Post-Match Report

Match report: Angers 1-1 Arsenal (3-4 pens)

Reiss Nelson

Angers -

Stade Raymond Kopa
Friendly Match
Friendly Match
  Angers
      
              El Melali (13)
          
   crest
Angers
El Melali (13)
1 1
  Arsenal
      
                  Nelson (49)
            
   crest
Arsenal
Nelson (49)
Kick-off is at 7:30pm local time on July 31

By Josh James in Angers

WHAT HAPPENED
 

Emi Martinez saved the decisive spot kick from former Gunner Jeff Reine-Adelaide to hand us a penalty shoot-out win in France.
 
Reiss Nelson had earned us a draw in this hard-fought pre-season friendly, when he pounced on a loose ball inside the box during the second half.
 
In truth we were never at our best against the Ligue 1 side and a draw was perhaps a fair result after 90 minutes.
 
The hosts, celebrating their centenary, were buoyed by the atmosphere inside the stadium before kick-off, and were on top for most of the first half, taking the lead inside 20 minutes.
 
It was Baptiste Santamaria who created the goal, with an excellent defence-splitting pass, allowing Farid El Melali to break through, round Martinez and tuck home.
 
We were struggling to make inroads or keep possession for extended periods and an animated Unai Emery looked increasingly frustrated on the sidelines.
 
It was a sluggish performance, and Ludovic Butelle was barely tested in the Angers goal during the opening 45 minutes.
 
The closest we came was a flicked header from Gabriel Martinelli that dropped just wide.
 
Emery made five changes at the break in a bid to take the game to Angers, and we soon had the equaliser.
 
Matteo Guendouzi skipped past his man on the right, and his dangerous low cross was met by Eddie Nketiah in front of goal. The keeper kept out his first-time effort, but Nelson was on hand to tuck home for his first goal of pre-season.
 
In the final 10 minutes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a goal ruled out for offside after being set up by Henrik Mkhitaryan, then skied a shot from in front of goal after again being found by the Armenian.

And so to spot kicks. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock, Granit Xhaka and Aubameyang all converted comfortably from the spot, before Wilfried Kanga for Angers and Mkhitaryan both skied from 12 yards. 

Reine-Adelaide had to score, but Martinez dived to his right to keep out his effort and secure the victory.
 
Penalties:
 
Maitland-Niles: Scored 1-0
Manceau: Scored 1-1
Willock: Scored 2-1
Capelle: Scored 2-2
Xhaka: Scored 3-2
Thomas: Scored 3-3
Aubameyang: Scored 4-3
Kanga: Misses over 4-3
Mkhitaryan: Misses over 4-3
Reine-Adelaide: Saved 4-3
 
 
HOW IT HAPPENED
 
Click here for a play-by-play report of our pre-season friendly in north-west France.
 
 
THREE THINGS WE NOTICED

 
To follow
 
 
WHAT'S NEXT
There's just one more pre-season friendly before the Premier League campaign kicks off away to Newcastle United on August 11. We face Barcelona at the Nou Camp this Sunday evening in the Joan Gamper Trophy, at 7pm UK time.