Arsenal 5-1 Ipswich Town – Nketiah shines in friendly

Arsenal began their pre-season preparations with a 5-1 friendly win over Ipswich Town behind closed doors at London Colney.

The first taste of pre-season football is upon us, and Arsenal have well and truly kicked into high gear against Ipswich Town on Saturday.

A hat-trick for the club’s new number 14 in Eddie Nketiah was the headline. Two classic poacher finishers and a well-run effort less than a minute into the game for the 23-year-old after Sambi Lokonga intercepted a pass which allowed Nketiah to take a throw-in and fire home with authority. Midfielders Sambi Lokonga and Folarin Balogun added goals to complete the rout.

There were plenty of good signs from the Gunners as Thomas Partey and Benjamin White, who both picked up injuries in the second half of last season, managed to walk away unscathed.

Although this is just a pre-season friendly, a win is a win and the fact that they were hard to come by last pre-season shows that things are looking up. direction. Yes, the result means absolutely nothing, but winning, even against a Ligue 1 team, is good for the mental aspect of what the players have been doing on the pitch this summer.

Thomas Partey played a delightful one-touch pass to send Nketiah through on goal before the Englishman squared it for Lokonga, who tapped home with ease.

Seeing Arsenal’s number 5 patrolling the midfield with authority was a feast for the eyes as his absence was sorely felt last season. His ability to control games, be a key player for Arsenal going forward as well as protect the back four, there is evidence to prove that he is the club’s most important player. To see him complete 45 minutes was superb.

Although they make up the first half squad resembling a Premier League XI, almost half are not expected to be with the club on the opening day of the league. Hector Bellerin, Pablo Mari, Nicolas Pepe, Bernd Leno and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have all seen playing time but are expected to move on.

The second half was an opportunity for the team’s young players to get a few minutes under their belt. Charlie Patino, Marcelo Flores, Omari Hutchinson and Folarin Balogun all had playing time against Ipswich, and it will be fascinating to see more of them throughout the pre-season tour of Germany.

All in all, it was a relatively routine win for the Gunners, and while that doesn’t mean anything, at least the team are playing the kind of football we want to see so early in their pre-season preparations.

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