Eddie Nketiah started in the injury absence of Gabriel Jesus as Arsenal finished their pre-season by beating Monaco on penalties in the Emirates Cup.
Monaco took first-half lead
Nketiah pulled Gunners level
Gunners won the game on penalties
Arsenal had a lot of possession early on and managed to get forward but their passes and crosses into the box failed to connect and clear opportunities were lacking. Instead, it was Monaco who looked slightly more dangerous with Wissam Ben Yedder having the best chance when he got in behind the defence and through on goal, but his awful chipped effort was easily saved by Aaron Ramsdale.
The side from the principality broke the deadlock after 31 minutes when Mohamed Camara sent a cross into the box and found Youssouf Fofana in the perfect spot to head into the Arsenal goal. The Gunners pushed for the equaliser and finally found a way through, when a Gabriel Martinelli corner made its way to the back post, and Nketiah met it and fired into the net.
After a goalless second half, it took a penalty shootout to decide the winner. Odegaard, Jorginho and Kai Havertz scored their efforts to keep Arsenal level but Takumi Minamino saw his effort for Monaco saved by Ramsdale. Fabio Vieira then put the home side in the lead before centre-back Gabriel wrapped up the victory.
Though Arsenal were dealt a blow in the build-up to the game as main striker Gabriel Jesus was ruled out of the start of the season with an unspecified knee problem. Nketiah stepped in to take his place, just as he did for much of last season, and he delivered. It was by no means a perfect performance, but the striker made some good runs into space and was always looking to create some danger for the Monaco back line. He took his goal expertly and was perfectly placed to take on a pass and fire in a winner but substitute Leandro Trossard chose to go himself, hitting it straight at the keeper and completely squandering the opportunity.
Behind the pace, soft and sloppy, Jakob Kiwior was responsible for a few frightening moments for Arsenal. The centre-back was partnered with William Saliba and looked short of confidence in the middle of the defence, leaving big spaces for Monaco to attack, leaving his marker too often and being too sluggish to recover.
Up-next for Mikel Arteta’s team is a match against Manchester City in the Community Shield on August 6.