Arsenal faced AS Monaco in the Emirates Cup on Wednesday, winning the trophy on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
A bullet header from Youssouf Fofana put Monaco in the lead before Eddie Nketiah drew the Gunners level by converting a corner.
It wasn’t the best performance from Arsenal. The defence looked shaky at times, and there was too much space for the French side close to Aaron Ramsdale’s goal. Mikel Arteta made six changes from the game against Barcelona, and some players were getting used to playing with each other.
That is the point of pre-season, and it will take time. However, we did see some interesting combinations. Declan Rice and Gabriel Martinelli, in particular, found each other well in dangerous situations. If Rice does take up that number eight role, the left side of the Arsenal team will be incredibly threatening.
There were some bright and worrying signs. Arteta now only has one game left to tinker before the beginning of the season. It will be interesting to see what the starting XI will be against Manchester City in the Community Shield, and that will probably be the team to start the season against Nottingham Forest.
4 standout players from Arsenal’s Emirates Cup draw with AS Monaco
Let’s now get into the four players that shone against Monaco.
1. Eddie Nketiah
With no Martin Odegaard on the pitch, Nketiah was named as captain for this game. The striker divides opinion among the Arsenal fan base, but I have been very impressed with him over the past 18 months.
Eddie was typically industrious, pressing well and hounding the opposition’s defence. He combined effectively with his teammates and found himself in good scoring positions. His dribbling has become one of the stronger aspects of his game, and with more minutes, I’m sure he can become an integral part of the Arsenal team.
He did superbly to find himself in space to convert Gabriel Martinelli’s corner and bring Arsenal back level. He should’ve been ready to divert a beautiful Declan Rice cross in but was a little slow to react.
Nketiah has shown himself to be an exemplary professional, and he is likely to continue to be very useful for Mikel Arteta with Gabriel Jesus missing the start of the season.
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