We were beaten on penalties by Atletico Madrid in the opening game of our two-match series in the International Champions Cup in Singapore.
We lined up in a fluid 4-3-3 formation again, with Emile Smith Rowe making an early impression with a driving run, before earning a rich round of applause not long afterwards after displaying quick feet to get away from two markers.
We were making all the running, and Alexandre Lacazette soon saw a shot turned around the post after good work from Rob Holding and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
But Atletico slowly grew into the game, and Shkodran Mustafi had to be alert to make an important block to deny Angel Correa, before Luciano Vietto half-volleyed one over moments later.
Lacazette twice went close before the half was out but with four minutes remaining, the Spaniards took the lead as Vietto headed in a Correa cross.
Smith Rowe had been outstanding in the first half, but he saved his best for the start of the second period as he beat no less than three men before rifling in a superb equaliser.
Aaron Ramsey – captain for this game – and Aubameyang both took aim as we looked to press home our advantage, while Atletico went close twice in quick succession after a scramble in the area.
With the scores deadlocked, the game went straight to a shoot-out but we were beaten after missing three of our spot kicks.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a day of activities in central Singapore on Thursday, we return to International Champions Cup action against Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.
The match, at the Singapore National Stadium, is nearly sold out but can still pick up tickets by clicking here
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