Nurnberg 3-5 Arsenal: Jesus and Mohamed Save the Day!

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Gabriel Jesus celebrating a goal

Match Report – Match Highlights – Post-Match Press Conference

Final Result: Nurnberg 3-5 Arsenal (Geis 24′, Duah 29′, Schleimer 73′ | G. Jesus 47′, 75′, Elneny 54′, Schindler OG. 57′, Handwerker OG. 63′)

Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Turner (Okonkwo 68′); Bellerin (Martinelli 46′), P. Mari, Walters (Gabriel 46′), Tierney (Cedric 30′); Sambi Lokonga (Patino 68′), Maitland-Niles (M’Hand 68′), Smith-Rowe (Elneny 46′); Pepe (Jesus 46′), Nketiah (Marquinhos 68′), Nelson (Balogun 68′)

Jesus was expected to start his first Arsenal game, albeit preseason, in yesterday’s trip to Nurnberg in Germany, but Mikel Arteta opted for Eddie Nketiah, that recently extended his contract with the club to lead the line. Reiss Nelson and Nicolas Pepe flanked the young Englishman, while Emile Smith-Rowe played the #10 role with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Albert Sambi Lokonga providing support in the midfield fulcrum. The defense line saw new MLS goalie, Matt Turner, make his debut with Pablo Mari and newbie, Reuell Walters playing in central defense. The full back positions saw Hector Bellerin lead the side while Kieran Tierney made his long-awaited comeback from injury.

Nurnberg drew first blood when Christoph Daferner nodded a point-blank header wide of the mark, as he managed to evade Walters that was supposed to be tight on him. Arsenal garnered their first attack of the attack of the game when Smith-Rowe latched onto Tierney’s cushioned pass and unleashed a curler that was destined for the top corner, but Nurnberg goalie, Christian Mathenia, was on hand to make a good save.

The home side scored the first goal when Johannes Geis was unmarked at the edge of the box and fired a thunderous strike that smashed the underside of the cross bar before creeping in. Turner made an attempt to save the ball but the ferocity of the shot was clearly too much for the American.

Nurnberg’s second goal however, left a lot to be desired. Sambi Lokonga lost possession further up the pitch and Kwadwo Duah used his blistering pace to evade Walters, came clean on goal, with Cedric Soares, who had come on for Tierney after half an hour, out of position. Duah fired a shot from quite some distance and Turner’s reaction was quite slow, as the ball found its way home to the bottom corner. 

With just 29 minutes gone, Nurnberg was two goals to the good, but Arsenal managed to do nothing to trouble Mathenia’s goal for the remainder of the first half, as the Gunners best attempts were some lofted corner kicks from Pepe that was bread and butter for the Nurnberg shot stopper. There was also a moment when Maitland-Niles drilled a cross-shot from the right hand side, but the ball went wide off the mark.

Arteta made four chances after the break, bringing on Mo Elneny for Smith-Rowe, and unleashing all three Gabriels at once – Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli and everyone’s sweetheart, Gabriel Jesus.

With pretty much his first touch of ball, Jesus brought the Gunners back into the game. Picked up a loose ball at the edge of the area, exchanged passes with Nketiah and smashed the life outta the ball past the goalie at his near post. That was stuff made of dreams.

Arsenal got an equalizer from an unlikely source, as Elneny blasted a surface-to-goal cruise missile past Mathenia, which sent the handful of Arsenal supporters in Nurnberg to raptures. Two goals became three when after some intricate passing play, a swung cross which was destined for the head of Jesus was intercepted by Christopher Schindler’s outstretched leg which put the ball past Mathenia in the Nurnberg goal.

Arsenal went into cruise control mode when Nketiah’s shot ricocheted off the cross bar onto Tim Handwerker who suffered the ignominy of yet another own goal all thanks to some pressure from Jesus. This was followed with a fluffy of Arsenal substitutions that saw Arthur Okonkwo, Ismail M’Hand, Flo Balogun, Charlie Patino and new boy, Marquinhos come into the fray. 

A goalmouth scramble in the Arsenal box allowed Lukas Schleimer to peg the Gunners with literally his first touch, after coming on as a sub for the match opener, Geis. Jesus got his brace and put the icing on a well-baked cake when he converted a sleek cross from Martinelli to make it five. 

Five goals are always nice to see from an attacking standpoint, but its quite a concern when you concede three at the other end. In just 45 minutes, Jesus had given the fans a glimpse of what is to come this season, and the fans can’t wait to see him in action again when the Gunners take on Everton in the M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, USA next week Sunday.

We are so grateful to Jesus and Mohamed for saving the day!

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Gabriel Jesus Arrival Sends Arsenal Fans to Cloud #9

Gabriel Jesus with Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal.com)

Gabriel Jesus has completed his move to Arsenal from Manchester City, which has sent Arsenal fans to euphoria. It is believed that the transfer cost 45m and the Brazilian forward has agreed a deal till 2027 with the Gunners.

