Arsenal ended their pre-season campaign by beating Monaco on penalties to win the Emirates Cup after the game finished 1-1 in normal time. Eddie Nketiah was on target after Gabriel Jesus was ruled out with a knee injury.
Manager Mikel Arteta confirmed after the game that Jesus will miss the start of the Premier League season and be out for a few weeks.
In Jesus’ absence against Monaco, Nketiah played the full 90 minutes and grabbed an equaliser after Youssouf Fofana headed Monaco in front.
The game went to a penalty shootout and Gabriel netted the winning spot-kick in a 5-4 win after Takumi Minamino’s miss proved costly.
Declan Rice was handed his first start at The Emirates in an Arsenal shirt and played 60 minutes on the left of the Arsenal midfield three while fellow new recruit Jurrien Timber started at left-back in the continued absence of Oleksandr Zinchenko.
How Arsenal prepared for Man City opener…
With Arsene Wenger in attendance to celebrate his new statue outside the stadium, there was a feel-good factor to the game with excitement about Arsenal’s prospects of once again going close in all major competitions this season.
However, Arsenal despite some bright moments from Gabriel Martinelli, failed to stamp their usual authority on the game. It was Monaco looking the more threatening on the counter and after good work from Mohamed Camara, his cross was whipped in for Youssouf Fofana to head home the opener.
Arsenal did level before the break after Rice’s effort was blocked behind for a corner. Martinelli picked out Nketiah from the set piece and the strike coolly volleyed home.
Wissam Ben Yedder somehow managed to strike the woodwork when sliding in from close range after the break as Monaco continued to test a shaky looking Arsenal backline. An array of changes that saw Kai Havertz make his Emirates bow disrupted the flow further as the game wore on with only Leandro Trossard testing visiting goalkeeper Phillipe Kohn.
It meant penalties were needed to decide the outcome and Minamino was the only player denied in the shootout as Aaron Ramsdale punched clear his well struck effort.
Arteta: We were leggy
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta: “For the new players to play for the first time at Emirates Stadium it was special, you could feel the atmosphere and how excited the fans were. In terms of the game, we struggled a little bit to dominate completely and have the game that we want, we had much better periods in the second half.
“I think we were still a bit leggy and jet legged. We trained really hard the last three days to be fair and we wanted that task for us, when we are not fresh enough to play, how can we compete. So, it was a good test for us and we’re happy with the outcome.”
What’s next for Arsenal?
Arsenal are heading to Wembley to face Premier League and FA Cup winners Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday; kick-off 4pm.
Arsenal’s pre-season fixtures and results
Arsenal start season against Nottingham Forest
Arsenal will start their 2023/24 Premier League season at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday August 12.
The Gunners then face two London derbies against Crystal Palace and Fulham before hosting Manchester United in their first ‘Big Six’ match of the season in on September 3, live on Sky Sports.
The first north London derby of the season takes place at the Emirates Stadium on September 24, live on Sky Sports, with the return fixture on April 27 – the fourth last game of the campaign.
How to watch free Premier League highlights
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Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 14 and closes at 11pm on September 1 in England and midnight in Scotland?
Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.