Nelson - ‘It’s my goal, I’m claiming it!’

Reiss Nelson turned 23 on Saturday, and he celebrated his birthday with the second goal in our 2-1 Dubai Super Cup win over AC Milan.

The winger struck what turned out to be the winner in the first-half, but his shot was diverted past the keeper via a deflection off team-mate Martin Odegaard’s boot. Reiss however, is adding the strike to his own tally, and has let his captain know!

“I told him (Odegaard), I said listen! I’m joking,” he smiled after the game. “I think he got a little toe to it, but it was my goal. It was on target, I’ll take that and I think the scoreboard did, so that’s good.”

The goal meant we followed up our 3-0 win over Lyon last week with another victory against big European opposition. AC Milan are still in this season’s Champions League and lay second in Serie A.

“We want to take that winning habit into every game,” Reiss added. “it’s a friendly but of course, we take it as a serious game.

“Coming to a place like Dubai, you play under different circumstances, in the heat. Under pressure, playing a team like AC Milan these are the games you dream of, even if it’s a friendly. You’ve still got to look forward to it, even the young boys loved it. It was a great occasion for everyone.”

Reiss added that the time the players have spent together away from the pitch during this training camp has been just as valuable as the work on it, and as an established first team player, he’s also been guiding the younger players this week.

“It’s been amazing,” he said “Mikel has kept the team morale up so high, been doing so many things, activities, team bonding, and also training. We’ve been training really hard but the most important thing was the downtime with the players and integrating everyone in.

It’s a new group with a lot of different players, (we got) two wins, the performance showed that we’re still ready and ready for the upcoming games.

“It’s always good to show the young boys the experience that I have now, I speak to them all the time and try to put on the table as much as possible and give them encouragement and it’s lovely to see them come through. The Arsenal Academy is producing so many good players. It’s really good to see.”

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