Arsenal’s first match at Emirates Stadium since early November ended in defeat as Juventus ran out 2-0 winners in a low-key friendly eight days before the Premier League resumes.
The Gunners dominated possession throughout the first half and deserved to take the lead only to fall behind in the closing stages to an own goal by the returning Granit Xhaka.
Juventus worked a short corner from the right and the Swiss, attempting to head clear, flicked the ball past Ramsdale. It was a great finish, to be fair. Just at the wrong end.
Granit Xhaka misjudges a cross & heads into his own net, giving Juventus the lead, somehow, heading into the first-half. #afc pic.twitter.com/WfB1XQGyeK
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) December 17, 2022
Prior to that, Fabio Vieira had tested keeper Mattia Perin with a left-foot volley and Eddie Nketiah had an attempt ruled out for offside and, moments later, another against the post.
Reiss Nelson had also looked bright in the early stages but suffered a muscular injury around the 20-minute mark and had to be replaced by Marquinhos. Given that Emile Smith Rowe isn’t yet fully fit and Gabriel Martinelli is just back from the World Cup, it’s an area of the pitch that lacks cover.
“We don’t know the extent of the injury,” said Arteta afterwards. “The fact he had to leave the pitch immediately is not good news, especially someone like Reiss, who is really powerful and fast. Let’s see what happens. We know what we have to do and that hasn’t changed the [transfer window] plans.”
The Gunners continued to control things after the break but couldn’t find an equaliser. Nketiah did bundle the ball over the line from a corner just past the hour mark but the flag had already been raised for a foul.
It wasn’t the 23-year-old’s night but the boss maintains the striker is ready to fill the void left by the injured Gabriel Jesus.
“Eddie is always ready,” said Arteta. “He knows that it opens an opportunity for him. He needs to grab it but the way he trains every day and the mentality he has, he gives us no reason not to think he’s going to be super ready to perform.”
In the closing stages, the visitors doubled their lead and again the final touch came off an Arsenal player. This time Rob Holding inadvertently deflected Samuel Iling-Junior’s effort over Ramsdale.
Juventus score their second goal, with perhaps their only attack of the second half, as Rob Holding inadvertently diverts a cross into his own net – Arsenal’s second own goal of the night. #afc pic.twitter.com/LpY9ew46ll
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) December 17, 2022
“The result doesn’t reflect the performance,” said Arteta. “But it’s a good test, a good learning as well for us – games are decided in the boxes.
I think they had one or two shots and scored two goals. We had 19 or 20 and had two on target. That’s not enough. Overall, I think everything else was really positive. But that final thing you need to win the games wasn’t good enough today.”
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White (62), Gabriel, Holding, Tierney, Partey (62), Xhaka (62), Odegaard, Vieira, Nelson (22), Nketiah
Subs: Turner, Hein, Cedric (62), Sousa, Walters, Foran, Elneny (62), Nwaneri (78), Smith, Marquinhos (22 / 78), Butler-Oyedeji, Cozier-Duberry (62)
With injuries piling up, what do you guys think of us getting Saint Maximan as cover for both Martinelli and Jesus?
Good player, but you realise Newcastle isn’t a selling club anymore, plus he’s a starter in a team that will look to really challenge the top 4 from next season and be one of our main rivals.
Not to mention that he severely lacks an end product. We need a winger you can get their own share of goals and assists to ease the burden of whoever is the striker.
Haha if rivals are selling their best players maybe we can ask for Salah and Haaland while we are at it!
And while Santa’s delivering such miracles, you can ask for Mbappe and Vlahovic as well.
May as well recall Pepe, not that I think that’s what we should do.
I’d prefer Mbappe, tbh.
No Jesus, no ESR, no Nelson, no Zinchenko, no Saliba, probably no Saka, no Martinelli, and no Tomiyasu for the West Ham game. Fair to say we are moderately fked.
Why no martinelli?
Or saka. Jeez you are a bundle of fun to be around at Xmas. 😂😂
Because they didn’t even make the bench yesterday which tells me they are not ready start a game. Normally you would ease the player back with one or two friendly games like Partey, Xhaka, and Ramsdale. I hope I am wrong.
If there was no World Cup, they would have played more games in the EPL than they have played in the World Cup. So, how are they all not likely to play against West Ham?
There is a physical and mental side of the game. Depending what emotional wringer you have been put through affects your ability to play at the top level.
Was hoping Jan-Feb was Reiss’ time to claim a regular rotation spot… terrible luck.
Exactly my thinking. Whatever you may think of his talent/application levels he has had some down luck down the years. Feels like every time the door cracks open its slammed in his face.
Absolutely gutted for him
Owen Gole making a mid-season surge for the Golden Boot.
Sign him up, we need a proven CF
I’d agree, but Juventus got him on a Bosman and signed him to a long contract on stratospheric wages.
I know it was just the Old Lady and Nketiah didn’t score but he’s no Wayne Rooney. The goals will come
Naughty … 😉
“You’re just a fat granny shagger” is definitely one of my all time favourite chants.
And he deserved it. The fat granny shagger.
Nketia is not good enough. He’s a championship striker at best.
You are right, sentiments aside.
Yep, from watching the game, the only thing of concern was our lack of end product, everything else we did very well and were unlucky to lose this one. Hopefully the lads will keep their chin up and keep playing their game. It’s obvious we need some reinforcements but we have a fair few games to play before they arrive.
Saka & Martinelli have alotta goals in them, it’s just whether they’re going to get the same opportunities with Jesus out of the team.
They won’t with nketia I’m afraid. It’s a huge drop in class. I dreaded this happening. Still got to deal with it. Prove me and every arsenal fan I know personally wrong Eddie.
Didn’t he already do that last season?
Not in my book. He got lucky. He cost us massively at Newcastle away.
Perhaps cost us at Newcastle but he did score the goals to win games against Leeds and Chelsea in the weeks prior. Goals that Lacazette wouldn’t have scored.
If Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard create the key passes with the same regularity, I’m confident Eddie will be a regular poacher between Boxing Day and whenever Jesus returns.
There were elements of Jesus’ game in Eddie yesterday, chasing down the ball, harrying defenders.
How did he cost us against Newcastle ?? The whole team of underperformed.
Atleast we have some space to move things around with ESR coming back if Eddie costs us, but any dropped points fighting against city could be the difference. No breathing room for experiments 🙁
I don’t really understand how the world Cup is a big issue for Martinelli. He didn’t play up to 180 minutes, and I am not sure he’s done as much as he could have done if the season continued uninterrupted. My verdict is that he is fit enough to get going against West Ham. Same goes for Saka and Saliba.
On a side note, watching a very one-sided world cup final (is Mbappe even playing)? That Alexis Mac Allister is a heck of a good player, MOTM for me!
Update, clearly Mbappe is playing as he just scored a penalty!
Are you referencing the greatest World Cup final in history?!?
Clearly not, as that was 1966.
And got a hat trick. He just needed the ball.
France overall were terrible, especially defensively.
Some comments do not age nicely.
Blogs, where’s is the edit button ✊✊
Happy for Emi Martinez, even if he did turn out to be a bit of a gob shite.
We are wasting keepers.
You need perspective, they weren’t good enough for us then and had to move on.