Gunners firing ahead of season opener
- Credit: PA
The wait for Premier League football is almost over, with Arsenal set to kick off the new season against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Friday night (8pm).
The Gunners enjoyed a successful weekend ahead of the new season, with Arsenal’s Leah Williamson captaining England’s Lionesses to a historic 2-1 extra-time victory over Germany to win the Women's Euros at Wembley on Sunday, after Mikel Arteta’s side had thumped Sevilla 6-0 in the Emirates Cup on Saturday.
Williamson featured alongside player of the tournament and golden boot winner Beth Mead in the starting line-up, with Nikita Parris coming off the bench late in extra time. Lotte Wubben-Moy was the fourth Arsenal player in the squad, but remained an unused substitute for Sarina Wiegman’s Euro’s winning side.
It was a fantastic victory for English football, and Arsenal Women’s coach Jonas Eidevall was ecstatic on Sunday’s broadcast, as he awaits the quartet of champions to rejoin his squad ahead of Arsenal’s WSL opener against Manchester City on September 11.
Meanwhile, Arteta’s men looked raring to go in their final pre-season friendly against Sevilla, picking the Spanish side apart and scoring four goals in the opening 20 minutes.
From back to front Arsenal looked sharp, with some early composed defending from William Saliba and Ben White, before the attack sprung to life, spearheaded by Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka.
Summer signing Jesus netted a hat-trick on the day with Saka scoring a brace and Eddie Nketiah adding a tap-in late on to secure a sizeable victory.
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Arsenal seem to have gotten their preparation for the season spot on, perfecting new tactics on and off the ball, integrating new signings, and cultivating a jovial attitude around the camp as they look to push for a place in the top four this season.
Last season, Arsenal were slow out of the gates with signings not finalised, a dysfunctional leadership group and an unfortunate Covid outbreak on opening day resulting in an embarrassing loss to top-flight new boys Brentford to kick off the season.
Palace will present a similarly hostile challenge, but this time Arsenal have the tools to start off with a win.