Arsenal continued their unbeaten pre-season with a 3-1 win over Orlando City. A first-half deflected goal from Gabriel Martinelli sent the Gunners on their way, before Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson scored in the second half to secure victory.
Mikel Arteta has named a very different XI to the one that beat Everton 2-0 last time out. Aaron Ramsdale made his first appearance in pre-season, while other fringe players Rob Holding, Nuno Tavares, Pablo Mari, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe all started. Eddie Nketiah led the line for the Gunners.
It took just five minutes for the Gunners to take the lead. A neat one-two between Gabriel Martinelli and Sambi Lokonga gave the Brazilian space, and his deflected shot passed Pedro Gallese in the Orlando goal.
The game flowed and ebbed, with Aaron Ramsdale forced into a good save from Benji Michel, who was played with a long ball over the top with the goal at his mercy at 25 minutes.
Orlando City equalized just after the drinks break after a long ball found its way to Facundo Torres, who cut inside Nuno Tavares and returned his shot past Ramsdale.
The remainder of the half passed relatively uneventfully as Arsenal headed to hangar level at 1-1.
The second half started with Arsenal in full control as Arteta made several changes. The Gunners took the lead in the 65th minute as Eddie Nketiah jogged in place after Gabriel Jesus was tackled in the box and then the Englishman was on hand to hammer the rebound.
Just over ten minutes from time, Arsenal scored their third goal. After good work from Martin Odegaard and then Bukayo Saka, who sent a delicious through ball to Nelson, who smashed home to give the Gunners a two-goal lead.
The rest of the second half passed rather uneventfully as Arsenal dominated possession, leaving Orlando City chasing the shadows. A comfortable 3-1 win as the Gunners’ attention now turns to Chelsea.
Here are Arsenal’s player ratings after their win over Orlando.
Guardians and Defenders
Ramsdale (GK) 5/10 – Didn’t have much to do except pick up the ball in his net. Made a decent save in the first half, at least it was minutes for our Englishman.
Cedric (RB) 5/10 – He advanced well but lacked edge once he was in good positions. Ok, without being superb.
Hold (CB) 5/10 – Fairly solid in the first half but didn’t need to do much as Tavares was the target. Solid hit.
Husband (BC) 4/10 – Bad first half, like many of the last four. He didn’t handle long balls well and was a spectator for the most part.
Tavares (LB) 5/10– A really poor first half as Orlando targeted him. He was at fault for the goal, had a better second half, but didn’t do much to show he can be a good substitute when the season rolls on.
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