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Lacazette scores as Arsenal win Emirates Cup

Wenger insists players will be ready for Leicester in the Premier League opener against Leceister

30 July, 2017 — By Tom Foot

But disjointed performance raises concerns whether Gunners will bungle season opener again

Arsenal hoisted the Emirates Cup despite losing their second game against Sevilla.

The pre-season tournament dishes out points per goal – and the Gunners smashed five past Benfica yesterday (Saturday).

Arsenal finished level on points and goal difference with Sevilla but edged the Spaniards on goals scored.

The match was played at a low pace and there were few moments of brilliance, other than Steven N’Zonzi’s superb long range finish into the top corner on 68 mins.

All eyes had been on new signing Lacazette, but the burly forward showed little other than a couple of close range flicks and half decent hold up play.

Wenger said after the match his £53million signing had played an “intelligent” game and “protected the ball well, and got his goal” in an “encouraging performance”, adding: “He was one of the few that had a positive game”.

Wenger added that a dispute over Lacazette being given Lucas Perez’s number 9 squad number would be “sorted out internally”.

Lacazette tapped in to an open goal on 63 minutes after a strong burst and cross from Oxlade-Chamberlain in his new wing back role.

Joaquim Correra had scored a tidy opener on 49 minutes after some crisp passing by Sevilla that carved apart the Gunners’ three man defence of Mohamed Elneny, Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny.

Wenger said after the match that Elneny was unlikely to ever play in central defence again and that he had put him there just to give him a bit of game time.

Arsenal lost the first game of last season against Liverpool at home, but Wenger insisted this season his side would be ready for Leicester’s visit on Friday week.

He told reporters that it did not matter about lingering transfer disputes at the club, notably Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

He said: “One day he [Alexis] will go, Arsenal will go on. One day I will go, Arsenal will go on.”

A little cryptically, he added: “No one knows if Sanchez will not extend his contract here.”

At times it can feel like Wenger is toying with journalists who ask him the same questions repeatedly. Tonight, he told them that in the future they would see “more and more players going to the end of the contract” because “no one will want to pay the money [to break the contract]”. He added: “In ten years, you will see all this all the time”.

Arsenal play Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley at 2pm on Sunday, and Leicester in the league on the season the following Friday night.

ARSENAL: Cech, Koscielny, El Neny (Walcott 78), Bellerin (Brammal 82), Willock (Xhaka 67), Ramsey, Oxladed-Chamberlain, Ozil, Welbeck, Lacazette (Iwobi 74).

Subs not used: Martinez, Mertesacker, Holding, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Nelson, Giroud.

Attendance: 57,968

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