Arsenal ended their pre-season tour of the United States in style by picking up an impressive 4-0 win over Chelsea to get our hands on the Florida Cup.
Mikel Arteta named a really strong lineup at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando tonight, and the players he picked did not disappoint.
Goals from Gabriel Jesus, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Albert Sambi Lokonga gave the Gunners a 4-0 win, and we’re beyond delighted.
Five things we learned as Arsenal beat Chelsea 4-0
Gabriel Jesus is different class
We all knew Arsenal were signing a fantastic player when Jesus came in, but he might be even better than we thought.
Like he has done all pre-season, Jesus looked incredibly sharp tonight as well. He was fantastic on the ball, linked play up really well and ended up doing what we bought him to do – find the back of the net.
Granit Xhaka found Jesus with a good ball in the 16th minute of the game, and the Brazilian chipped Edouard Mendy to score a truly magnificent goal. He really is a level above the strikers we’ve had in recent years.
Unsurprisingly, Jesus was named as the Man of the Match.
William Saliba makes his mark
William Saliba started alongside Gabriel Magalhaes at the back, and the young Frenchman didn’t put a foot wrong.
The 21-year-old joined us in 2019, but he’s still yet to play a competitive game for us. Rumours of a rift between Saliba and Arteta have been a constant over the last two years, but we can put that to bed now.
Saliba was flawless tonight, and he has now shown everyone that he’s good enough to play at the top level.
Saka was offside, but who cares?
Saka scored our third goal of the game in the second half, but replays showed that the Englishman was offside. Does it really matter though?
The Arsenal number 7 started the move brilliantly. He made an experienced campaigner like Marcos Alonso look silly with a tremendous turn, and his run towards the box showed that he’s close to his peak fitness.
Chelsea fans will moan about the offside, but the game was done by that point.
Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko started the game in the two full-back positions, and they were replaced by Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares in the second half. All four players impressed, and we should be really happy with their display.
However, our two first-choice full-backs – Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney – are still missing.
Both players had a lot of problems with injuries last season, and it really is worrying that they’re still struggling. The new Premier League season is less than two weeks away, and early signs suggest that they may not make it. That would be a real shame.
Arteta knows his strongest XI now
Arsenal have 33 first-team players in the squad at the moment, and apart from the ones who’ve already decided they’re going to leave, everyone will want to fight for a starting spot.
It won’t be easy for Arteta to pick his XI every week, but for now, the Arsenal boss should already know his strongest XI.
A back five of Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel and Tierney, with Xhaka and Partey in the middle of the park are almost guaranteed to start when they’re fit. Martinelli, Saka and Jesus will be our front three, with Odegaard pulling the strings from that number 10 role.
That’s Arteta’s best XI at the moment, and we can’t wait to see them all in action when the new season kicks off.