MLS – Arsenal 1-2: Campbell and Akpom on the score sheet

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….

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18 Replies to “MLS – Arsenal 1-2: Campbell and Akpom on the score sheet”

  1. Really enjoyable game! Great to see the new signings play so well. Thanks for the fast report. It is incredible to me how you can write and upload it so soon after the match finished.

  2. Really good performance from everyone and all the youngsters did well. Special mention for Holding who at £1 million looks better than Stones (£50 million) on tonight’s showing. Terrific debut, completely unfazed, comfortable on the ball and cool as a cucumber.

  3. I liked that Xhaka was able to pick out some promising switches to speed up our play.

  4. Arthur, the things we do for Untold and for Arsenal 😉
    Getting up in the middle of the night is not that bad for an Arsenal match to be honest. But now sitting at work with only 3 hours of sleep in total…. now that is bad. Luckily I only have to work half a day today.

  5. As usual I’m late to the party. Wanted to reply to the comments on the other thread when I saw this report before I even watched the recording. Darn Walter, that was fast.

    The expected lack of cohesion in the MLS team was obvious, and Arsenal took full advantage of it. For the last two years, the Stars had been able to win against their opponents, Bayern Munich included, so I was expecting a better display, but no, Arsenal dominated the game with authority. Btw, Pirlo and Villa were taken off because they have to play another match in 48 hours in New York. But yes, at their age they just couldn’t keep up with Arsenal’s speedsters.

    Cuba Akpom was elected MVP of the match, but really it could have been many others. Xhaka looks class, just wait until he gets integrated in the team. Zelalem and Adelaide are developing too, I can see the difference from two years ago.

    And of course the commentators couldn’t help bashing Arsenal for the lack of signings, expressing their doubts towards a new Top 4 finish. They must have forgotten that we were the only club with 4 players in the Euro semifinals, and that we didn’t have any of them for this match, otherwise it would have been a disaster score – or, as my favorite radio station here in Seattle puts it, a British Invasion Week-end 😉 (classic rock that is).

  6. Florian

    I found the commentators actually quite pro Arsenal and they only expressed their concern unlike the biting and scathing comments of their peers in UK.

  7. I must echo Mick & praise Holding. He was excellent, considering this is his first game for Arsenal. There were a lot of very good moves & creative work from the youngsters (aided & abetted by the senior in goal).

    Drogbas goal was a let down & a little fortunate. It will keep him & the sacked one gloating for a while.

    I was concerned when Coquelin tweaked a knee under Drogba’s challenge. I hope it was nothing more than that.

    Great game with an excellent follow up by Walter. Thank you.

  8. I don’t know if it’s encouraging or worrying that we looked much better when we took off Walcott and Ox and put on Akpom and The Jeff.

    Xhaka looked really tidy, don’t think he put a foot wrong. The defense was all over the place in the first half, a bit better in the second. Walcott offered absolutely nothing up front, as usual

  9. The new signings Holding and Xhaka were excellent. Especially Holding, looked ice cool in defense. Everyone else looked sharp. Theo is a goal scorer and needs to work more on finishing. Debuchy was still rusty in play (needs to do better).

  10. I wondered who the secondary commentator was.He seemed knowledgeable and evenly balanced

  11. Theo is not an instinctive finisher and currently seems to have lost the ability to take people on. I don’t think he knows what to do for the best and gets caught in two minds.

  12. I watched the game Walter and enjoyed, thought Bielik and Holding did well though Chambers still feels like a liability going to happen. Xhaka looked OK. Walcott for me though is going through a bad patch his decision making etc is just poor at the moment. Of the rest reine Adelaide and iwobi of course shone zelalem did OK as did willock. Campbell did well too in fact I’d like to
    See Walcott dropped and Campbell try out that lone role. But overall a good game especially as it was our second game of pre season and this all star team were no pushovers. I’d like to see more of holding and Bielik together in pre season maybe I even in capital one cup action. Give it a season or two and I could see this as our first choice pairing if they continue to play and progress like this

  13. Happy to be viewing the Arsenal again. Enjoyed the match and thought the new players and youngsters looked quite lively. On a personal note, proud to say my daughter Alexandra, a member of the D.C. Armoury, traveled to the match with fellow supporters and will attend Sunday’s match as well. True Gooners! I had the occasion to visit D.C. in the spring and watch a match at their local. A boisterous, loyal, AKB group. All the best to these supporters. COYG!

  14. Watched it on ESPN and here are my impressions;

    1) AFC, beta version, can play at pace, pass decisively but not always accurately and have that Arsenal falir about them,
    2) Granit Xhaka was a force once he entered the midfield with defense splitting passes, excellent timing, anticipation and a willingness to shoot from distance BUT El-Neny also has those qualities,
    3)The Ox seemed reborn, taking on defenders, very pacey and eager to get at goal,
    4) Campbell can spin his way around most defenders and has tremendous close ball control skills,
    5) Monreal was explosive all match and got a well-deserved assist on the 2nd goal,
    6) Holding was very calm and composed and seemed to fit in perfectly with the back four
    7) Akpon, Iwobi, Reine Adelaide, Willock, Gnabry and Martinez showed considerable maturity, speed and confidence. Iparticularly like reine-Adelaide.
    8) Walcott was clearly off the pace and while willing to have a go, really needs to rediscover his skill at outrunning defenders, if he is to get a starting spot.It is more menta lfocus and confidence he needs now.
    9) Debuchy wasn’t all that bad and made some fine interceptions as well but Gibbs and Chambers didn’t seem to be at the same level as Monreal, however only time will tell. Bielik was very sharp and in a few years will definitely challenge for a first team place.
    10) Coquelin, Bellerin and Wilshere were working very hard and were very effective in their respective roles, despite being out of form (in Wilshere’s case). Cech made some great saves and cannot be faulted on Drogba’s goal.

    Imagine that we have Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud, Cazorla, Koscielny, Wellbeck, Per, Ospina,Gabriel,Ramsey,Sanogo,and Jenkinson to come back so we seem to be in great shape…..but it is early days to start predicting glory just yet.

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