Arsenal: Martinez, Jenkinson, Chambers, Mustafi, Monreal, Kolasinac, Burton, Olayinka, Saka, Nelson, Nketiah

Arsenal continued pre-season with a win, running out 3-0 victors over Fiorentina at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

On a sweltering day, Unai Emery gave starts to some young players, including a midfield duo yet to play a competitive game for the club, and a front three of Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka, and Eddie Nketiah.

A 7th minute cross shot from Kolasinac almost Nketiah in the six yard box but a defender’s touch took it away from the striker, while a 10th minute header from Saponara should have troubled Emi Martinez but the attempt was weak.

Vlahovic capitalised on a Mustafi error to test Martinez, the keeper made a good save and before the Italians could poke home the rebound Kolasinac put it out for a corner. There was another chance from the corner which was spurned, and then Arsenal made them pay for their misses by scoring the first goal.

Strong work from Saka on the left allowed Kolasinac to pick the ball up, he crossed for Nketiah who took a touch, turned the defender and rifled the ball home to make it 1-0.

An Olayinka shot fizzed wide of the wide, Sottil fired wide for Fiorentina, before Nelson had the chance to play Jenkinson through on goal on the overlap but the pass was poor. It was a slow paced game because of the heat, but Mustafi did his best to provide some excitement by letting Vlahovic have as much space as he liked.

Nketiah proved effective at the back as well as up front, heading a Ceccherini header away from underneath the crossbar in the 36th minute, Saponara picked up a booking for a heavy challenge on Burton, and Sottil broke the offside trap to go through on goal but Martinez stood up well to make a fairly routine save.

Right at the end of the first half Vlahovic ran off Mustafi, poked the ball beyond Martinez but thankfully just wide of the post. It meant Unai Emery’s team took the 1-0 lead into the break.

Arsenal made two changes at the break with Bernd Leno replacing Martinez, while Alexandre Lacazette came on for Kolasinac as the system changed to a back four.

Vlahovic forced the German into action early in the second half, tipping a goal-bound shot over the bar, Nelson curled an effort straight at the keeper after making space for himself with a nice turn, before a bizarre moment when the Fiorentina keeper punched the ball away from outside the box, picking up a yellow card in the process. From inside the D, Lacazette curled a shot over the bar.

In the 62nd minute, Sokratis, Willock and Mkhitaryan came on for Chambers, Olayinka and Saka, and the Armenian almost immediately picked up a yellow card for a foul in midfield.

He was then involved in Arsenal’s second goal, assisted by some NFL style blocking by Carl Jenkinson. Mkhitaryan crossed for Lacazette, he played it outside to Nketiah who rolled it home for his second of the game, and despite Fiorentina’s fury the goal stood and it was 2-0.

Emery rang the changes with Ozil, Maitland-Niles, Medley, Martinelli, Thompson and Xhaka all making their entrance. Xhaka’s carelessness presented the Italians with a free kick from just outside the box but the wall did its job and the ball deflected away for a corner.

There was another chance for Fiorentina but the striker couldn’t make the right contact, while with two minutes left Martintelli raced through on goal but with just the keeper to beat put the ball wide.

Moments later though it was 3-0, selfless work from Lacazette set up Willock to score with his left foot, his fine form on this tour continuing.

In the end a good win and a fine day out for all the Arsenal fans who made the trip to Charlotte to see the Gunners do their stuff.

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Mentalist
Mentalist

Who needs CL when we can beat Real and become World Champions.

GoonerJust
GoonerJust

Really happy for the youngsters……
Mustafi pretended to make erroneous pass….just to test Emi. Emi passed the test 🙂

Almọnd
Almọnd

The composure from Eddie to still pick a great spot to finish his first goal was class, considering he had a split second and defenders rushing. That’s the highlight for me. Overall good game from the young lads, and why don’t we maybe broker a deal where we sell Mustafi to Hollywood Fc to stare in comedies especially defensive comedies, and Xhaka must learn to stop dishing out some of this fouls in dangerous areas

Deep

The foul in the dangerous area was actually commited by AMN but he had to do so because of a Xhakha error.
Sooo, not much of a point to my comment.
Yes, I am fun at parties.

Evaristus
Evaristus

Really would love for Nketiah to become great for Arsenal.
It’s still early days, but one can hope…

Wilsheres Middle Finger
Wilsheres Middle Finger

Me too! So so happy to see him and Willock making such an impression in pre season.

This is a big part of what we have been crying out for post Wenger era – something tangible to connect with, and to remind us why we love Arsenal Football Club.

Proper Arsenal boys being given a chance and making the grade, who no doubt eat and breath this club the same way a lot of us fans do.

