Drogba Scores as Arsenal beat MLS All-Stars 2-1
Arsenal recorded their first win of the preseason with a 2-1 victory over stars of the MLS following goals from youngsters Joel Campbell and Chuba Akpom in a keenly contested clash in San Jose.
Arsenal’s nemesis Didier Drogba, who has always found the back of the net against them during his days at Chelsea and Galatasaray, briefly drew the MLS All-stars level but the Gunners were too strong on the night.
Despite missing several key players through injuries and extended holidays, Arsene Wenger’s men started brightly with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott linking up to good effect up front.
They took the lead on 11 minutes when Campbell was upended in the box by Laurent Ciman. The Costa Rican stepped up and curled the ball into the corner from 12 yards.
Mohamed Elneny then forced Andre Blake into a flying save on 23 minutes before Petr Cech had to be alert to deny former Tottenham man Giovani dos Santos after a trademark 60-yard pass from Pirlo.
Drogba had a free-kick blocked away by Rob Holding on 43 minutes, but he got his customary goal against the Gunners two minutes later when he concerted a square ball from Dos Santos.
Sebastian Giovinco and Clint Dempsey came on at the break for the All-stars, while Granit Xhaka entered the fray for Arsenal and produced a solid display in midfield.
Chances were few and far between, although Chris Wondolowski blazed over from 15 yards with seven minutes remaining after being presented with a glorious opportunity.
Arsenal made him pay three minutes later, as substitute Nacho Monreal got the by-line and found Akpom two yards out, and the Nigerian forward duly settled the tie.
Arsene Wenger’s men will next play Chivas before returning home to begin the 2016/17 Premier League campaign with a blockbuster tie against Liverpool August 14.