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Iwobi Shines In Arsenal Pre-Season Draw

23/07/2016

/ by Editor
Super Eagles youngster, Alex Iwobi put up a good show for Arsenal in their 1-1 draw with French Ligue 2 side RC Lens on Friday.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain enjoyed the perfect return to action as he arrived in the nick of time to mark his first appearance in five months with a sublime goal. It was the Gunners’ first visit to Lens since 1998, when Arsène Wenger’s men also recorded a 1-1 draw – in the club’s first ever Champions League game. The Stade Bollaert-Delelis has been fully renovated since then, and was used as one of the Euro 2016 venues.

It has been a long road back for the England international, who was robbed of a place at Euro 2016 when he suffered a setback in May, but he went some way to banishing his frustrations with a 45-minute cameo in a 1-1 draw with Lens that will have thrilled Arsene Wenger. Oxlade-Chamberlain had not kicked a ball in public since he collided with Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano during a Champions League last-16 game in February but there was no sign of rustiness as he produced a glorious chip to cancel out Mathias Autret’s first half strike.

The closest they came to a goal before half-time was through Alex Iwobi, a player of whom much will be heard over the next 12 months, yet his terrific right-foot strike curled just wide; Walcott had a couple of surges down the right but couldn’t find the final ball.

Wenger made six changes at half-time, moving Theo Walcott up front, with Gnabry and Oxlade-Chamberlain out wide. Iwobi dropped into midfield and released Campbell with a lovely throughball, but the Costa Rican had strayed just offside. Just after the hour mark substitute goalkeeper Matt Macey had to be alert to acrobatically turn Benjamin Bourigeaud’s long range effort over the bar. But Arsenal were starting to dominate possession.

Walcott had the ball in the net but was flagged offside when he was put through by Campbell, then had a low shot turned wide before he was replaced by Willock.

Arsenal had been made to work hard all evening by the hosts, but when the goal arrived it was worth the wait. Gnabry wriggled free of his man to slide the ball through to Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right wing.

The England man was cool and collected in front of goal, lifting the ball over Nicolas Douchez. The players depart for the States on Monday looking to step up their preparations for the new campaign.
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