Arsenal commenced their pre-season fixtures with a 3-0 victory away to Colorado Rapids in the first game of their US Tour, with Gabriel Martinelli finding the net on his first appearance for the club.
Martinelli bundled the ball home from close range following impressive work from Dominic Thompson, while Bukayo Saka was also on the scoresheet and James Olayinka scored a superb goal as several youngsters seized their opportunities to impress.
Unai Emery named a very youthful starting lineup, with Carl Jenkinson and Calum Chambers the only relatively experienced players.
Midfielder Robbie Burton received his first runout for the first-team as he partnered Olayinka in midfield, while Tyreece John-Jules was deployed in the number ten position, with Martinelli and Bukayo Saka either side of Eddie Nketiah.
Martinelli squandered an inviting opportunity to score early on after a good ball in from Saka.
However, Arsenal managed to take the lead shortly afterwards and it was Saka who scored, with the winger finishing well after excellent work in the build-up from Nketiah. (GOAL)
Colorado Rapids threatened intermittently, but Matt Macey coped well in goal. At the other end Nketiah blazed his effort over the crossbar having been teed up by John-Jules.
Arsenal eventually made it 2-0, with Olayinka finding the top corner with a fine strike from 25 yards out. (GOAL)
It was an excellent way for the midfielder to announce himself on the senior stage and Olayinka is a curious case having not always impressed at youth level yet at the same time being extremely highly thought of by coaches at Arsenal.
Macey made an impressive stop late in the first half and Jenkinson cleared the ball off the line as Arsenal kept their clean sheet intact.
Emery resisted the chance to make any substitutions at the break, with the crop of talented youngsters given more minutes to make an impact.
Martinelli had impressed with his defensive work but he then showed his attacking credentials as he turned the ball home having been set up by Thompson. (GOAL)
Arsenal gradually started to introduce more senior players into the fray, with Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac coming on, the latter struggling as he seemed well off the pace.
Nketiah and John-Jules were both eager to get on the scoresheet but they couldn’t manage to score, and Emery eventually called upon Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette for the closing stages, with Ozil taking the captain’s armband.
Lacazette and Aubameyang both tried their luck in front of goal, but Arsenal were unable to add to their three-goal tally.
Overall, this was a good first workout of pre-season for Arsenal, with the young players especially benefitting from the chances they received.
Saka was particularly impressive in the first half, while Martinelli showed glimpses of his quality and Burton was composed in midfield.
Thompson also deserves credit for his showing at left-back, but there will be much tougher tests to come for Arsenal this summer, starting with the clash against Bayern Munich on Thursday, with Emery set to name a considerably more experienced starting lineup for that fixture.
Arsenal: Macey, Jenkinson, Chambers (Mustafi, 62), Medley, Thompson (Kolasinac, 62), Burton, Olayinka (Willock, 62), Martinelli (Ozil, 78), John-Jules (Aubameyang, 78), Saka, Nketiah (Lacazette 78).