Perfect tryout for Arsenal in fighting win over Al Nasr

Perfect tryout for Arsenal in fighting win over Al Nasr
Jr. Dutra of Al Nasr (centre) and Zech Medley of Arsenal vie for the ball during their friendly match played at Al Maktoum stadium on Monday. ­- Photo by Shihab

Dubai - It was another promising young gunner with significant first team experience.

By Abhishek Sengupta

Published: Mon 25 Mar 2019, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 27 Mar 2019, 12:11 AM

It was meant to be a match for Arsenal manager Unai Emery to test his bench strength in warm conditions and it turned out to be a perfect tryout after his young Gunners handed him a fighting 3-2 win over Al Nasr at the official inauguration of the Al Maktoum stadium here.
Tyreece John-Jules, who turned 18 earlier this February, brought up Arsenal’s third in the 72nd minute in a fashion even his idol Thierry Henry would be proud of. He won the ball before dummying stylishly to trick Ibrahim Essa in the goal and then rolling the ball into the far corner.
Earlier, it was another promising young gunner with significant first team experience, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who triggered the second goal that had Arsenal written all over. If there’s a reason why millions around the world swear by Arsenal Football Club, it is the way they play football and it took them over 50 minutes to produce that flash of magic and that characteristic Arsenal goal.
In a rasping run, the England U-21cut through to the middle from the right for a stylish Ozil touch and a neat left-footed finish by Lacazette high into the net as the score read 2-1 after 52 minutes.
It could have been a reprisal of the 1976 Al Nasr-Arsenal match that saw Malcolm Macdonald, John Matthews and John Radford on target for a 3-1 win but a penalty in the last minute changed all that.
Khalid Jallal calmly slotted home from the spot in the 90th minute beating substitute goalkeeper Petr Cech to cap off a brilliant effort by the home team who also opened the scoring thanks to a 14th minute right-footed curler into the top corner by Chilean Ronnie Fernandez.
Egged on by a crowd of just under 15,000 that had more gunners in their ranks than their own supporters, the UAE Pro-League team produced some fine football of their own to press Arsenal in the first half that ended 1-all.
It could have all been very different though if former Man City striker Alvaro Negredo hadn’t missed a close range header at the stroke of half-time, just three minutes after Carl Jenkinson carved out a workmanlike goal on a rebound to bring Arsenal back on level terms. Denis Suarez bisected the defence to find Jenkinson, whose shot hit the bar but to his luck fell back for him to fire a left-footer in.

More news from Sports