Following the departures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal fans needed a center forward that would lead the line for the forthcoming Premier League campaign, and Gabriel Jesus is certainly that man. Close to a century of goals in his previous club, he’s a Premier League ready player that will require little or adaptation and would hit the ground running. 

Arsenal gaffer, Mikel Arteta, couldn’t hide his delight following the acquisition of Gabriel Jesus,

“I’m very excited. The club has done a tremendous job to recruit a player of this stature. I know Gabriel personally very well, and we all know him well from his time in the Premier League and being really successful here.

“This is a position that’s been on our radar for a long time now and we have managed to get a player that we all wanted, so I’m really happy.”

Arsenal’s team is taking shape and getting an established forward like Gabriel Jesus will galvanize the squad. He comes in with a good international and Premier League pedigree, so he will be expected to come up with the goods when required. The player wanted to come to Arsenal and spoke about his relationship with the current head coach, which makes things easier for everyone involved.

With excellent attacking talent like Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli in the side, Gabriel Jesus will have the ammunition he needs to bang in the goals for the club. We can only hope he gets them regularly now that he will be the alpha male in Arsenal’s attack.

Gabriel Jesus also has a relationship with some of the Brazilians in the squad – notably, Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli. It will be interesting to see the reactions on the pitch when Arteta screams ‘Gabriel!!!’ from the touchline.

We are looking forward to the goals, assists and attacking play Gabriel Jesus has to offer, and we hope to get a first glimpse of him in the friendly match against Nuremberg this week.

Welcome to Arsenal – Gabriel Jesus.

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Arsenal 5-1 Ipswich: Talking Points from Closed Door Friendly

Eddie Nketiah celebrates his goal against Ipswich

Nketiah celebrating a goal

Match Highlights

Arsenal XI (First Half): Bernd Leno, Hector Bellerin, Ben White, Pablo Mari, Cedric, Thomas Partey, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sambi Lokonga, Nicolas Pepe, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson

Arsenal XI (Second Half): Arthur Okonkwo, Reuell Walters, Alex Kirk, Zach Awe, Lino Sousa, Matt Smith, Salah Oulad M’hand, Charlie Patino, Omari Hutchinson, Folarin Balogun, Marcelo Flores. Subs: Jack Henry-Francis, Mazeed Ogungbo

Following the commencement of preseason last week, Mikel Arteta chose to hand out some game time to the players that had not featured in post-season international fixtures, as the Gunners ran out as 5-1 winners against Ipswich Town in a closed door friendly at London Colney.

Here are some of the talking points from the match

Eddie Nketiah Was the Undisputed Star of the Game

Fresh off from signing a contract extension with the club and getting a new number formerly won by Thierry Henry, Theo Walcott and departed captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah was the star of the show, netting a hattrick and providing an assist.

While the Gunners anxiously wait the imminent announcement of Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City, Nketiah is picking up where he left off last season where he scored five goals in eight starts as the Gunners surged for a fourth placed berth before falling at the last hurdle. Nketiah is proving that with Gabriel Jesus set to be the alpha male in Arsenal’s attack, he can also be a dependable option to the team.

Game Time for Players with a Year Left, but Do They Still Have a Future at the Club?

It is well documented that Arsenal are at crossroads with some certain players that have a year left on their contract, and in such scenarios, the three plausible options are to either sell the players for a decent fee, offer the player a new contract or allow the player run down his contract and leave on a free transfer next summer. 

Bernd Leno, Hector Bellerin, Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are some of the notable players in the closed door friendly with Ipswich Town that are currently in the scenario stated above. Among the five players, only Bellerin has publicly declared his intentions of wanting to leave Arsenal, while Leno has been linked with moves to Benfica and Fulham.

There is still a lot of time between today and when the transfer window ends, but Arsenal will have to make clear decisions on the futures of these players.

It was Good to See Thomas Partey get Game Time

Thomas Partey grew in influence last season and became a lynchpin in Arsenal’s midfield, so his thigh injury in the business end of the campaign hurt Arsenal real bad, as there were some initial struggles and horrible results to match before Mohamed Elneny was introduced to the team and steadied the ship.

Partey successfully notched up 45 minutes in the win over Ipswich Town and will be aiming to get more game time as he builds his fitness ahead of the new campaign ahead.

Sambi Lokonga had a Great Game, but Does this Affect Arsenal’s Pursuit of Youri Tielemans?

Seems Albert Sambi Lokonga isn’t a forgotten man after all, as he put up a dominating performance in midfield, scoring one goal and providing two assists for his team. He lost his place in the side to Elneny and didn’t play for Arsenal till the final day bashing of Everton where he came on as a sub.

With the tabloids stating that Arsenal has agreed personal terms with Leicester’s Youri Tielemans, Sambi Lokonga is one player that would be adversely affected by the arrival of the Belgian maestro, due to the sheer numbers that the club would have in that playing position on the pitch.

However, the onus will be on Mikel Arteta to manage each players game time adequately, and with Arsenal involved in four competitions, as well as the five subs rule, I’m sure everyone would be covered.

The next official game for the Gunners is against FC Nuremberg this Friday, but we will keep tabs on the transfer market situation before the game.

Sayonara.

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