Vieira highlights ‘the biggest difference’ between Arsenal and Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira pinpointed a lack of ruthlessness as the difference between his side and Arsenal on Friday night.

The Gunners walked away with all three points from their Premier League opener at Selhurst Park thanks to a first-half Gabriel Martinelli header and a late Marc Guehi own goal.

Arsenal dominated the opening exchanges but the Eagles challenged Arteta’s side after the restart as the visitors failed to create second-half chances in Gabriel Jesus’ competitive debut.

The hosts’ best opportunity came through Eberechi Eze, who found himself in a one-on-one after receiving a pinpoint pass from Wilfried Zaha but scuffed his effort.

“Today I think the biggest difference is we didn’t take that chance or those chances we created to at least get a point tonight,” Vieira said.

“We had some really good momentum at times but the story of the game is that we didn’t score that goal to get back into the game. That is what the frustration is about today.”


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Earlier this week the Palace boss admitted he was “short of numbers” and saw gaps all over the pitch.

Whether or not solutions come from the transfer window or within, he said, comes down to the coffers – which will have been boosted by Christian Benteke’s exit to DC United just before Friday’s game.

“We’re always looking to improve the team,” Vieira added. “If we find the right players with the right budget we will try to do it.

“If not there are players here who will grow during the season, players who are prepared to work hard for the club, and we have to keep challenging those players.”

Benteke has joined Wayne Rooney’s side after appearing 177 times and scoring 37 goals for Palace and was the Eagles’ top scorer in 2016-17.

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish said: “Christian has played a crucial role in this club’s Premier League journey, making an immediate impact after signing and playing a central role in the squad ever since.

“He’s someone I’ve enjoyed a great relationship with and he’s shown incredible loyalty staying with the club when he could easily have taken other options. We all wish him all the very best with the next stage of his career.”

Palace’s next fixture in a tough start to the Premier League season comes a week on Monday when they travel to Anfield to face Liverpool.

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