Arsenal kicked off their pre-season fixtures with a 2-0 win over Borehamwood at Meadow Park this afternoon. Borehamwood put up a good fight in the first forty-five minutes and went in at half time with the scores level at 0-0.
At half time, Arsène Wenger rotated his entire starting XI and the fresh legs proved to be too much for the Conference South outfit. Kristoffer Olsson gave Arsenal the lead after 68 minutes, when he delicately finished off Tomas Rosicky’s exquisite through ball.
Benik Afobe then doubled The Gunners’ lead from the penalty spot in the 86th minute. Chuba Akpom did brilliantly to beat two defenders and lift the ball in to the box, where Afobe was then brought down. He finished confidently from 12 yards.
Overall, it was a comfortable first outing for Arsenal. Borehamwood offered little in attack and Arsenal, with their mixture of youth and experience, deserved their 2-0 win.
See below for player ratings.
Wojciech Szczesny– The Polish international had very little to do. He was little more than a spectator. Most likely the easiest clean sheet of his career. 6.
Carl Jenkinson– Jenkinson had a good game at right back. Defensively he didn’t have to deal with much, but he offered a lot in attack. He surged forward with the ball and made himself available to put crosses in to the box. 7.
Semi Ajayi– The young defender had a quiet game at centre back. He worked well with his partner, Isaac Hayden, but ultimately had very little to do. 6.
Isaac Hayden– As with Ajayi, Hayden did what he needed to do at centre back. He wasn’t kept very busy by Borehamwood, but worked well with his partner. 6.
Nacho Monreal– Nacho had a solid game at left back, but he wasn’t tested very often. He did link well with Chris Willock on the left wing. 6.
Francis Coquelin– The young Frenchman has struggled to cement his place in the first team during his time at Arsenal, mostly featuring in League Cup games. However, when he does play, he usually plays well and today was no different. He looked solid and comfortable in the middle of the park. 7.
Aaron Ramsey– Our Welsh star was in the middle of everything in the first half. He was positive, always looking to create chances and had a couple of efforts on goal. He captained the side in the first half and certainly looked like the driving force behind the team. 8.
Gedion Zelalem– After last year’s pre-season tour in Asia, we are all aware of the potential he has. He showed signs of his vision that has seen him likened to a young Fabregas, and he looked adventurous on the ball today. 7.
Chris Willock– This was the Arsenal youngster’s first appearance for Arsenal, having not yet played for the u21’s, and he looked lively. The highly rated winger didn’t see a great deal of the ball but he linked up well with Monreal and looked to run at defenders and get in to the box. 7.
Jon Toral– Toral had a good half, buzzing around Aaron Ramsey and getting in to good positions going forward. He got through on goal and hit the post with his shot. A good day for the young Spaniard. 7.
Yaya Sanogo– Sanogo gave an all too familiar performance today. He played well and certainly caused Borehamwood’s defence problems. He demonstrated a great first touch in the box and had a number of good chances, but he couldn’t finish them. He will be frustrated that he didn’t bag a goal. 7.
Damien Martinez– Martinez had nothing to do during his half in goal and had arguably an easier time between the sticks than Szczesny did. 6.
Kieran Gibbs– We all know that Gibbs can be a top player for Arsenal and hopefully he has an injury free season. Today, however, he wasn’t tested by Borehamwood’s attack. 6.
Ignasi Miquel– The young Spanish centre back had little asked of him today and carried out his job well. 6.
Julio Pleguezuelo– It’s the same story as it has been for the rest of the central defenders today. He did his job well, but had very little to do. 6.
Hector Bellerin– Another young Spaniard who put in another good performance. Again, he didn’t have anything to do defensively, but he looked very good going forward. His pace is particularly impressive. He put some dangerous crosses in to the box and he linked up well with Olsson on one occasion. 7.
Abou Diaby– It was good to see the big man back again and I am on the verge of praying that this season, finally, he stays fit. He had a fairly easy game in the middle of the park and came close to scoring with a powerful effort from range. 6.
Mathieu Flamini– Again, he had a comfortable game in the middle of the park where very little was asked of him. 6.
Tomas Rosicky– Rosicky had a great game today. Whenever he comes on to a football pitch, the intensity and pace of the game seems to rise instantly. He was the catalyst for the two goals and provided a wonderful assist for the first goal. 8.
Kristoffer Olsson– Olsson had a good game and looked to get in to some dangerous positions. The highlight of his match was his well timed run to get on the end of Rosicky’s through ball and dink it in to the Borehamwood goal. 7.
Chuba Akpom– Akpom drilled a couple of powerful shots towards the Borehamwood goal and tested the keeper. His most influential moment, though, was when he skilfully beat two defenders on the edge of the box and lifted a good ball in to the box, which resulted in a penalty for Arsenal. 8.
Benik Afobe– Afobe largely had a quiet game, but when he stepped up to take his penalty, he did it confidently and secured Arsenal’s 2-0 win. 7.
My Man of the Match- Tomas Rosicky.
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