By Richard Clarke in New York

SUMMARY

Arsenal went down 1-0 at New York Red Bulls on Saturday in the second game of their pre-season campaign.

The only goal came on the half-hour when Bradley Wright-Phillips stabbed home a shot from Thierry Henry’s corner.

As a workout it was worthwhile but the Frenchman was always the star-attraction. He nearly scored with his opening opportunity and pulled all the strings for his highly-competent MLS outfit.

When he was taken off on the hour, presumably to save his legs for a game against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, the game lost a little stardust. Constant substitutions did not help the spectacle either.

But then this is pre-season and Arsenal are still recovering players from the World Cup. They are a work in progress.

This game concluded a brief but wonderful trip to New York. One where they played a mini-game at Grand Central Station, visited Times Square and coached local children.

Well done Red Bulls (who lifted the New York Cup after the game) and thanks 'Big Apple' but now Arsenal return to their own patch to prepare for the Emirates Cup next weekend.

SETTING THE SCENE

This game had sold out all 25,000 tickets in a matter of days. Therefore the atmosphere around the Red Bull Arena was expectant and electric. Over 5,000 Arsenal fans were in attendance. Most drawn from supporters clubs across the US but 500 had come over from England.

A flash storm did little to quell the atmosphere at kick-off, neither did travel congestion outside.

Arsenal’s starting XI was unusual – Tomas Rosicky as the main attacker, Nacho Monreal at centre back. However the midfield was packed with big names and quality – albeit that Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla were playing their first game of pre-season.

Of course, Red Bulls had Thierry Henry in their side – enough said.

FIRST HALF

We nearly had the perfect sentimental start. After five minutes, Henry went clear and, with the swagger of old, tried to caress a shot into the far corner. Perhaps using knowledge from recent Arsenal training sessions, Wojciech Szczesny tipped it around the post.

Wright-Phillips repeated the feat a few minutes later but in between Cazorla curled an effort just wide.

After that early flurry of chances, the game settled into a lively but even-handed pace.

This was a fair but highly competitive friendly.

Midway through the half, Rosicky picked out Ramsey, who slid a trickling shot just wide.

Meanwhile Red Bulls continued to have success down the left with the Henry’s perceptive passes stretching the Arsenal defence.

The pace of the game had just started to settle when the hosts opened the scoring in the 32nd minute.

Henry floated a corner to the far post, Ambrose Oyongo nodded it down and Wright-Phillips prodded home from close-range.

Arsenal might have been level within five minutes as Wilshere exchanged passes with Gedion Zelalem to drive into the area. The Englishman dug the ball out from under his feet to get a clean shot away. Luis Robles flew out to make a stunning save from close range.

Two minutes later Wilshere’s goalbound kick was nodded away by Tim Cahill.

SECOND HALF

Arsène Wenger made seven changes at the break – and as a result they quickly had the ball in the net.

Chuba Akpom fed Abou Diaby, who stroked the ball home. However he was ajudged offside. It was marginal.

Before that, Henry left the scene to a standing ovation. Who knows if we’ll ever see him involved in an Arsenal match again.

The visitors continued to press for the equaliser but they were indebted to a sprawling save from Damien Martinez.

On 78 minutes, Akpom sprinted through only for Robles to smother the effort. But Peguy Luyindula went close for Red Bulls; nodding over from corss by Ruben Bover.

Arsenal continued to search for the equaliser but time ran out and Red Bulls had their win.

Arsenal

1
Szczesny 45
18
Monreal
45
Hayden 45
25
Jenkinson 45
3
Gibbs
58
Zelalem 45
10
Wilshere 45
7
Rosicky 71
16
Ramsey 45
8
Arteta 45
19
Cazorla 71

Substitutes

59
Martinez 45
51
Miquel 45
39
Bellerin 45
56
Toral 71
20
Flamini 45
34
Coquelin 45
53
Olsson 71
24
Diaby 45
38
Akpom 45

New York Red Bulls

0
Robles 81
0
Duval 78
0
Oyongo
0
Sekagya 61
0
Miller 46
0
Olave 45
11
Sam 81
0
McCarthy 70
17
Cahill Yellow Card
12
Henry 53
17
Wright-Phillips 45 Goal!

Substitutes

0
Meara 81
0
Castano
0
Armando 45
17
Eckersley
0
Bover 70
0
Kimura 78
0
Lade 81
0
Miazga 61
8
Luyindula 53
0
Obekop
0
Alexander 46
0
Bustamante Yellow Card
0
Stevenson
0
Akpan 45
Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 27 Jul 2014