Be afraid Manchester City, be very afraid.
A few days prior and the hopes of Arsenal supporters were cranked up a notch ahead of the return of the Premier League, as the Gunners cruised to a 6-0 win over Charlton in their first warm-up fixture.
Granted, it was only Charlton, but that excuse can’t be flipped on its head to describe their 3-2 loss to Brentford, another second tier outfit, who were fully deserving of their victory.
With a week to go until Mikel Arteta leads his side out against his former employers, organising two friendly matches to help freshen up the legs and improve match fitness was a welcome addition to Arsenal’s preparations.
A strong lineup took to the Emirates pitch to take on the Championship promotion chasers, with the likes of Kieran Tierney, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all starting against the Bees.
Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock and Aubameyang all come close to grabbing the first goal of the game, the latter of whom stung the palms of the Brentford goalkeeper, having let fly after cutting in from the wing.
Willock did break the deadlock five minutes before the break after cooly slotting home, and Pepe nearly doubled their advantage only to the be denied by the post.
45 minutes gone and, well, not too bad.
David Luiz, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Matteo Guendouzi, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette all entered the field in the second half, with three members of that group all having a say in the three goals they would later concede.
Firstly, Luiz attempted some elaborate trickery around the halfway line, getting robbed of possession in a move that led to Tarique Fosu slamming home to level matters. Arsenal did respond almost immediately, this time Lacazette provided the finishing touch after a neat turn in the Bees’ box.
Their lead lasted a matter of minutes, however, as Lacazette turned provider in the wrong way.
Losing possession on the edge of his box allowed Halil Dervisoglu to gracefully breeze past Rob Holding – who at this moment is still turning, yes he moved that slowly – and fire home.
Brentford were not to be denied the win, though, as it was Maitland-Niles’ turn to lose the ball in a dangerous position. Shandon Baptiste nevertheless still had plenty to do, but he did so with aplomb by curling a fine effort beyond Leno and in off the post to complete the turnaround their performance was worthy of.
It goes without saying that Arteta will demand an improvement on Wednesday’s showing, but the scale of said improvement may be insurmountable at the home of the Premier League champions given today’s showing.
Aaaand here’s how the fans took it (granted, not all Arsenal fans).
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