Elneny starts as Arsenal win Emirates Cup despite defeat
Despite playing 55 minutes in yesterday’s 5-2 thrashing of Benfica, Elneny started in Arsenal’s second match of the Emirates Cup; playing a total of 132 minutes in two days.
The Pharaoh started in the central centre-back position in the 3-4-3 formation with Monreal on his left and team captain Koscielny on his right as Wenger revealed before that we will see more of Elneny at centre back as opposed to his natural centre midfield position.
In yesterday’s match against Benfica, Wenger started mainly substitute and reserve players, while in today’s match Elneny started alongside players we expect to be starters such as Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Özil, and Laurent Koscielny. It is encouraging to see that as the Egyptian star never found consistent playing time in the midfield.
Things began to get heated up in the 15th minute when Ben Yedder struck the post after receiving a pass from Ever Banega that split Koscielny and Elneny.
Sevilla continued to control the game and in the 45th minute Koscielny broke up a cross from Nolito to Ben Yedder that almost surely would have resulted in a goal had the Frenchman not stopped it.
Angel Correa scored for Sevilla in the 49th minute, slotting the ball past Petr Cech and into the goal, before Arsenal equalized in the 62nd minute, with Lacazette scoring his first goal at the Emirates.
Seven minutes later, the Spanish side took the lead again when Steven N’Zonzi scored his side’s second goal of the game with a brilliant curler from outside the box.
Elneny was substituted off in the 77th minute for Theo Walcott, giving the Egyptian some much needed rest after playing 132 minutes over the past two days. The Englishman couldn’t change the scoreline and the game ended 2-1.
Despite the loss, Arsenal won the tournament on a goals scored tie breaker, as Arsenal and Sevilla both had nine points and a +2 goal differential.
Arsenal’s next game will be against rivals Chelsea on Sunday, August 6 in the FA Community Shield Final at Wembley Stadium.
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