Saturday, 4 August 2018

Nelson, Aubameyang Shine As Arsenal Wind Up New Season Preparation

Arsenal vs Lazio was the last game on our preseason calendar. It held at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, and Granit Xhaka was the man with the armband for the night. Stephan Lichtsteiner and Lucas Torreira were handed their first starts since joining the club in the ongoing summer transfer window. Alex Iwobi who the official website recently announced his contract extension was also a starter.

Like against Boreham Wood, Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea, Arsenal were the side who ended victorious in an encounter which experienced a goal in both halves. Lichtsteiner was quick to make an impact in the second minute when he sent a ball to Nketiah who was unable to convert it into an opener.

Both sides had their chances which included a Lacazette attempt from a Lichsteiner pass and a misplaced shot by Caicedo who had enough space from the penalty spot.

It was not too long before Arsenal broke the deadlock via a tap-in from Nelson in the 18th minute. The scorer had earlier sent a pass to Iwobi whose nice attempt hit the woodwork but linked up with Nelson who wasted no time in sending it where it should be.

Arsenal were threatened by a dangerous shot afterwards but thanks to Rob Holding who was readily available to head the danger clear. THe first half ended with Arsenal still in the lead.

Arsenal made earlier substitutions in the second half. Guendouzi and Aubameyang (who would later make a difference in the scoreline) came in to replace Nelson and Nketiah.

The 52nd minute saw Arsenal's penalty call dismissed by the referee after Radu's challenge sent Lacazette to the ground.

Four changes were made by the Gunners and this time Lichtsteiner, Torreira, Xhaka and Iwobi dropped for Bellerin, Elneny, Ozil and Mhkitaryan.

The last goal of the night which extended Arsenal's lead came in the 64th minute when Lacazette passed to Aubameyang who fired a deflected shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

Having made lots of changes, both sides were lost some spark and it ended with Unai Emery getting triumph.

Preseason is now over and the focus now is on the coming season. We hope Arsenal give Manchester City and Chelsea who are their first two opponents a run for their money. Until then, I say "Remain positive".

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