Arsenal ended their tour of America with a 3-2 penalty shootout defeat to Real Madrid in Washington. The Gunners dominated early on and lead 2-0 through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Lacazette but were dominated in the second half and goals from Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio brought it back. Robbie Burton’s penalty miss ensured the Gunners return to London with defeat despite some positive signs in the first half.
The first meaningful moment came when Sead Kolasinac latched onto a long ball which Nacho failed to deal with and fouled the Bosnian which resulted in Mesut Ozil stinging Keylor Navas’ palms from the free kick.
Arsenal looked sharp from the offset and took the lead in the 9th minute when Alex Lacazette converted a penalty after the Frenchman initially rounded Navas following good work from Granit Xhaka. Nacho was sent off in the aftermath for handballing Lacazette’s goalbound effort.
The Gunners doubled their advantage when silky link up between Lacazette and Aubameyang ended with the Gabon international rounding Keylor Navas and firing pasting a helpless Sergio Ramos.
The game got more interesting on 40 minutes when Sokratis was booked for the second time in 3 minutes after a clumsy challenge on Lucas Vazquez. Real Madrid pushed on at the end of the first half and Karim Benzema came close to halving the deficit as he met Toni Kroos’s cross to head against the post.
A host of changes from Madrid in the second half and one of them caused the first real moment of it. Marco Asensio’s fierce drive rattling Emi Martinez’s post before Carl Jenkinson deflected Raphael Varane’s follow up over.
Real Madrid reduced the arrears when headline man Gareth Bale poked home after sloppy Arsenal defending, Marcelo’s slide pass found Asensio whose touch was loose but Martinez could not hang onto the ball.
Real Madrid’s comeback was complete when Marco Asensio guided home a wonderful effort following a cutback from Marcelo.
A host of changes from Arsenal paid almost immediate dividends when a Reiss Nelson corner wasn’t dealt with and Calum Chambers was denied on the line by Gareth Bale just before Nelson himself curled just over.
Substitute Eddie Nketiah could’ve won the game for Arsenal on two occasions when he latched onto Granit Xhaka’s pass but failed to beat Courtois then moments later he nodded Bukayo Saka’s excellent cross narrowly wide.
Nelson – score
Xhaka – miss
Saka – score
Monreal – miss
Burton – miss
Occasional writer who follows the Arsenal home and away. Dennis is our greatest ever.