Arsenal’s encouraging pre-season continued with a 3-1 victory over MLS side Orlando City on Wednesday night.
Head coach Mikel Arteta initially fielded a mostly second-string lineup in Florida but his side still took very little time to establish a lead.
Inside five minutes, Gabriel Martinelli combined with Albert Sambi-Lokonga on the left flank before seeing his curling effort take a huge deflection off a defender and fly into the gaping net with the goalkeeper already committed.
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Orlando spurned a huge opportunity to level midway through the half when Benji Michel found himself clean through on goal. The winger seemed to lose his footing as he went to shoot and Aaron Ramsdale was able to save his low effort.
Five minutes later the hosts were level, as Facundo Torres held off Nuno Tavares in the right channel before cutting inside and fizzing a fine drive into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Arteta rang the changes at half-time, introducing the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Martine Odegaard, while goalscorer Martinelli was withdrawn.
Jesus immediately set about trying to make an impact, first testing the goalkeeper from just outside the area before forcing another save at the end of a mazy dribble within five minutes of his introduction.
Arsenal continued to pepper the Orlando goal, with both Sambi-Lokonga and Eddie Nketiah thumping long-range strikes at the goalkeeper.
Nketiah didn’t have to wait long for a goal, pouncing on a loose ball in the box after more good work from Jesus and planting a low finish beyond the goalkeeper to restore the Gunners’ lead.
Jesus had another opening of his own after being slipped through by Odegaard, but he could only hit the goalkeeper once again having been forced wide.
Arsenal wrapped up the victory with ten minutes remaining. Bukayo Saka received the ball in the box and looped a pass into Reiss Nelson’s pass, and the winger volleyed a bouncing finish into the corner for 3-1.
The result makes it three wins in three for the north Londoners in pre-season so far, following comfortable successes over Nurnberg and Everton.