Feature

Three things we noticed v Angers

Emi Martinez

We beat Angers 4-3 on penalties on Wednesday night, with Emi Martinez the hero by saving from Jeff Reine-Adelaide.

Here are three things we noticed from the game in north-west France:

PENALTY PRACTICE
 
For the second time this pre-season we needed a penalty shootout to find a winner, but unlike the match against Real Madrid in Washington, this time we came out on top. 
 
Only one of the five takers against Real Madrid stepped up again here, and this time Granit Xhaka made no mistake. In fact our first four penalties were perfect, only Henrikh Mkhitaryan missed the target – sending his shot over when he had the chance to win it.
 
But Emi Martinez – who was also in goal for the shootout last Wednesday, and saved from Gareth Bale – got a strong hand to former team-mate Jeff Reine-Adelaide's effort for the win. Reine-Adelaide was at Arsenal for three years, and the two frequently trained together, so there were certainly some mind games at play when the French youngster stepped up.
 
It's the second time Emi has been on the winning side in a pre-season penalty shootout, having saved twice against Bayern Munich in 2017, and the Argentine stopper should be full of confidence going into the new season as an established part of the first-team squad.    

Emi Martinez

Emi Martinez

 
 
CHAMBERS STARTS AGAIN
 
Calum Chambers was named in the starting lineup yet again for the fifth time in six pre-season fixtures so far this summer. This time he played at right back as part of a back four in a 4-4-2 and linked up well with Gabriel Martinelli on the flank before being withdrawn at the break.
 
Chambers is yet to make a competitive appearance for Unai Emery of course, having spent the whole of last season out on loan at Fulham, but it's clear the versatile 24-year-old is very much in the boss' thinking.
 
He was mainly deployed as a defensive midfielder while at Craven Cottage, and was their fans' overwhelming choice as Player of the Season, but with Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin still sidelined with injury, and Laurent Koscielny's future unclear, Chambers appears to be well in contention for a defensive role when the Premier League season kicks off on Sunday week.

Calum Chambers

Calum Chambers

 
BON ANNIVERSAIRE, ANGERS
 
This match served as Angers' 100th birthday party, and they were determined to enjoy the occasion. Prior to kick off there was a parade of club legends, live music on the pitch and the team wore a commemorative all-white kit for the fixture.
 
Stade Raymond Kopa is in the midst of an expansion project, meaning only three stands were open for the game, but Arsenal's presence was clearly a big pull, with red-and-white shirts dotted throughout the 17,000 capacity crowd.
 
Reine-Adelaide is the star turn for the Ligue 1 side, who finished 13th last season, and he had the home faithful on their feet with a weaving run into the box early in the second half before shooting off target. But ultimately it would be a night to forget for the young French forward, after missing the last spot kick in the penalty shootout.

Jeff Reine-Adelaide

Jeff Reine-Adelaide