We played out a goalless draw with Championship side Luton Town, in our final friendly fixture before the Premier League campaign restarts.
The game at our London Colney training ground was a chance for Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli – returning from World Cup duty – to get some minutes before our Boxing Day clash at home to West Ham.
Mikel Arteta named a strong starting XI that dominated possession throughout the first half, creating plenty on the left wing especially, with Martinelli and Cedric linking up well.
Just two minutes in, Saka had our first chance. He almost converted just inside the area but was marginally caught offside.
Aaron Ramsdale was then tested with shots from Luton's Elijah Adebayo and Carlton Morris but was equal to both efforts, making two strong saves.
Chances were few and far between in the opening 45 minutes. However Thomas Partey had an effort blocked inside the box and Martinelli curled a shot just wide before the break.
The boss made a few changes after the break, bringing on Matt Turner, Marquinhos and Fabio Vieira.
The second half started in the same manner as the first with fast and bright spells coming early on, again with us enjoying the majority of the possession. Some brilliant link-up play between Marquinhos and Granit Xhaka led to one of our best chances of the game but Xhaka’s effort was just wide of the post.
More changes followed in the second half with Sambi Lokonga, Mohamed Elneny and Amario Cozier-Duberry brought into the action.
Marquinhos was looking lively, and combined well with Ben White for the defender to force a big save from Luton keeper Ethan Horvath low down to his right.
Luton provided more threat toward the end of the game, putting pressure on our defenders but the likes of Taylor Foran, Rob Holding and Lino Sousa stood firm at the back.
Arsenal: Ramsdale (Turner), White (Sousa), Holding, Gabriel (Foran), Cedric, Partey (Lokonga), Xhaka (Elneny), Odegaard (Cozier-Duberry), Saka (Vieira), Martinelli (Marquinhos), Nketiah (Cirjan). Subs not used. Sajoe Jr.
Luton: Horvath, Bree, Potts (Bell), Lockyer, Morris (Woodrow), Adebayo (Jerome), Clark (Berry), Watson (Mpanzu), Freeman (Campbell), Osho, Doughty (Cornick). Subs not used. Isted, Macey, Jones, Pettit
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