Arsenal came up against Ligue 1 outfit Monaco in their final pre-season friendly in the Emirates Cup in north London.




Arsenal drew with Monaco in their final pre-season friendly as Declan Rice made his first home appearance at the Emirates. Mikel Arteta started two of his new signings as the Gunners played out a 1-1 draw with their French opponents.

Arteta rotated his side from the 5-3 win over Barcelona on their tour to the USA. He gave the likes of Gabriel and Bukayo Saka a rest from the start, giving Jakub Kiwior and Emile Smith Rowe a chance to impress.

Gabriel Jesus missed out due to a knee injury that will be assessed over the coming days. Monaco took the lead through a close-range Youssouf Fofana header on the half-hour mark.

Eddie Nketiah, brought in for Jesus, equalised for the hosts just before half-time. Monaco had the better of the chances early in the second half before a host of substitutes from Arteta.

The introductions saw a new energy in the Arsenal attack but they were unable to take the lead, with Leandro Trossard spurning the best chance.

Arteta finds new Xhaka

Granit Xhaka’s departure to Bayer Leverkusen was not a surprise as it had been touted before last season even finished. But how Arteta was going to replace him was always going to be intriguing.

Many felt new signing Kai Havertz would slot into Xhaka’s position on the left of a midfield three. However, it appears Rice could be lined up to start the season there.

Arteta has previously stated he is willing to start both Rice and Thomas Partey. He did so today, with Partey in the deeper-lying No 6 role he excelled in at times last season.

But Rice immediately looked at home in the role Xhaka made his own. The former West Ham skipper was given the licence to venture further forward than he is normally used to.

He linked up brilliantly with Gabriel Martinelli and showed he is comfortable on his left when in attacking areas. Rice came close to scoring himself but for a great last-ditched tackle but the early signs are positive for the £105million signing.


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