By Walter Broeckx
The Arsenal team that started this match was Cech, Debuchy, Holding, Bielik, Gibbs, Elneny, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Campbell, Walcott.
A first start for our new signing Holding and pairing him with Bielik was a bit surprising to me to be honest. Wilshere starting for the first time this season. Campbell and The Ox playing on the left and right flank.
A first shot from Arsenal when the Ox gave the ball to Walcott but the pass was a little bit behind the latter so he dragged his shot wide. Arsenal with a free kick taken by Walcott but the keeper could save his low shot. The MLS team with a first chance for Giovani but Cech with a good low stop.
Campbell going past his man and being brought down and the ref gave a penalty for the foul from Van Damme. Campbell to take it himself and he stuck it home low to the right side of the goal. GOAL 0-1 to the Arsenal after 11 minutes.
The Ox almost feeding Debuchy but a last ditch tackle prevents more danger at the cost of a corner. Theo on the run after some fine work from the Ox but he choose for the shot with his left and a pass to Campbell might have been the better option. The Ox with a hard shot but wide.
The MLS team trying something very difficult at the other end but the overhead kick goes very wide. Elneny with a shot from distance but an excellent save from the keeper prevented a second Arsenal goal. Theo away to Campbell but his shot was deflected in a corner. Coquelin almost with a shot but blocked by a defender after a good attack from Arsenal. Arsenal really excellent in the first half hour so far.
Pirlo and Villla taken off for the MLS team as so far they had been overrun and invisible because of the dynamic Arsenal midfield display so far. Campbell almost finding Theo with a long ball but just over hit it. Bielik with a risky but composed control on the chest in front of his own goal. Bad news then as Coquelin felt the weight of the falling Drogba who fell on his knee and went down in pain.
Drogba with the free kick but Bielik headed it out of the wall. Bielik then giving the ball away carelessly in added time and the inevitable Drogba goal was the result on the third attempt after a good block first from Cech and Holding. 1-1 after 45 minutes.
Bellerin, Monreal, Chambers, Iwobi and Xhaka came on for Debuchy, Gibbs, Bielik, Wilshere and Coquelin at the start of the second half. The MLS team almost with a complete fresh team. Cech had to make an excellent save right on a shot from Giovinco at the start of the second half. So we had the Chambers-Holding combination in the centre of the defence.
Arsenal not as bright as in the first half with too many loose balls and some easy passing going wrong. The Ox with a good dribble on the right but a defender could just head it away in front of Monreal. Arsenal now taking the match back in their hands with Xhaka pulling the strings from deep midfield. A stop to have a drink interrupts the flow and time for more subs after 67 minutes. Martinez, Zelalem, Adelaide, Akpom in the place of Cech, Elneny, The Ox and Walcott.
A fierce shot from Xhaka from distance but a good save from the keeper. Adelaide with a shot but it went wide. Akpom almost got away but was fouled after Adelaide tried to play him through. Xhaka with the free kick but the keeper could stop the effort that was too central. Arsenal now completely back on top in the match. But then the MLS almost gets away but the pass to the middle is not accurate enough.
Arsenal with two good chances with some minutes to go but the crosses were cleared by MLS defenders. Meanwhile Wilcox also came on. A counter from the MLS but the shot goes well over. Iwobi with a blocked shot with a runner on the overlap gives Arsenal a corner. Xhaka with the corner and Holding with the header but well over the goal. Arsenal with a good attack on the left side. A good overlap from Monreal who passes it to the middle and Akpom just have to push it over the line. GOAL 1-2 for Arsenal afer 87 minutes.
Holding with a good interception before the MLS team can have a shot in. He surely had an excellent maiden match the young former Bolton defender. He needs confirmation of course but this was very encouraging. Xhaka also showing what a great player he can be. Great vision and control and excellent in the passing.
Arsenal win 1-2 against the MLS all stars. A good first run out for some players and another great experience for some youngsters.
Off to bed now….