Arsenal began their International Champions Cup journey with a 2-1 win against Bayern Munich in California on Wednesday night, which came just two days after beating Colorado Rapids 3-0.
The Gunners opened the scoring in the 49th minute courtesy of an own goal by 18-year old Bayern left-back Louis Poznanski, who deflected a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shot into his own net.
Bayern’s star striker Robert Lewandowski headed his team on level terms after cashing in on a brilliant cross from Serge Gnabry, but a late goal from 20-year-old Eddie Nketiah won the match for Arsenal.
CaughtOffside’s Neelabhra Roy was watching the action and has picked out his standout performers – both good and bad.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (8/10)
Unai Emery fielded the Gabon international as a right-winger which is not his preferred position. Despite this, Aubameyang threatened the Bayern backline with his runs and was a constant attacking threat. The own goal from Poznanski that gave Arsenal the lead came from Aubameyang’s shot. Given his performance as a right winger today, one could only wonder how lethal Aubameyang would’ve been had he been played up front.
Eddie Nketiah (8/10)
Despite not coming onto the field until the 81st minute, Nketiah had a massive impact on the match. The 20-year-old replaced Alexandre Lacazette and started threatening the Bayern defence immediately.
Nketiah seemed hungry for a goal and eventually found the net in the 87th minute after cashing in on a pass from Tyreece John-Jules. Provided Nketiah produces more performances like this one during pre-season, there is every chance of him making more appearances in the 2019/20 season than he made last year (9).
Honorable Mention: Joe Willock
Shkodran Mustafi (2.5/10)
The German international was booed when he came on wearing the captain’s armband in the match against Colorado Rapids, as noted by the Sun. Mustafi’s performance against Bayern today sums up why Arsenal fans showed that much disdain towards him.
The 27-year old looked vulnerable for the Gunners at the back again and made a poor attempt to deny Lewandowski his goal as he almost watched the ball sail over him to allow the Bayern ace to head in past Emiliano Martinez. Provided Mustafi carries on like this, it’s difficult to see how he’ll manage to stay in Emery’s starting line-up.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (3.5/10)
He played a role in Arsenal’s opening goal but Mkhitaryan’s outing against Bayern was still downright disappointing.
Barring his role in Arsenal’s opener, Mkhitaryan did not have any attacking contribution throughout the game. His passing was disappointing and so was his crossing. Mkhitaryan will have to significantly improve if he is to keep his place under Emery in the upcoming season.
Full Arsenal player ratings
Leno 6, Sokratis 6.5, Mustafi 2.5, Monreal 5, Maitland-Niles 6, Xhaka 6.5, Willock 8, Mkhitaryan 3.5, Ozil 7.5, Aubameyang 8, Lacazette 6.5
Martinez 6.5, Kolasinac 5, Burton 6, Nelson 5.5, Nketiah 8, John-Jules 7, Saka 6.5, Chambers 6