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Joachim Andersen urges Palace to be more ruthless after defeat to Arsenal

Joachim Andersen (left) demanded more after Palace lost their opening match to Arsenal (Adam Davy/PA)
Joachim Andersen (left) demanded more after Palace lost their opening match to Arsenal (Adam Davy/PA)

Joachim Andersen wants Crystal Palace to adopt a more ruthless mindset after his side lost Friday night’s Premier League curtain-raiser 2-0 to Arsenal.

The Eagles started on the back foot at Selhurst Park, regrouping toward the end of the first half but unable to convert what grew to a 56 per cent possession advantage into many meaningful chances.

The spark came too little too late for Andersen, who challenged his side to step up when they travel to Liverpool on August 15.

“It’s a little bit the same story as last season,” the centre-back told Palace TV. “We played well but we didn’t win.

“We need to be better in taking our chances. When we had good periods we missed a little bit of that killer instinct, in the last action, in our own box, in their box.”

Arsenal went ahead in the 20th minute through a well-worked corner that found its way to Gabriel Martinelli, who rose highest to score the first goal of the 2022/23 Premier League season.

The three points were sealed for Arsenal when Bukayo Saka’s 85th-minute cross deflected off Marc Guehi’s head and in.

Andersen was frustrated by his own back line’s inability to prevent the opener from a Gunners side who finished level with Palace on both 10 shots and two on target.

“It [should not] be possible for us to concede the first goal,” he said. “It’s something we spoke a lot about in pre-season and we need to improve on that because it’s not good enough at this level.

The Belgian forward made 25 appearances and scored four goals for Palace last season, but the 31-year-old found himself fighting for minutes on an increasingly youthful squad.

“I think we were sleeping a little bit. It’s about marking your man. We need to be tougher, we need to be more aggressive in these situations. But I think we played a good game actually. The second half we did really well and had good moments, so I think it was a good start.”

Palace boss Patrick Vieira confirmed he will be looking to add to his squad before the transfer window closes on September 1.

He will have a bit more room in his budget after the club announced Christian Benteke’s move to the Wayne Rooney-managed MLS side DC United before kick-off on Friday.

Benteke posted a video tribute to his six years at Palace on Instagram with the caption: “I want to thank the @cpfc fans and everyone who has supported me during my decade in England. My time has come to an end but I’m excited to have signed a deal to join @dcunited. Time to start my next chapter.”

Vieira, when asked about the move, replied: “This is something that the player wanted to do. When players want to play, and you can’t guarantee them time or games, you have to let them go.”