Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the USA concluded with a thrilling match against Barcelona last night.

Arsenal triumphed by a 5-3 scoreline over Barcelona in a fiercely contested game. Goals for Kai Havertz, Fabio Vieira, Bukayo Saka, and a Leandro Trossard brace, were enough to give the Gunners victory at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

Mikel Arteta will have been pleased to see the goals flowing for his side, but there are clearly issues to address at the back before the new season kicks off in earnest.

As Arsenal Insider did for Arsenal’s previous two friendly matches, first against MLS All-Stars, and then domestic rivals Manchester United, we have collated three of the most noteworthy aspects of this match.

Why Pele Is Overrated.

Arsenal v FC Barcelona - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Trossard shows his worth

Gabriel Martinelli’s brilliance last season, and Emile Smith Rowe’s resurgent summer, mean that Torssard’s place in the pecking order is far from certain. Despite providing 10 Premier League assists for the Gunners since his arrival in January, the 28-year-old still needs to fight for minutes at the Emirates Stadium.

He showed his finishing ability against Barcelona. If he can carry that clinical form into the new season, it will be hard for the Spanish coach to leave him out. This kind of intense competition for places is exactly what Arsenal need to maintain their positive momentum.

Kieran Tierney unleashed

Kieran Tierney will have been frustrated to find himself playing second fiddle to Oleksandr Zinchenko so often last season, and has been heavily linked with an exit this summer. However, the recent arrival of Jurrien Timber may breathe new life into his career in north London.

With Timber able to replicate Zinchenko’s tactical function on the right flank, by inverting to a midfield role, Arteta may opt to reinstate Tierney at left-back. With Timber taking up a position in the middle of the park, the £25 million Scot would be free to do what he does best: maraud up the wing and support attacks.

Tierney showed how effective he can be when given the freedom to play his natural game against Barcelona, and produced a fine assist for Trossard.

Arsenal v FC Barcelona - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal up for the fight

Despite being nominally a friendly, this game had plenty of bite. In a fired-up atmosphere, tackles went flying in from both sides. Arteta wasn’t entirely impressed by this fiery aspect of his team’s display, saying, “I think it got a bit too much for a friendly…we’re playing in front of 70,000 people and as soon as the game starts they’ll rebel against the coaches as soon as the game starts and they’ll do what they want. As soon as there’s the first foul of the game they’ll start getting intense,” as quoted by Football.London.

However, he ought to take heart from his players’ will to win. After such a fine campaign last time out, Arsenal will be targeted this season. They can expect plenty of rough physical contests. The way they fought fire with fire against the Spanish giants suggests they’re up to the task of dealing with this and won’t be easily cowed.

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