A trophy is a trophy, right?! The fabled quintuple — Florida Cup, Dubai Super Cup, FA Cup, Premier League, Europa League — is still on for the Gunners after today’s 2-1 win over A.C. Milan. And to make it even better, Arsenal won the superfluous shoutout, claiming the full 8 points on offer from their two friendlies in Dubai.
- Martin Ødegaard scored the first for Arsenal on a wicked free kick into the near post corner. It was about as well hit as you’d like, over the wall and quickly down into the net, leaving the keeper rooted to the spot. Ødegaard had a strong match and showed a bit of leadership too, sticking up for his teammates when Milan were being a bit too physical in a friendly for his liking.
- Reiss Nelson scored the Arsenal second. Fabio Vieira intercepted a pass in the attacking third, carried it into the box, and played a clever pass to the winger. Nelson’s shot took a deflection, perhaps off Ødegaard, and found the back of the net. For what it’s worth, I think he was scoring regardless of the deflection.
- Fiyako Tomori pulled one back from Milan late off a free kick that was essentially a closer-in corner. He beat Gabriel Magalhaes to a ball in the air, which is a bit surprising. Tomori played with a bit too much of an edge in a friendly for my liking, but in a vacuum you like for your centerback to have some snarl. I suspect he’ll be back in the Premier League sooner rather than later.
- Fabio Vieira looked good, especially in the first half of the match. Earlier this fall, Mikel Arteta pointed out Vieira missing preseason with an injury slowed down his fitness, development, and acclimation to the squad and pace of play in England. It seems as if the Dubai training camp and these matches have provided him with the ramp up time he needs. With Gabriel Jesus out with injury, it would be great if Arsenal could get some attacking production from Vieira in the second half of the season.
- Eddie Nketiah did some good stuff, especially carrying the ball. His movement was good, too. He’s not Gabriel Jesus, but I think the step down in quality is going to be significantly less than most expect it to be.
- Cedric, Gabriel Magalhaes, Marquinhos, Mohamed Elneny all hit really good penalties for Arsenal. Matt Smith had his saved. Karl Hein saved one and saw one go wide.
Arsenal play Juventus at the Emirates on Saturday in a final friendly before their Boxing Day match in the Premier League against West Ham.