Elneny features as Arsenal thrash Benfica in Emirates Cup
Egypt international Mohamed Elneny came on as a substitute and played 55 minutes as Arsenal started the Emirates Cup with a 5-2 victory over Benfica.
The Gunners had the brighter start with Olivier Giroud coming close to breaking the deadlock after only four minutes but his header was spectacularly kept out by Benfica’s keeper Julio Cesar. However, seven minutes later, the Portuguese side were already 1-0 up after Franco Cervi’s shot took a deflection off Per Mertesacker past David Ospina.
A quick double from Theo Walcott gave Arsenal the lead as he volleyed Kolašinac’a cross past Cesar in the 24th minutes and completed his brace nine minutes later following an assist by Francis Coquelin.
After he helped in setting up the second goal, Coquelin came off to be replaced by Egypt international Mohamed Elneny 10 minutes ahead of the break.
The game continued its fast pace with Benfica levelling the scoreline on the stroke of half-time as Eduardo Salio’s shot took a slight deflection off Rob Holding into the net.
Arsenal regained their lead seven minutes after the break with Walcott was once again being in the middle of the action, as Lisandro diverted the former’s cross past his own keeper Cesar. Walcott soon after had a great chance to complete his hat-trick and make it 4-2 but his shot went over the bar.
Highly-rated youngster Reiss Nelson then had a cross volleyed by Olivier Giroud as Arsenal scored the fourth goal before Nigerian striker Alex Iwobi made it 5-2 with 20 minutes to go.
Arsenal’s next game will be on Sunday against Sevilla who beat RB Leipzig 1-0 in Saturday’s other Emirates Cup clash.
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