Nurnberg 1-1 Arsenal: Bukayo Saka’s poisonous effort called off by goalkeeper error as the German second division side pushed the Gunners to a disappointing draw…with William Saliba and Kai Havertz both playing
- Arsenal held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at FC Nurnberg on Thursday night.
- Bukayo Saka put the Gunners ahead in their first pre-season friendly
- But a goal error cost the Gunners, who were careless in possession
Arsenal pulled off a disappointing 1-1 draw against German second division side FC Nurnberg in the first game of their pre-season campaign.
The Gunners returned to action in perhaps not the start Mikel Arteta would have wanted after the rocky end to last year’s Premier League campaign. Despite being the much stronger team throughout the game, the London side were not careful with possession and notably gave away the ball for Nuremberg’s equaliser.
In any case, Arsenal fans will be relieved to see the return of William Saliba, his first appearance since suffering a back injury that has sidelined him since March.
Similarly, new signing Kai Havertz made his first redshirt appearance in the second half for Reiss Nelson, and although he failed to get on the scoreboard, he looked comfortable in Arsenal’s system.
Bukayo Saka picked up where he left off last season, scoring a signature goal reminiscent of his strike against Manchester United during the Gunners’ dramatic 3-2 win last season.
Picking up the ball on the edge of the box, the striker spun on his left foot before unleashing a venomous but accurate shot into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Worryingly for the Arsenal bench, Saka took a nasty knockdown during the first half and appeared to be somewhat uncomfortable, landing on his lower back. He was fine to continue, but it certainly looked painful for the winger, who was seen on the ground clutching his lower back.
Saliba, for his part, managed 46 minutes and looked very settled on his return helping the Gunners build well from behind.
Ben White was another to impress in the first half, flowing up and down the right wing to keep Nurnberg on their toes. He played in some smart crosses, but the Bundesliga 2 side handled them well.
Leandro Trossard and Reiss Nelson also exchanged very well up top, and both caused problems for the opposing defense.
At half time, both teams made several changes, with Aaron Ramsdale coming off for Karl Hein for the Gunners.
After a slow start to the second half, Gabriel Jesus had the first chance for the gunners, dodging the Nurnberg defenders in acres of space to go toe-to-toe with the goalkeeper, but sent his shot wide of the goal.
Arsenal pressed for the second and looked to upset the home team by hitting the post, but
But under bizarre circumstances, he allowed Nurnberg to equalise, with Hein picking the ball up outside his penalty area, but instead of clearing long, he passed the ball straight to Kanji Okunuki, who rolled the ball past the Gunners keeper to level. his side.
The goal certainly gave the German team more confidence, coming back with Mats Daehli firing a forceful shot from over 30 yards, but Hein couldn’t contain it with the ball bouncing off the keeper’s forearm. The Nurnberg attackers pounced on the loose ball, with the rebound crashing off the crossbar, with Arsenal narrowly surviving.
The Gunners lost possession towards the end of the game, giving the ball back to the German team, which allowed them to attack down the right flank and play a cross that was sent in for a corner.
And they would return soon after, with the German second division pressing the Gunners, storming into the penalty area before Jens Castrop hit his ball over the crossbar.
Folarin Balogan could have made it 2-1 in the dying embers of the match, breaking through the Nurnberg defence, before rounding the keeper, doing the hard work before missing a clear chance, hitting his shot into the side of the net.
ARSENAL: (4-3-3) Ramsdale (G); White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior; Odegaard, Partey, Saka; Nelson, Nketiah, Trossard.
Unused Subs: Hein (G); Balogun; Havertz; Jesus; Jorginho; Lewis-Skelly; nwaneri; Soares; tierney; Faithful; scallop.
Coach: mikel arteta
FC Nuremberg: (4-4-2) Matenia (G); Valentini, Lawrence, Marquez, Brown; Okunuki, Daehli, Geis; manual worker; Hayashi, Dua.
Unused Subs: Claus (G); Castrop; Daferner; goller; Gurleyen; Gyamerah; hubner; Lohkemper; loune; Schleimer.
Coach: christian field