I’ll have an adult non-return for the Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah hype train, please and thank you sir.

Sort it out Sanllehi
Sort it out Sanllehi

Don´t play the back three anymore and focus on sorting out defence. I would rather give playing time to one of our talented youngsters on the wing than buying another winger especially when there are other more important positions that need to be fixed.

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

Joe Willock and Eddie, take a bow. The youngins are really showing up this preseason. Martinez looks like he really wants the No2 job as well. Saves us a GK signing at least.

Xhaka Demus, no Pliers
Xhaka Demus, no Pliers

Some things I enjoyed from the game:
Nketiah’s finishing and pace and willingness when running the channels. That run by Willock (which was halted by a blatant foul) showed power, hunger and real determination and also his composure in taking his goal. Martinelli’s run (and megs) was quality, such a shame it ended the wrong side of the post. Nelson showed flashes but it wasnt really his day (same with Saka but he didn’t get to show anything really). Laca setting up the young players when he could have shot himself was a nice touch. I really enjoyed the theatrical falls by the Fiorentina players that ran into Jenko during the build up to the 2nd goal as well as their anger and histrionics afterwards. They were falling over at the lightest contact all game long as well as diving in quite recklessly at times so I thought that was pretty deserved. We were v dull with 3 at the back so I’m really hoping we see a back 4 more. Either way we’re still v ropey in defence. Great result, good for the young players confidence, no injuries, job well done.

Kolkata_Gooner
Kolkata_Gooner

At some point in the upcoming season, in one of those Europa League or Carabao Cup games I just wish to see this formation up front in a 4-4-2 system –

Nketiah Martinelli
Saka Willock Maitland-Niles Nelson

Damo Dinkum
Damo Dinkum

With Johm-Jules coming off the bench, or maybe even starting up front with Eddie

Flash
Flash

I have to admit…
If we manage to get the trio of Tierney, Saliba, Everton (+ Ceballos on loan)
and our youngstrers keep evolving this way
we fans should maybe rethink (or at least ease a little bit) our critics towars the Kroenkes.

VAR will solve the problem
VAR will solve the problem

That Martinelli run through the middle was the best moment of the game for me! Sign of good things to come from that kid…
International Champions Cup coming home babe!…🤣

Three Steps Sideways
Three Steps Sideways

Jenkinson out Italian’ed the Italians.

YoungFabregas
YoungFabregas

Haha “Mi scuzi”

It Is What It Is
It Is What It Is

Eurotrip

laudgunner
laudgunner

Carl Jenkinson needs to get his crossings right. Very disappointing going forward except for those two expectional blocks leading the 2nd goal.

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

Hopefully we aren’t relying on Jenkinson for real minutes this year. Love the guy, but I also love my best friend Josh and he would make a terrible right back.

Tanned arse
Tanned arse

I really think the general and continual disregard for jenkinson as a footballer is massively overstated. Cruel even. The guy is basic. He receives the ball and will either play a very obvious pass forward or will turn and pass to his CB. Technically he’s very limited in what he can do with the ball. But this guy runs up and down that line all day. He’s constantly available. Basic but he does it and keeps the ball moving. There’s nothing to get excited about but he’s never missing when someone needs a pass. He’s not kicking the ball out of play under no pressure. Defensively he’s not slidding in on his arse and getting skinned or caught of out position. He’s not particulately progressive but he doesn’t cost our team points or give away simple chances to the opposition. He’s never going to be of an elite level but the amount of times this guy gets written off as someone who can’t actually play football is ridiculous and unfair.

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

I never said he couldn’t play football. I said we shouldn’t be relying on him for minutes this year. You just described a player that should be playing for a mid level premier league team, not The Arsenal. Again, I love the guy. He’s a Gooner fo’ lyfe. But, we can’t keep him around any longer. Emery was starting a CM at RB over him last year for goodness sake.

Edzo
Edzo

We’ve played Mustafi as a center back so jenkinson should fit right in with a defense that gave up 51 league goals

Ballz
Ballz

I was at the game!! My first arsenal game ever! Incredible feeling
The fans were really happy to see Ozil and Laca!

Saadabd
Saadabd

Was impressed by Burton again. What a neat little player.

JamesGodwinson
JamesGodwinson

I think Burton is ready for the first team. He or Torreira could play along with Ceballos (hopefully). Xhaka is careless like always.

It’s a pity that Sanllehi can’t sell Jenkinson, Mkhitaryan and Mustafi in this summer. Those guys look lifeless! One assist from Micky doesn’t change the fact that he is sh*t. We need to clear some rooms for new players or not, our young lads from the academy like Burton, Bielik, Willock. If Sanllehi couldn’t do it then Edu should be the man to clean the mess i guess.

