaron Ramsey's stoppage time winner.

    Read on to discover who the winners and losers were in Arsenal's first fixture.

Winner: Aaron Ramsey

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    Arsenal's Player of the Season for 2013/14 has started the new campaign with the same consistent excellence. After netting in the Community Shield win over Manchester City, he followed up with the crucial winner against Palace.

    When the ball rebounded inside the six-yard box, Ramsey showed his customary predatory instinct to be in the right place to tuck home. Arsenal fans will rightfully expect it to be the first of many Premier League goals in 2014/15.

Loser: Jack Wilshere

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    Jack Wilshere put in a disappointing shift against Crystal Palace. He struggled to impose himself against the physical Mile Jedinak.

    After the match, Arsene Wenger said, via Arsenal's official Twitter feed, that Wilshere had been sick in the days leading up to the game:

    Boss: 'Jack Wilshere was sick in the last few days and I had options on the bench.'

    That goes some way towards explaining his performance. However, he is running out of excuses. Wilshere has to start delivering on his undoubted potential.

Winner: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

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    The introduction of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain certainly helped enliven an out-of-sorts Arsenal. His direct running and dynamism added plenty to a midfield that had struggled to break down an organised Palace.

    After missing out on appearing in the World Cup, Oxlade-Chamberlain will be determined to put his injury problems behind him and nail down a regular place in the Arsenal first-team. On this evidence, that day is not too far away.

Loser: Yaya Sanogo

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    This was a huge opportunity for Yaya Sanogo. To be handed the chance to start Arsenal's opening Premier League game was a chance to demonstrate he has really kicked on over the summer.

    Instead, he was typically timid. This was the familiar and flawed Sanogo from 2013/14, not the goal-machine we briefly glimpsed in the Emirates Cup. Olivier Giroud will surely be restored to the starting XI sooner rather than later.

Winner: Calum Chambers

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    Considering that Calum Chambers is only 19 and has less than 30 Premier League games under his belt, he was remarkably composed on his home debut for Arsenal.

    Chambers had never played as a centre-back in the Premier League, but it was impossible to tell. He surely has a very bright future ahead of him.