Aaron Ramsey netted an injury-time winner to snatch a 2-1 Premier League victory for Arsenal over managerless Crystal Palace.
The south London club were rocked by Tony Pulis’ departure by mutual consent on the eve of the season on Friday, but they performed admirably before taking a shock lead at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Having comfortably absorbed waves of Arsenal pressure, debutant Brede Hangeland headed Palace and their caretaker boss Keith Millen into a 35th-minute lead.
Laurent Koscielny levelled on the stroke of half-time, but the FA Cup holders looked like they would fail to capitalise, even as Palace winger Jason Puncheon departed for a second booking in the closing stages.
But Ramsey was on hand to prod home from point-blank range when Mathieu Debuchy’s shot was saved, following a display of set-piece defending that would have left Pulis horrified.
Hangeland joined fellow defender Martin Kelly and striker Fraizer Campbell in making his Palace debut, while Arsenal were unchanged from last weekend’s Community Shield win over Premier League champions Manchester City.