Match Review: The Unai Emery Era Kicks Off With A Big Win

Unai Emery kicked off his career at Arsenal with an 8-0 win over Borehamwood in their first pre-season fixture of the summer. Goals from Reiss Nelson, Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and a hat-trick from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ensured a deserved victory for the Gunners. Meanwhile, summer signings Matteo Guendouzi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos made their debuts for the club.

The away side enjoyed a quick start to the game with multiple chances at goal. Prolific forward Aubameyang scored the first goal under Emery’s leadership with a fantastic shot outside of the box.

Minutes later, the Gabonese forward scored his second of the game thanks to the fantastic work from Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The young midfielder kept his composure by working the ball into the box and produced a great chipped pass to the eventual goalscorer.

The 29-year-old completed his hat-trick from the spot after Reiss Nelson was brought down in the box.

For around the next twenty minutes, the Gunners intensity in the game slowly dropped with the hosts having a few decent chances at goal.

Emile Smith-Rowe was fantastic across the half. Despite being his first game with the first-team, the Englishman looked very calm on the ball and made quite a few good passes. Also, the midfielder was constantly running into different positions on the pitch. It’s a shame the 17-year-old didn’t get on the scoresheet but he should play an important role in the upcoming pre-season games.

Nelson and Lacazette got their names on the scoresheet with the first-half ending 5-0.

A brand new team was introduced in the second-half with all 11 players from the first being replaced. The biggest talking point about the changes was the introduction of Calum Chambers as a defensive midfielder rather than the central defence role he has typically played in.

With the game already put to bed, the team in the second half looked static in comparison to the performance in the first-half. With the match unavailable for approximately the first 15 minutes, Eddie Nketiah scored Arsenal’s sixth of the game.

Jeff Reine-Adelaide scored Arsenal’s seventh with a great strike that hit the bottom left of the goal. Considering the difficulties the Frenchman has had over the last few years, it was great to see him perform well today. Recent signing Matteo Guendozui was brought on to replace the goalscorer and performed well in his cameo appearance.

Arsenal’s last goal of the game came thanks to Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Sead Kolasinac did well to place the pass, Eddie Nketiah deflected the ball with a backheel and the Armenian did well in front of goal. In the end, you couldn’t have asked for a better performance from the players.

First half player ratings:

P. Cech 6; H. Bellerin 6, Sokratis 5, K. Mavropanos 7, J. Osei-Tutu 6.5; J. Willock 5, A. Maitland-Niles 8; R. Nelson 7, E. Smith-Rowe 8, P-E. Aubameyang 10; A. Lacazette 7

Second half player ratings:

E. Martinez 6; C. Jenkinson 6, S. Mustafi 6, R. Holding 6, S. Kolasinac 7; C. Chambers 7, A. Ramsey 6, J. Reine-Adelaide 7.5; H. Mkhitaryan 7, Lucas 6, E. Nketiah 8

M. Guendouzi 7

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