Kroenke the Klown
Kroenke the Klown

It’s just a quality away kit. Whatever happens this season we will look superb fashionistically

assistantref
assistantref

Really obvious at this point that our attack is ok, but our defense is still going to be a total trainwreck without some serious surgery.

So of course we’re linked with a bunch of attackers and not a single defensive player who could actually go straight into the team.

Forest gooner
Forest gooner

Willock scored with a thumping left foot strike

AmericanGooner
AmericanGooner

Nketiah scored with a thumping right foot strike

Edzo
Edzo

Let’s count how many times this season we see the words “Mustafi error ” printed this season. Tonight there were about four?

He’s really improved since last season.

henry
henry

Highlight of the game, Mustafi. Emery please!!!

Man Manny
Man Manny

Mustafi is fast becoming a threat to our making EL next year. We’ll struggle to make top 7 if he gets the amount of games he got last season.
Another CB signing, one that will come straight into the first team like yesterday is a must now.

Nketiah, Willock, Martinelli, TJ-J and Emi Martinez shouldn’t be held back anymore. They must play games this season. And Burton maybe.
Nelson is still iffy for me. We need to sign a winger.
If a CB, Tierney, Ceballos and one winger arrive before the market closes, I am certain Arsenal will be in one of the CL places come May ’20.

Cultured determination
Cultured determination

Willock turning into a very interesting player. Mustafi is hopefully an interesting player to another club.

Nico
Nico

So basically Mustafi yeah?

Frank
Frank

Its genuinely shocking how bad Mustafi looks… I know it’s pre season and we shouldn’t really draw too much from these games but.. fucking hell

Kolasinac
Kolasinac

We shouldn´t buy another attacker (winger) until we improve all those other defensive positions (LB,RB and CB) in my opinion. I would rather give chances to the youngsters in attack and buy defenders so we can actually play back four (I just really don´t like this back 3 especially with the defenders that we have available).

Cycs

There’s really no reason to dramatize the Mustafi issue…I think the situation is very specific in the sense that it practically gives you the definite solution and I say this with no sarcasm intended in anyway “anybody but Mustafi”. Make sure he’s the last option before we get to see him in any match we really need to win. He lacks concentration, self confidence, he’s awkwardly rash. He is not a beautiful mix for CB.

Jolly
Jolly

Can’t find my comment here. Thought it was a mistake the first time, probably me thinking I posted but not actually posting the comment. I took the liberty of writing it up again, only for it not to appear again.

Julyer
Julyer

I had to make a name change for this to appear.

Jolly
Jolly

I had to make a name change for this to appear

Sweet Lou
Sweet Lou

I was there yesterday and as everyone has rightly pointed out, Mustafi did not play well. The issue is that he is absolutely going to play this year with Koscielny leaving, unless we have some mystery CB coming in that no one is reporting.
The constant bashing has clearly crushed his confidence, which makes him even more error prone than before. He’s gone from making the occasional egregious error to genuinely looking bad all the time, which I think the fans bear some responsibility for. He was the only player who was boo’ed at all yesterday when he was introduced.
My point is, we simply don’t have the money to replace half of the squad, and no one is going to buy him, so he’s going to play a big part in our season. We all want the team to do well, and he plays better when he feels more confident, so I honestly think it’s better for the team if we all try to support him. We’re one injury to Sokratis or setback for Holding away from him being our starting CB. Try to support him, even if we know we need better.

Goonereality
Goonereality

Another error-strewn performance from Mustafi. How long can/will Emery put up with him? Problem is, who’d buy him?

Tony Adams Nose
Tony Adams Nose

Good work from the kids all around. Nelson out on the left was a bit strange and may have led to a quiet game by his standards but all in all give me the kids!
The players who’s lockers should be emptied before they get back from the tour are:
Mustafi, say no more. Booed by the crowd at a friendly!
Mikki, Just no clue what to do when he gets the ball, runs into dead ends all the time.
Chambers, should be much better by now which suggests he’s not good enough for the PL, maybe CP or WH?
Jenkinson, 5 crosses blocked by the first defender. bye!
Nacho, now way too slow.
Xhaka, liability, rush of blood to the head every time he makes a mistake and tries to retrieve the ball which is too often. Will get reds.
Elnenny, no.
Love Kozzy but must now go after going on strike.
Maybe there is a role for Kola as a back up on the wing but defensively he’s pants.
Iwobi has to have a break out season.

If only 50% of this happened, I’d be happy.