It was a patchy performance from Arsenal as they took on an MLS All-Star team in San Jose. Goals from Joel Campbell and a late tap-in from substitute Chuba Akpom were enough to secure a 2-1 victory for The Gunners.
There were some very familiar faces in the MLS All-Stars line-up including Kaka, Andrea Pirlo, and David Villa but one was a little too familiar. 38 year-old Didier Drogba proved that he doesn’t have to be in his prime to score against Arsenal as he knocked in an equaliser just before half time.
That came after Joel Campbell burst through the All-Stars defence and was brought down. The Costa Rican slotted the resulting penalty home to cap an impressive first half performance for The Gunners. The game looked to be heading to penalties before substitutes Chris Willock and Nacho Monreal combined to tee up Chuba Akpom to knock home the winner in the 87th minute.
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Jelle Van Damme
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Arsenal Player Ratings:
Petr Cech – 6.5/10
The keeper made a solid save early in the first half and another in the second but had a fairly quiet game. He was furious after conceding to Didier Drogba on the cusp of half time. It was a solid comeback for the Czech.
Mathieu Debuchy – 4/10
Not the best half of Debuchy’s career. He offered little going forward and was caught wildly out of position for the All-Stars goal in the first half.
Rob Holding – 8/10
Impressive on the ball, assured in possession but was also massively out of position for the All-Stars goal in the first half. Holding was about five yards behind the rest of his defensive teammates and will take some time to adapt to a new way of playing. On the whole it was a very impressive debut for the young man. He came up against two very different strikers in Didier Drogba and Sebastian Giovinco and got the better of them nine times out of ten.
Krystian Bielik – 6/10
A little nervous on the ball but grew into the match. This was an impressive performance for the Pole who was replaced at half time.
Kieran Gibbs – 5/10
It was a very steady Kieran Gibbs performance. He certainly outperformed Debuchy in the first half but was replaced by Nacho Monreal at half time.
Mohamed Elneny – 7/10
The Egyptian wondered around the pitch a bit but looked good on the ball and defended well. Elneny made a number of interceptions and was full of energy in the middle of the park. He looks settled in this Arsenal team.
Francis Coquelin – 6/10
Typically quiet and effective, went down with a knock just before half time and was replaced at the break.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7.5/10
Oxlade-Chamberlain started well and was Arsenal’s best player in the first half. The midfielder showed a good work-rate and willingness to defend and got into a number of good positions. He scuffed a big chance in the first half and seemed to tire before being replaced on the 60th minute.
Jack Wilshere – 7.5/10
Wilshere was eager for the ball and looked good when he got it. Made some good through balls for Walcott and was replaced at half time. This was a good first performance of the summer by the England man.
Joel Campbell – 7.5/10
Campbell started the match well and made a nice run for the penalty which he converted well despite the comical run-up. It was an impressive performance from Campbell which seemed to mirror Oxlade-Chamberlain’s. He was excellent in the first half but seemed to tire in the second.
Theo Walcott – 4.5/10
Theo Walcott was both frustrating and promising. He made some excellent runs into great positions but flapped at a number of massive chances, almost comically so. The Englishman really needs to perform better than in the run up to what will be an important season.
Damian Martinez – 5/10
Didn’t really do anything other than watch and take a few goal kicks.
Calum Chambers – 6.5/10
The Englishman was given 45 minutes and put in an impressive performance. He was the experienced head alongside Rob Holding at the back and played the part well.
Hector Bellerin – 6.5/10
This was a typical Hector Bellerin performance. The Spaniard was solid defensively and struck fear into the opposition with his pace and willingness to dribble when moving forward.
Nacho Monreal – 7/10
Like his compatriot Hector Bellerin, Monreal came on at half time and put in a typical performance. Monreal played like Monreal has done for the past two years, steady, impressive, solid. The Spaniard put in an excellent ball for the winning goal.
Gedion Zelalem – 5/10
He was the most popular Arsenal player with the American crowd but Zelalem struggled to make his mark on this match. He was steady, assured, and possessed obvious quality on the ball but didn’t really seize the opportunity as he could have.
Granit Xhaka – 7/10
The Swiss international looks a quality player. Xhaka is excellent on the ball and has something of a presence in the midfield. The debutant looked powerful on the ball, especially on the turn and rarely looked like giving possession away. He came on at half time and looked comfortable very quickly.
Alex Iwobi – 5.5/10
The Nigerian international was fairly quiet when he came on at half time. He got into the right positions a couple of times but his first touch let him down on more than one occasion.
Christopher Willock – 6/10
The young winger struggled to really get into the game initially but grew into it and looked impressive. He did brilliantly well to keep the ball before releasing Nacho Monreal at the right time for the winning goal.
Jeff Reine-Adelaide – 6/10
He’s just been promoted to the first team and Reine-Adelaide was eager to impress. The Frenchman looked bright and exciting on the ball but still looks very raw.
Chuba Akpom – 5.5/10
Was handed a goal on a plate but failed to really make an impression other than that. But still, he got the winning goal and must be pleased with his run out.