Post-Match Report

Match report: Arsenal 4-1 Millwall

Millwall -

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Arsenal
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Millwall

WHAT HAPPENED

Four different scorers found the net as we continued our pre-season preparations with a commanding win over Championship side Millwall on Saturday afternoon.

Calum Chambers grabbed our opener, while Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe and Folarin Balogun were also on target.

There was also a first glimpse of Albert Sambi Lokonga in our famous red and white, with the 21-year-old completing 45 minutes in central midfield alongside first Thomas Partey, and then second-half substitute Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Alex Mitchell's close-range finish from a late Millwall corner was a minor blotch on our performance, but overall Mikel Arteta will be pleased with his side's professional pre-season display following the potential disruption that could have been caused by the cancellation of our US tour.

After all, his side attacked right from the first whistle and Kieran Tierney was the biggest threat inside the opening 10 minutes. First he dropped a shoulder to find Eddie Nketiah, who headed over, before Mohamed Elneny dragged the Scotland international's low cross wide of the mark.

We were nearly made to rue our missed chances just moments later when Connor Mahoney's free-kick was headed off the base of the post by Jake Cooper. Then we were indebted to Arthur Okonkwo, whose quick reflexes somehow kept out former Gunner Benik Afobe from six yards.

But then we did make our early dominance count. Pepe surged forward on the right-hand side and, sensing a deep delivery, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang peeled off to the far post. 

When the ball game in, our captain was stood back to goal on the edge of the box, but still managed to strike the crossbar with a stunning acrobatic effort. Chambers was quickest to react and tap into the gaping net. 

Half-time presented Arteta with an opportunity to freshen things up and he obliged, with Lokonga coming on for his Gunners debut, alongside Nuno Tavares, Karl Hein and Lacazette.

And it didn't take our No 9 long to make his mark. Again, our build-up play came down the right-hand side and when Chambers found a yard of space, he arrowed in an inch-perfect cross for Lacazette to head home at the far post. 

The Frenchman was heavily involved in our third, too. Aubameyang occupied a pocket of space on the left-hand side and ran at his man before sending across a low delivery. Lacazette, hearing a shout, stepped over the ball, leaving Pepe with a simple finish into the top corner from 10 yards.

Emile Smith Rowe could have got himself on the scoresheet soon after, surging forward with a trademark dart behind Millwall's back line. But after he'd expertly brought down Partey's long diagonal, he couldn't apply the finishing touch.

There was still time for a fourth goal, though. Balogun, one of four substitutes made by Arteta on the hour mark, stretched the visitors' back four. Willian combined with Lacazette and spotted our academy graduate on the move, threading a ball through for Balogun to round the keeper and tap into the empty net.

We looked to be heading towards our first clean sheet of pre-season but, with just minutes left on the clock, Murray Wallace headed a corner into Mitchell's path and the 19-year-old poked past Hein from close range.

Arsenal starting XI: Okonkwo, Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tierney, Partey, Elneny, Pepe, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Aubameyang.

Substitutes: Hein (for Okonkwo 46), Lokonga (for Elneny 46), Lacazette (for Nketiah 46), Cedric (for Mari 60), Tavares (for Tierney 60), Balogun (for Aubameyang 71), Maitland-Niles (for Partey 71), Nelson (for Smith Rowe 71), Willian (for Pepe 71).

What's next

We host Chelsea in The Mind Series, presented by Emirates, partnering with the charity with the aim of supporting better mental health.

Following the Government’s confirmation that restrictions on large outdoor events have been lifted, we are delighted to confirm we can welcome back a near-capacity crowd to Emirates Stadium for our home fixture on Sunday, August 1.

Funds raised from the series will be split between Mind and each of the club’s charitable foundations who all deliver projects to support mental health and wellbeing in communities both at home and overseas.

You can still buy tickets here

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