WHAT HAPPENED on Orlando City vs Arsenal
Alternate- half pretensions from Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson gave us another palm in a hard- foughtpre-season friendly in Orlando.
Gabriel Martinelli had given us an early lead, but the hosts, cheered on by a blatant crowd, struck back before half- time.
We ultimately overpowered our MLS opponents however, to make it four wins out of four in the close season.
Due to a ferocious rainstormpre-match, the kick- off was delayed by an hour at Orlando City’s Exploria Stadium.
When play ultimately got underway it did n’t take long for us to open the scoring. In fact there were n’t yet five twinkles on the timepiece when Martinelli shifted passes with Sambi Lokonga inside the box, and his shot beat goalkeeper Pedro Gallese via a deviation.
There were many chances after that, and although we looked comfortable in possession, Aaron Ramsdale was called up half through the half to deny Benji Michel after the winger sprung the offside trap. The keeper made himself big to save with his legs when one- on- one.
Ramsdale could n’t keep out the coming trouble however. From 20 yards out, Facundo Torres put away his shot low inside the post to equalise, and shoot the capacity crowd wild.
Orlando City are midway through their MLS season, presently sitting in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Coming week they will take on New York Red Bulls in thesemi-final of the US Open Cup. Their sharpness was apparent, as was their commitment. There were three unheroic cards in the opening 20 twinkles.
We started to respond. Rob Holding’s gentled title from a corner fell to Nketiah, but he was closed down in the six- yard box as he got his shot down.
Just before half- time he again set up space in the box, but this time dragged his shot just wide.
The master made five changes at the break, including bringing on Gabriel Jesus, who tested the keeper within 60 seconds of his preface.
He also turned his man in the box before seeing his shot from a narrow angle turned down.
Lokonga was the coming to try his luck, before our extended spell of pressure eventually led to the alternate thing.
Jesus – a livewire since coming on – spun his man in the box and appeared to be fouled, but either way, the ball fell to strike mate Nketiah who made no mistake.
Nelson, who had only just come off the bench, added a third when he converted from Bukayo Saka’s cross.
It was another job well done from Arteta’s men, who march on inpre-season.
The director made eight changes to the side that started against Everton in Baltimore, with only Cedric, Tavares and Gabriel Martinelli. It meant a first run out inpre-season for Aaron Ramsdale, while Eddie Nketiah started up front.
Mohamed Elneny, Ainsley Maitland- Niles and Sambi Lokonga were in midfield in a 4-3-3 conformation.
Our USA stint concludes on Saturday night when we take on Chelsea at the Camping World Stadium, then in Orlando, Florida.
The platoon will fly back home straight after the game, and we ’ll round off ourpre-season programme against Sevilla in the Emirates Cup coming weekend. also it’s all eyes on the big Premier League kick off against Crystal Palace on Friday, August 5.