Auba was seriously in the mood in LA. Stationed to the right of Lacazette, last season's Golden Boot winner set the tone for our sprightly start with a positive early charge. He didn't let up, getting away a shot after a one-two with Ozil, and then dancing past Alaba to send in another dangerous cross.
Auba's highlight was probably the 60-yard dash that took him from his own half and deep into Bayern territory, where he kept his cool to set up Ozil for a chance that Neuer saved. Echoing his winner at Watford last season, Auba closed down Neuer and forced a mistake that almost led to a goal. And of course the goal we scored owed plenty to Auba - it was his probing pass across goal that flicked off Poznanski and in. This was an influential, ominous performance from our No 14.
NO AVERAGE JOE
With Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Mo Elneny absent, Joe Willock got his chance alongside Granit Xhaka in midfield and he took it with aplomb. There was nothing spectacular about Joe's output, but there didn't need to be. He was steady and smart, doing the simple things well and keeping us ticking over with his assured touch and unfussy distribution. Indeed, in the first half no one made more tackles or drew more fouls. Joe did get one sight of goal - a near miss from the edge of the box - but it was his ability to hold off opponents, find space and find a teammate that caught the eye. A mature performance and one that augurs well for the new season.
Eddie Nketiah claimed an assist against Colorado Rapids but there's nothing he likes more than scoring. He was only on the pitch for nine minutes in Los Angeles but still managed to get three shots away. His first effort was blocked, his second was kept out by Manuel Neuer after a show of strength against a Bayern defender, and the third brought us the winning goal. Eddie knows where to be in the penalty area and his poacher's instinct is as sharp as ever.
CALM AND COHESIVE
This was the first start of pre-season for all 11 players who kicked off the game in our new yellow kit. But, unusually for this stage of the summer, there were few signs of rust. Auba led by example (see above) and his teammates followed, keeping the ball diligently and stretching Bayern on both flanks.
Our passing on the edge of the box was intricate and imaginative, aided by clever, sharp movement. Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang linked up impressively, while Micki joined in from the left flank and Xhaka controlled the tempo from midfield. The one regret was that we didn't turn more dangerous situations into shots on goal, but Unai Emery will be pleased with how quickly we have clicked in the United States.
Copyright 2023 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.