ARSENAL blew a 2-0 lead against Real Madrid to lose their pre-season friendly on penalties.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were the scorers for the Gunners, who looked in control at half-time.
Arsenal blew a 2-0 lead to lose to Real Madrid in a penalty shootout[/caption]
But after the introduction of Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio, Arsenal looked all at sea.
That pair scored twice in three minutes to fight back and force a penalty shootout.
Bale missed but so did Granit Xhaka, Nacho Monreal and Robbie Burton as Zinedine Zidane’s men won on spot-kicks.
So, how did Arsenal players fare?
It was certainly a game of two halves…
Emiliano Martinez – 6
COMMANDING in the first half and confident coming off his line, but too easily shrugged off the ball for Bale’s goal and will be disappointed to be beaten at his near post by Asensio. Pushing Leno all the way for the starting berth. Saved two penalties in the shoot-out but it wasn’t quite enough.
Carl Jenkinson – 7
STEPPED in at the last minute to replace Maitland-Niles and had licence to roam forward when Arsenal had a man advantage, popping up a number of times to deliver some juicy crosses. Had a brilliant tussle with Marcelo in the second half but more than held his own. Positive signs.
Calum Chambers – 6
PICKED ahead of Mustafi and was solid in the first half, but guilty of dropping too deep in the second as Bale, Isco and Asensio ran amok. Make a couple of good blocks and wasn’t scared to put his body on the line.
Sokratis – 4
LOOKED fairly comfortable and had dealt with Benzema well until two clumsy challenges gave the referee a chance to even things up. The first was a clear yellow card, dragging down Kroos, but the Greek will feel hard done-by after receiving a second caution just two minutes later for a coming together with Modric. Booting the ball into the stands in frustration did him no favours.
Sokratis let the side down with two soft yellow cards in the first half[/caption]
Sead Kolasinac – 5
GAVE Nacho a torturous opening ten minutes, skinning the Madrid full-back twice and forcing a booking. Faded away as the first half went on and had a bit of a nightmare second, almost scoring a comedy own goal with a poor back-pass off his chest. Struggled with the pace and trickery of Vinicius when the youngster was introduced.
Joe Willock – 7
GIVEN a chance on the big stage to impress and looked to make an impact early, stinging the palms of Navas after a surging run from midfield. Tireless running and got box-to-box, unlucky to be subbed at half-time as Emery needed to introduce another defender after losing Sokratis.
Granit Xhaka – 5
CARELESS with his passing and gifted possession away a number of times in a first half that Arsenal mostly dominated. Has Lucas Torreira breathing down his neck for a start and failed to make his mark. Exhausted by the 90th minute after being run ragged by Isco in the second period. Awful penalty in the shoot-out.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 5
ONLY one real moment of quality on a quiet night, threading a through ball to Aubameyang which could have pegged Madrid back after their two quickfire goals. Too often the game seems to drift by without him.
Mesut Ozil – 6
PICKED out some lovely passes and linked well with the tireless Willock in the first period as Arsenal almost strolled into two-goal lead, also coming close with an early freekick. But as his defence dropped deeper his influence on the game fell away with it. Lucky not to have a point off for his bleached hair-do.
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were both on the scoresheet and both impressed[/caption]
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 7
LIVELY from the off and has formed a proper double act with Lacazette. Took his goal well, dropping the shoulder and rounding Navas before firing emphatically into the roof of the net. Quieter after the break but Arsenal fans should have no fears about their strike-force going into the new season.
Alexandre Lacazette – 7
DENIED a goal by a clear handball from Nacho and stepped up confidently from the spot, albeit getting lucky with his penalty hitting both posts before sneaking in. Linked up brilliantly once again with Aubameyang, assisting the second with a terrific back-heel.
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SUBS: Nacho Monreal – 6
REPLACED Willock and couldn’t prevent Madrid from pouring forward after the break. Had a decent header saved with twenty minutes left, but couldn’t contain Bale.
Eddie Nketiah – 7
TWO brilliant chances to win it in the final seconds but thwarted by Courtois one-on-one, before failing to glance home a header from inside the six-yard box. Quick, lively and seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Proper talent and probably should have won it.
Robbie Burton – 6
LOOKED energetic and prevented Isco from firing in a late winner with a well-timed tackle on the edge of the box. Entrusted with the fifth and decisive penalty, but smashed over the bar.
Reiss Nelson – 6
ARSENAL countered late on and used Nelson as their springboard, but couldn’t find a way past Courtois. Decent penalty in the shoot-out and held his hand up for the first spot-kick.
Bukayo Saka – 6
CAME on in place of Ozil and got stuck in, also defied his years to confidently strike a terrific penalty into the top corner.