BELEAGUERED Arsenal launched their pre-season campaign with a warm-up game against Stan Kroenke’s Colorado Rapids in Denver last night.
Just hours after 65,000 Gunners fans signed an online petition protesting against the club’s American owner, Kroenke took his seat at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to see how Unai Emery’s team are shaping up.
5 Unai Emery led Arsenal to a comfortable 3-0 win over Colorado Rapids in their first pre-season match in AmericaCredit: Getty Images – Getty
With skipper Laurent Koscielny on strike and all of his big names being saved for Bayern Munich on Wednesday, it was a hugely inexperienced line-up.
Yet Emery’s kids still had too much for the MLS strugglers in front of an 18,000 sell-out crowd, with goals from Bukayo Saka, James Olayinka and Gabriel Martinelli securing a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Here’s how they rated….
Back from a loan spell at Plymouth, he is slugging it out with Emiliano Martinez to become Bernd Leno’s back-up. Not seriously tested but missed his first shot and was fortunate that Jenkinson was on hand to clear off the line. 5
The long-serving full-back never gives less than 100 per cent for Arsenal and even in this low-key match he was still fully committed. 7
5 Matt Macey was not the most convincing between the sticks for ArsenalCredit: AP:Associated Press
Captaining the team for the first and probably only time in his life, he wants to show he still has a future at Arsenal as he marshalled the young defence well. 7
The big centre-half has been earmarked as a future star but didn’t really show enough to suggest that he will be knocking on the door of the senior squad any time soon. 6
The little left-back has the look of a young Ashley Cole but needed to get forward more to stretch the opposition. When he finally ventured forward, his cross was converted by Martinelli. 7
The club’s only summer signing so far, the Brazilian teenager stunned watching fans when he chested home Arsenal’s third goal from almost ten yards out. 7
5 Gabriel Martinelli got his Arsenal account underway with a well-taken chest from ten yards outCredit: Getty – Contributor
A couple of early heavy touches were immediately forgotten when the midfield rookie launched a right-foot rocket into the top corner to put Arsenal two up. 7
Looked very composed in the centre of midfield and was never scared of taking possession, although he was lucky not to concede a penalty following a casual first touch. 7
The 17-year-old winger showed why Arsenal are expecting such big things of him when he fired Emery’s team into a 13th minute lead with a cool-as-you like finish. 8
Another kid who has been knocking on the door of the first team squad, he linked up well with Nketiah and showed good awareness. 8
Beautifully-weighted through ball for Saka’s opening goal and so comfortable in possession but the young striker still looks a little lightweight for the Premier League. 7
5 Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench but forgot to put on his shooting boots with a number of missed effortsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Despite Arsenal’s best efforts to flog him, he’s still at the club and clearly in no rush to move on. 6
The teenaged midfielder has just been promoted to the senior squad and will take heart from the fact that he wasn’t in the starting team with all the rookies. 7
A bit too soon in the pre-season for him to be bombing forward but he is under huge pressure with Arsenal desperate to sign Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney. 5
🤙 Good start, Gabriel! 🇧🇷
🇺🇸 #ArsenalinUSA pic.twitter.com/txUB9yvprY
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) July 16, 2019
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Drew the loudest cheer of the night when he came on for the final 13 minutes and will have benefited from the brief run-out. 6
Adopted a shoot-on-sight policy during his brief cameo role and almost cleared the stand with one particularly wayward effort. 5
Quickly showed that he has lost none of his pace over the summer but missed a glorious chance with the last kick of the game. 6
5 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked sharp when he came off the bench but missed a good late chanceCredit: Getty Images – Getty