Arsenal 2-0 Lazio: Unai Emery's side end pre-season with comfortable victory
Gunners hand Lucas Torreira and Stephan Lichtsteiner debuts
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 05/08/18 12:09am
Arsenal wrapped up their preparations for the new season with a 2-0 victory over Serie A side Lazio at the Friends Arena in Stockholm.
The Gunners, who handed debuts to summer signings Lucas Torreira and Stephan Lichtsteiner, took the lead through Reiss Nelson (18) before substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's deflected effort secured victory.
The win sees Unai Emery's side finish pre-season without a defeat in normal time as they now switch their attentions to their Premier League opener, live on Sky Sports Premier League, against champions Manchester City.
Arsenal: Leno (7), Lichtsteiner (7), Chambers (6), Holding (5), Maitland-Niles (7), Nelson (7), Xhaka (6), Torreira (6), Iwobi (8), Lacazette (7), Nketiah (6).
Subs: Aubameyang (7), Guendouzi (6), Ozil (6), Bellerin (6), Elneny (6), Mkhitaryan (6), Sokratis (n/a), Mavropanos (n/a), Smith-Rowe (n/a).
Lazio: Proto (7), Wallace (6), Acerbi (6), Radu (6), Basta (7), Parolo (7), Leiva (6), Murgia (6), Lulic (6), Luis Alberto (5), Caicedo (5).
Subs: Luiz Felipe (6), Patric (6), Bastos (6), Correa (6), Badelj (6), Caceres (6), Milinkovic-Savic (6), Cataldi (6), Durmisi (6), Neto (6).
Man of the match: Alex Iwobi
There was plenty of excitement surrounding Torreira's debut but it was his fellow debutant Lichtsteiner, who almost created the opening goal for Alexandre Lacazette, but the Frenchman's first-time volley was kept out Silvio Proto at his near post.
At the other end, the Gunners were almost undone when Felipe Caicedo's shot flashed wide of the near post but minutes later they were in front as Nelson continued his excellent pre-season form. Alex Iwobi's shot rebounded off the foot of the post straight to the 18-year-old, who tapped into an empty net from close range.
Lazio had two golden opportunities to level before the break through Luis Alberto. The striker's lob rebounded off the crossbar after beating Bernd Leno and minutes later he directed a free header wide of the far post.
Arsenal made changes at the break as Aubameyang and Matteo Guendouzi replaced Nelson and Eddie Nketia before Torreira, Lichtsteiner, Granit Xhaka and Alex Iwobi made way for Hector Bellerin, Mohamed Elneny, Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Aubameyang made his impact in the 64th minute after being teed up by Lacazette, finding the bottom corner via a deflection to double his side's lead.
The game lost its rhythm as both sides continued to make substitutions but Arsenal had a couple of late opportunities, Proto keeping out Aubameyang's long-range drive out before blocking Mkhitaryan's effort on the rebound.
Man of the Match - Alex Iwobi
It was an excellent 62 minutes from the 22-year-old. Fresh from signing a new long-term contract earlier in the week, Iwobi put in an impressive performance on the left-hand side.
The Nigeria international combined well with Ainsley Maitland-Niles, playing one inch-perfect pass to release the full-back on the overlap.
He also carried the ball brilliantly, helping Arsenal transition the ball from midfield to attack quickly and he played a key role in his side's first goal, his shot striking the foot of the post which allowed Nelson to tap in from close range.
However, his end product still needs improving. He had one glorious chance right at the end of the first half but his toe-poked effort was a poor one.
Arsenal get their Premier League campaign underway live on Sky Sports Premier League next Sunday. Up first for Emery, a Super Sunday clash against the champions Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium (4pm).
For Lazio, they face friendly matches against Hannover (Friday) and Borussia Dortmund (Sunday) before getting their Serie A campaign underway at home to Napoli (Saturday, August 18, 7.30pm).