Arsenal closed out their pre-season by lifting the Emirates Cup following a resounding 6-0 victory over Sevilla.
Mikel Arteta’s side were 4-0 inside 20 minutes following doubles from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus, before the Brazilian finally completed his hat-trick late in the second half and Eddie Nketiah tapped home in the dying embers to cap off an excellent win.
Arsenal were the stronger side from the get-go and had the chance to take the lead after just 11 minutes when Saka was inexplicably floored by Karim Rekik in the box, and the young winger picked himself up to convert from 12 yards.
Two minutes later, Arsenal were celebrating again as Jesus bundled home his first goal at the Emirates for his new side, finishing off a move that he started in the first place.
Before fans had even caught their breath, it was 3-0. A whipped cross from Gabriel Martinelli found Jesus at the back post, and the Brazilian had to lunge to direct the ball into the top corner.
The fourth came after 19 minutes. Sevilla stopper Bono played a woeful pass out from the back that landed right at the feet of Saka ten yards out, and he then let the winger’s tame shot through his legs to cap it all off. A rough few seconds.
Wisely, Sevilla swapped to a five-man defence after that. The Spaniards did a solid job of slowing things down, although Arsenal’s aggressive press kept them comfortably on the front foot for the remainder of the first half, which looked more like a training ground session than an actual match.
It was a little more even after the break and Erik Lamela came perilously close to heading home from a corner
Martin Odegaard then skied over from the edge of the box as Arsenal tried to pick the pace back up after the hour mark.
Granit Xhaka then sent a looping volley agonisingly over the bar following an excellent pass from Thomas Partey.
The fifth goal did eventually come through Jesus, who pounced on a rebound after Gabriel Magalhaes’ header was pushed back by Bono to thump the ball back into the top corner.
Finishing off the fun was Nketiah, who tapped into an open goal after Martinelli beat the offside trap and unselfishly squared the ball for the substitute to tap home.
GK: Aaron Ramsdale – 6/10 – Not a complete bystander but will have had busier training sessions.
RB: Ben White – 9/10 – Spent his time as a centre-back, midfielder and even a winger when Arsenal went forward, using his elite vision and passing to keep Arsenal on the front foot. Really impressive. Feels like a masterstroke from Arteta.
CB: William Saliba – 7/10 – Perhaps deserves higher but Sevilla didn’t really test him. That being said, everything he did was of real class.
CB: Gabriel – 6/10 – To call him the weak link would be harsh, but Gabriel was noticeably less composed than those around him.
LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7/10 – Really dangerous going forward and seems to have a great understanding with Martinelli & Xhaka. A little flimsy defensively, however, and his unconvincing positioning left Gabriel exposed on occasion.
DM: Thomas Partey – 7/10 – A composed performance. Pulled the strings from deep.
DM: Granit Xhaka – 7/10 – Played nearly every position. Showed intelligence to fill in wherever there was a gap in Arsenal’s team.
RM: Bukayo Saka – 9/10 – Was an absolute nightmare to play against early on and could have easily had four or five goals. Space was harder to come by after Sevilla’s tactical shift but he still remained on top.
AM: Martin Odegaard – 8/10 – The new captain played a subtle role in unlocking the three forwards around him. Pressed well and always seemed to be involved.
LM: Gabriel Martinelli – 9/10 – A real menace in the opening stages. Combined perfectly with those around him and his commitment to the high press was superb.
ST: Gabriel Jesus – 9/10 – Pressed so aggressively and suffocated Sevilla with his energy. Great all-round play and some perfect poacher work to grab his goals.
SUB: Eddie Nketiah (79′ for Jesus) – 6/10
SUB: Mohamed Elneny (79 for Partey) – 6/10
SUB: Nicolas Pepe (79′ for Saka) – 6/10
SUB: Cedric (79′ for Zinchenko) – 6/10
SUB: Reiss Nelson (90′ for Martinelli) – N/A
SUB: Albert Sambi Lokonga (90′ for Xhaka) – N/A