Excellent goals from Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli and Kai Havertz – as well as a Jorginho penalty – gave us a richly-deserved win in the MLS All-Star match in Washington.
We repeated our success of 2016, when we triumphed 2-1 in this showpiece fixture in San Jose, but this was a much more comfortable win.
In fact it’s the biggest winning margin against the MLS All-Stars since 2000, and was the perfect way to get our series of three fixtures in the USA underway.
Following the pre-match show of fireworks, pyrotechnics, the national anthem and a flyover, it took less than five minutes for Jesus to prove that Arsenal were the main attraction tonight.
We dominated possession in the opening exchanges, before Bukayo Saka was released by a raking Jorginho pass. He found Jesus just outside the box, and the Brazilian clipped a delightful first-time chip over the keeper and just under the cross bar.
Cheered on by the vast majority of the sell out 20,000 crowd inside Audi Field, we continued to dictate proceedings, and scored another stunner midway through the half.
Saka – who would win the MVP award – again caused trouble by cutting inside from the right wing before sliding his pass across to Trossard. The Belgian shifted it onto his right foot then cracked home from 20 yards, giving Roman Burki no chance.
The All-Stars, managed by Wayne Rooney, made a host of changes as early as the 30th minute, with former Premier League striker, and star of host club DC United, Christian Benteke among those taken off.
On the stroke of half-time the impressive Trossard struck a free kick just wide, but we were good value for our two-goal lead at the break.
Havertz, Martin Odegaard and Karl Hein were all introduced at half-time, and within seconds of the restart we increased our lead after being given a penalty for handball.
Jorginho tucked away from 12 yards in typical fashion, leaving the keeper flat footed, and rolling it home into the corner.
Rice makes his bow
With 25 minutes remaining, Mikel Arteta sent on Declan Rice for his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt. Jurrien Timber also came on for his non-competitive debut, playing at right back with Ben White moving to the centre.
Both were heartily cheered whenever in possession. We continued to look the most likely to score, despite the wholesale changes.
Odegaard’s superb pass set up our fourth goal, as he found the advancing Martinelli on the left, who took the ball into the area before dispatching his shot low into the corner.
Havertz got in on the act late on, with a thunderous drive, after bringing the ball down superbly at the far post.
Arsenal: Ramsdale (Hein 46), White (Trusty 80), Saliba (Timber 65), Gabriel (Tomiyasu 65), Kiwior (Tierney 65), Jorginho (Rice 65), Trossard (Martinelli 56), Vieira (Marquinhos 65), Saka (Havertz 46), Nketiah (Odegaard 46), Jesus (Balogun 65).
Subs not used: Runarsson, Holding, Cozier-Duberry.
We move onto New York next, where we will face Manchester United at the MetLife Stadium on Saturday. We then conclude our summer US tour with a friendly against Barcelona in Los Angeles next Wednesday. Details of how to stream those games on Arsenal.com are here.
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