Arsenal stung by Bees as they step up preparations for Premier League return
Gunners gear up for Manchester City test by losing 3-2 against Championship side Brentford
10 June, 2020 — By Steve Barnett
Arsenal travel to Manchester City in the Premier League on June 17
THERE was a nasty sting in the tail as Arsenal continued their preparations for the Premier League restart this afternoon (Wednesday) at the Emirates Stadium.
Despite twice taking the lead against Championship side Brentford, the Gunners lost 3-2 against the Bees after conceding three goals in the final 20 minutes.
And while the friendly was more about building match fitness than getting a result, suffering a defeat ahead of a tough league reintroduction away at Manchester City next Wednesday (June 17) surely wasn’t part of manager boss Mikel Arteta’s plans.
Arsenal players wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts and took a knee ahead of the game against Brentford in support of protests triggered by the death of George Floyd in US police custody last month.
On the pitch, the Gunners started brightly as they displayed the kind of free-flowing football that saw them beat Charlton 6-0 on Saturday.
Bukayo Saka and Joe Willock both went close to opening the scoring before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then had a go at goal, cutting in from the left and stinging the palms of the Brentford goalkeeper.
The hosts finally broke the deadlock five minutes before the interval when Willock coolly slotted home from the edge of the box.
Nicolas Pepe almost doubled Arsenal’s advantage on the stroke of half-time, but his well-struck effort came back off the post.
Arteta made five changes at the interval, with David Luiz, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Matteo Guendouzi, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette all coming on.
Despite the reinforcements, however, it was Brentford who found the back of the net next courtesy of Tarique Fosu’s powerful rising strike that flew past Emiliano Martinez.
Lacazette quickly restored Arsenal’s lead, swivelling in the box before unleashing a low left-footed drive past goalkeeper Luke Daniels.
But it was the visitors who finished the stronger. Lacazette was robbed of possession in his own half before Halil Dervisoglu was sent through to fire a low strike inside the far post to make it 2-2.
The turnaround was complete in the final seconds of the match, Shandon Baptiste curling home a stunning winner that went in off the post.