Arsenal beat Brentford 4-0 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at London Colney on Thursday as players looked to get some crucial minutes against Premier League opposition.
The Gunners, who are without a goal in their opening three league matches of the season, were not shy in attacking areas against the Bees in north London.
Gabriel Magalhaes, who is still recovering from an injury issue he suffered on international duty with Brazil at the Olympics this summer, opened the scoring for Arsenal on 46 minutes.
Alexandre Lacazette then doubled the hosts’ advantage before a brace from an unlikely source – Cedric Soares – wrapped up the scoring for the Gunners.
Aaron Ramsdale started in between the posts for Arsenal and had a quiet day in goal.
Gabriel and Ben White both started for Arsenal in a three-man central defence, alongside Pablo Mari. Both defenders, who have been missing for the majority of the campaign so far, look like they came through unscathed.
The two-goal hero Cedric was playing at left wing-back, with Calum Chambers on the other side of the pitch. Meanwhile, Ainsley Maitland-Niles started in central midfield with Mohamed Elneny.
Maitland-Niles, who recently took to social media to share his desire to leave Arsenal – or at least get minutes – before holding clear the air talks with Mikel Arteta, has often spoke about his desire to play in the centre of midfield and he got his wish today.
This could indeed be a hint about where Arteta will play the 24-year-old for the remainder of the season, instead of being used at right-back or right wing-back.
Elneny, though, despite starting alongside Maitland-Niles was replaced on 33 minutes by youngster Charlie Patino. Arsenal do not say the reason why the Egypt international was taken off so early on, but it could be down to an injury worry.
Then, the front line was made up of Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Lacazette, with the latter netting the second goal for Arsenal against Brentford.
For Martinelli and Pepe, it was some more valuable minutes as they look to get themselves in the best possible condition for when Norwich come to north London on September 11.
Nearly all of the players who are not on international duty with their countries were involved at London Colney as they looked to impress their manager in the comfortable victory against the Bees.
Here is the full line-up Arteta went with for the behind-closed-doors friendly: Ramsdale, Chambers, White (Hutchinson 76), Mari, Gabriel (Holding 69), Cedric: Maitland-Niles, Elneny (Patino 33); Martinelli, Lacazette, Pepe.
Source by Football London