Arsenal got off on the right foot against Real Madrid before falling on penalties for their first loss of the preseason. Here are three things seen that we’ve seen before.
Arsenal were on a peerless run this preseason. They had yet to lose a game, going through the Colorado Rapids, Fiorentina, and our beloved friends from Germany, Bayern Munich. In the span of those three games, we saw youth stand out in a big way, lending a lot of hope to the future of this club, even as the transfers aren’t coming yet.
Taking the pitch against Real Madrid, it looked to be headed for a similar outcome—another win. But fate intervened and the Gunners dropped a two goal lead, only to fall in penalties 3-2.
It was a hell of a match to watch. Despite being preseason, most of the starters were guys that you would see in a match of this caliber. Tackles were flying in, cards were showing, and there was intensity all over the place out there.
And for all the progress we’ve seen up until that match, we did happen to see three things in this match that we have seen many, many times before. The kinds of things that remind us that not a lot has changed.
That’s not always a bad thing, as we’ll see, but sometimes, it is. Let’s start with the first of three things we saw against Real Madrid that we have seen so many times before.
3. Mental collapse
When you have a two-goal lead and a one-man advantage, you have to be able to pull out the result. And it should be easy. There is no need to do any favors for the opposition and let them back in the match.
Sokratis did Real Madrid a massive favor.
After Nacho was sent off for two quick yellows in the first ten minutes, Sokratis answered with his own double yellow before half, which harkened to his sending off against Rennes in the Europa League.
On the bright side, this doesn’t happen all the time for Sokratis, but situational awareness would have gone a long way towards preventing that.
More on this at No. 2.