Football is back at the Emirates!
Emirates Stadium hosted it’s annual Summer tournament the Emirates Cup again after an absence last season due to the Olympics. Porto played Galatasaray in an earlier kick off game before Arsenal faced Rafa Bentiez’s Napoli side. Galatasaray won the game 1-0 with a penalty scored by former Arsenal target Felipe Melo. The win led Galatasary to a first place position in the Cup, with a total of four points (one goal is worth one point, two goals are worth two points and so on).
Napoli have big things expected of them this season, after an impressive second place finish in the Seria A last season. Napoli have signed some class players including Higuain, Reina, and Callejon with two of those players coming from Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid. Arsenal would have been expecting to show off a new signing today, but since the club hasn’t done anything in the transfer market, we didn’t get a chance to be excited. New boy Sanogo is in line to play tomorrow, though.
Arsenal started the first half rather poorly, with Napoli scoring after just six minutes. It was off a counter attack, and Jenkinson was left red faced when his poor header fell straight into the path of Inisgne. Insigne took his chance with aplomb leaving Fabianski with no chance. It was poor play by Jenkinson and it leaves you to wonder whether he is ready to be a first team started or if he is going to be able to fill in as right back and do a good job this season. Serge Gnabry came close to scoring a great goal after Pepe Reina’s poor clearance fell straight to the young German. He chipped the ball over Reina but unfortunately it landed on top of the net. Shortly after, Arsenal were awarded a very soft penalty I have to say. There really wasn’t any foul committed on Gibbs but nonetheless Kevin Friend pointed to the spot. Up steps Lukas Podolski to hit a poor penalty to Reina’s left. Napoli’s second goal was a bit of a defensive shamble as Pandev rounded Fabianksi who very awkwardly decided to come out of his goal to try and stop him. Pandev kept his composure and finished well with several players on the line. Was this to be a thrashing?
The second half started with the introduction of Gonzalo Higuain, who didn’t look impressive at all. The second half started out very slowly and it seemed unlikely for Napoli to score again. Arsenal, on the other hand, did look a bit more fit, although they weren’t creating the chances they would like to. Giroud came close on a couple of occasions as he was the Gunners biggest threat. Podolski and Walcott both failed to impress in the second half as they played rather lethargically. A breakthrough did eventually come when Walcott’s corner came into the direction of Giroud who attempted an audacious acrobatic kick which found it’s way into the net. It may have been going wide before it took a slight hit off of Sagna to find the back of the net. I’m not sure who they are going to give the credit as their isn’t any dubious goals panel in the Emirates Cup. Arsenal pushed for an equalizer and got it when Mertesacker’s terrific header was parried by Reina into an air of Blue and Red shirts. Koscielny wanted it most and the MOTM headed it home. Arsenal still looked for a winner although there was hardly any time. The match ended 2-2 with both teams level on points with 3 each.