Going into the game, expectations were high with the prospect of a debut for Lucas Torreira and a return for the Albanian Eagle. Impressions after the match were dominated by the impact second half substitute Matteo Guendouzi had on the look of the Arsenal team.
The match began as if it was a training scenario, Arsenal having virtually 100% possession and Lazio making thousands of small shuttle runs denying space and chances.
Laca was on target from a fine volley; the dinked pass from Lichtsteiner a real treat and in complete contrast to his ebullient roughhousing. I really enjoyed watching an old school defender employing the full range of tricks of his craft. Stephan Lichtsteiner won’t be bullied this season, that’s for sure. It would have been very interesting to see how he would have coped with Hudson Odoi the other night. I’d imagine the chav may have found himself flying into the first couple of rows of seats at some point!
Reiss Nelson was sharp to follow up Alex Iwobi’s effort off the post giving the boys in the “peacoat navy” (seriously ) shirts a deserved lead. Lazio finally woke up, finished the half stronger and were, perhaps, a little unlucky not to equalise with both a chip on to the bar and a clear header.
Auba scored after fine work from Elneny and Lacazette on the edge of the Lazio area. The intensity of the game dropped after numerous substitutions and Lazio clearly lacked the sharpness a tougher preseason might have given them.
The final 20 minutes was my favourite part of the game with all the big hitters, Mesut, Micki, Auba, ESR and Matteo on the pitch at the same time. Arsenal became a purring Rolls Royce coasting to victory. Whether the Premier League will allow us the luxury of seeing so much skill and pure talent on the pitch at the same time is another matter entirely.
Guendouzi was majestic, playing with the unabashed confidence of youth. Mesut loved his cameo and the highlight came from Micki with a sublime turn and nutmeg.
Calum Chambers played particularly well in the first half. He really seems to be maturing into a fine defender and his passing from the back adds a level of calm we didn’t see against the chavs on Wednesday.
Lucas Torreira’s debut was pretty quiet. His rapid shifting of the ball forwards was very pleasing to watch. More to come from the Uruguayan undoubtedly.
All in all a very decent, if not spectacular, run out, though which players will make the cut against City next week is anyone’s guess!