Patrick Vieira points to key reason why Crystal Palace fell to an opening night defeat against Arsenal

The Eagles head coach suffered an opening night defeat against his former club.

Crystal Palace head coach Patrick Vieira admitted his side got ‘punished’ by Arsenal as the Gunners claimed all three points from their visit to Selhurst Park.

Gabriel Martinelli headed the Gunners in front as they midway point of the first-half approached and the visitors securing a win when Eagles defender Marc Guehi diverted a cross into his own net inside the final five minutes.

But that does not tell the whole story of an intriguing contest as Vieira’s side put their manager’s former club under several periods of intense pressure during the second-half.

Despite working their way into a number of promising situations, Palace were unable to get themselves back into the game and were left empty-handed from their first game of the Premier League season.

After the game, Vieira told Sky Sports: “I think the difference between the two teams was they scored those goals and we created equally  good chances to score and we had a good period in the second-half but we didn’t take our chances.

“Of course, we are disappointed because I think we could have scored a couple of goals, even if we didn’t create very much, but the difference is they took their chances, and we didn’t.

“Football is about trying to score goals and we were playing against a good side.

“We had great chances in both halves and we didn’t take it.  You get punished really hard.”

There had been concerns over what impact disruptions to Palace’s pre-season schedule would have on their performance against the Gunners.

However, Vieira revealed he was impressed with the physical effort his players put in,, despite the defeat against Mikel Arteta’s men.

“I was really pleased, I think physically we worked hard until the end,” explained the Eagles boss.

“Of course, you have to run a lot against these type of teams but I was really pleased with the physical side of the game.”

Palace return to action on Monday week when they visit Liverpool.