Arsenal wrapped up their pre-season campaign with a penalty shootout victory over Monaco after a hard-fought 1-1 draw during normal time.

 

 

 

The Ligue 1 side started the game brightly and opened the scoring at the Emirates Stadium thanks to Youssouf Fofana’s 31st-minute header. However, it didn’t take the Gunners long to respond as they levelled just before the break through Nketiah’s neat close-range finish.

Wissam Ben Yedder missed a golden chance to put Monaco back in front, before Arsenal gained a foothold and created several chances to win the game. Leandro Trossard had arguably the greatest as he burst clean through on goal but was unable to beat Philipp Kohn.

The game ended level and went to penalties to find out who would be lifting the Emirates Cup. Arsenal kept their nerve in the shootout to win the coveted pre-season prize as Gabriel struck the decisive spot-kick in north London. Here are five talking points from the Gunners’ final pre-season outing.

Nketiah on the scoresheet

After it was confirmed that Gabriel Jesus would miss the game against Monaco through injury, Nketiah was handed a chance to shine from the start. And it is safe to say the 24-year-old took the opportunity with both hands as he impressed and found the net for the Gunners.

Having had a couple of early openings, Nketiah was on hand to equalise for the Gunners on the stroke of half-time with what could be described as a ‘poachers finish’. The ex-Leeds loanee got on the end of an in swinging corner at the back post, before steering the ball beyond the Monaco goalkeeper.

Defensive mistakes reappear

Despite Arsenal’s overall success last season, they did tend to struggle more at home – especially when it came to keeping the ball out of the net. In fact, the Gunners had the joint-leakiest defence at home in the top-nine alongside north London rivals Tottenham.

They shipped 25 goals in their 19 Premier League matches at the Emirates, including two or more against SouthamptonLeicesterBrighton and Bournemouth. That is something Arsenal must rectify if they stand any chance of winning the Premier League this season – and they didn’t show like they had cut those errors at the back out after conceding a soft goal to Monaco.

Martinelli allowed his marker to beat him on the right-hand side, before the Monaco winger crossed the ball into Fofana, who headed the ball into the top corner. But, more worryingly, Fofana was free inside the box to head home. Monaco could have added more in the first-half as the Gunners offered their opponents chances.

First glimpse at new signings

After playing their first five pre-season matches away from the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners returned home for their final friendly. This opened up the chance for the Arsenal faithful to see their three new summer arrivals in north London, with Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber making the starting XI.

Rice showed glimpses of quality throughout and almost scored during the first-half, but was denied by an excellent last-ditch challenge as he was about to pull the trigger. Meanwhile, Timber operated at left-back and did well throughout, linking up with Gabriel Martinelli and Rice on the left-hand side.

 

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