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Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid: 5 Key Takeaways From Unai Emery’s New Look Arsenal

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The International Champions Cup witnessed an exciting game on the 26th of July between Arsenal and Atletico Madrid. Although Atletico managed to win on penalties(3-1), the pre-season game portrayed the capabilities of the relatively young pool of talented players.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]Here are 5 interesting talking points worth mentioning from the game that was played in Singapore:[spacer height=”30px”]

Guendouzi, Smith-Rowe, Nelson: new talent, new hope[spacer height=”30px”]

19-year old Matteo Guendouzi was given the role to support the defense by staying in the midfield in order to keep check on attacks by Correa, Gameiro and even Vietto. The youngster made sure to fall back at whenever the need arose, giving everything to gain possession of the ball.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]17-year old Emile Smith-Rowe firing a belter into the top right corner stunned the audience as the teenager introduced himself in front of one of Europe’s biggest clybs. A brilliant move by the Gunners; even though they were a goal down, they showed immense courage and determination within a few minutes to equalise by ramming a shot into the net from 25 yards out.[spacer height=”30px”]

Playing as an attacking midfielder position, Smith-Rowe showed supreme class by thundering his strike while running off-balance. It impressed many fans and could be a jump start to his career.[spacer height=”30px”]

Even the 18-year old Reiss Nelson played important crosses into the box while Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang displayed sparks of form, by controlling and directing such crosses.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]Bernd Leno or Petr Cech?[spacer height=”30px”]

While new arrival Bernd Leno was given the opportunity to represent and start for Arsenal in his first official match, he didn’t have the much time to prove himself as he was replaced by Petr Cech at half time. Might have been a tactical approach by Unai Emery but watching Leno hardly touch the ball during the first half has raised concerns about his role in the upcoming season of the most competitive league in the world.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]Ramsey as Captain[spacer height=”30px”]

Aaron Ramsey was chosen to lead his army of Gunners in the match because of his leadership and experience, which could be a deciding factor in many games. This could an indication of Ramsey signing a fresh deal with the club.[spacer height=”30px”]

“He’s [Ramsey] been at this club for 10 years and it seems he’s become a symbol for the club,” Henrikh Mkhitaryan said [via Sky Sports].[spacer height=”30px”]

“I’ll be very happy for him if he signs a new contract because he’s [part of the] history of Arsenal already & I hope he can become a legend.”[spacer height=”30px”]

Lacazette and Aubameyang shine[spacer height=”30px”]

Lacazette had a good number of shots on target with many chances. As this match being a pre-season friendly, the former Lyon man has showed his worth by adding flavor to the attempts on goal by proving himself to be moving throughout the pitch during the match.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]Aubameyang also had a few nail-biting moments where he couldn’t connect the volley perfectly into the desired directions. Such sparks only reminds us of the striker’s days at Borussia Dortmund.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]Unai Emery – A boon or a bane?[spacer height=”30px”]

It is hard for a manager to lose the first official game against a big club since taking charge.[spacer height=”30px”]

However, Emery let this match slip through his fingers on penalties but has proved his existence to be a crucial factor for his side’s performance. Due to the not-so-stringent laws of the ICC, the Spaniard has managed to bring out the spice of this fresh, energised and enthusiastic squad. Hopefully, the gaffer can bring out a blend of results this season by ensuring a berth in the Champions League and also producing gifted butterflies by nurturing their cocoons.[spacer height=”30px”]

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    Rakshit Naidu
    Cryptography, Network Security and Sports Blogging enthusiast. Battery Management Systems(BMS) researcher at MotoManipal. 2nd year B.Tech Computer Science and Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology. From Bangalore.

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