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Szczesny happy with Gunners winning ugly

GOALKEEPER Wojciech Szczesny is happy for Arsenal to win ugly, but knows they cannot afford too many costly defensive lapses if they are to challenge for the Premier League title.

The Gunners came from behind to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday through a dramatic stoppage-time winner from Aaron Ramsey, which denied the managerless Eagles what would have been a well-deserved share of the points on the opening day of the new campaign.

Despite all of their attacking potential Arsenal were again undone by some all-too-familiar slack defending, with Brede Hangeland heading home a 
near-post corner into the unguarded opposite side of the goal.


Arsene Wenger's side managed to level before half-time when Laurent Koscielny flicked home a deep free-kick from new £30million man Alexis Sanchez - showed some positive touches, albeit without setting the match alight - but then struggled to break down a determined Palace side.

Finally though Arsenal were able to open up the visitors, who were reduced to 10 men after a second caution for winger Jason Puncheon. Mathieu Debuchy's shot from a knockdown by substitute Olivier Giroud was saved by Julian Speroni, only for Ramsey to lash the loose ball in from close range.

"Maybe it was not the most beautiful of games, going 1-0 down we had to respond, but we will take the three points," Szczesny said.

"We conceded to another 
set-piece which was not very good, although it was a good delivery and a great header, so that is something we can hopefully improve on."

Arsenal, who are said to be closing in on Olympiacos centre-back Kostas Manolas, head to Istanbul today ahead of their Champions League play-off first leg against Besiktas tomorrow night.

Full-back Kieran Gibbs will be assessed after limping off early in the second half with what looked like a hamstring problem. Midfielder Mathieu Flamini missed the Palace match through illness but could yet be well enough to travel.

Szczesny is confident Arsenal can get a positive result at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.

"We love important games, so we can't wait to go to Turkey," the Poland goalkeeper added.

"It will be a good atmosphere."