Gabriel Jesus and Leandro Trossard both scored spectacular goals before halftime to drive Premier League giants Arsenal to a decisive 5-0 win against the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday at the 2023 MLS All-Star Game in Washington, D.C.
Jorginho’s Penalty Kick Sets the Tone
The second half started with a bang as Jorginho converted a penalty kick for the Gunners, who had been preparing for the season after finishing second in the English Premier League in 2022-23.
Late Goals Secure Arsenal’s Dominance
With late goals, Gabriel Martinelli and Kai Havertz added to the MLS All-Stars’ misery, delivering their worst loss in this iteration of the annual event. The win also maintained Arsenal’s continuous dominance in the tournament, which they had previously won 2-1 in 2016.
Trossard’s Injury Woes
Leandro Trossard was forced to exit the game in the 56th minute owing to an injury issue. Fortunately, he was able to walk off the field on his own, but the setback was troubling for the Arsenal team.
Declan Rice’s Preseason Debut
Declan Rice, Arsenal’s most expensive summer addition at £105 million, made his first preseason outing for the club in the 65th minute. Fans couldn’t wait to watch the new addition in action.
Arsenal’s Dominance on Display
The MLS All-Stars, coached by former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, were outmatched throughout the game, with Arsenal outshooting them 16-7 overall and 5-1 on goal.
MLS All-Stars vs. European Clubs
The MLS players squared battle against a European club squad in the All-Star Game for the first time since 2019, since the 2021 and 2022 editions were played against a team of all-stars from Mexico’s Liga MX.
More Drama in the Second Half
The second half featured more action, as Arsenal was given a penalty 13 seconds into the game when Gabriel Jesus caused a handball. Jorginho came up to calmly put home the penalty kick, compounding the MLS All-Stars’ problems.
Martinelli and Havertz Seal the Victory
In the 65th minute, Arsenal boss Arteta introduced Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber for their Arsenal debuts, but there was also second-half injury worry when Trossard was pulled with a knock.
His replacement, Gabriel Martinelli, took advantage of the situation and scored a fourth goal after being set up by fellow substitute Martin Odegaard. The fifth goal was scored by Havertz, who finished well at the back post following Marquinhos’ cross.
Lionel Messi’s Absence
Lionel Messi, the new Inter Miami CF signing and reigning World Cup winner, did not play for the MLS All-Stars. Instead, he took part in his first training session with Miami on Tuesday, causing quite a stir among supporters.
Arsenal’s Early Dominance
After a strong start from the MLS All-Stars, Arsenal set the tone early in the game, grabbing the lead during their first offensive play.
Despite being dispossessed within the penalty area, Gabriel Jesus made an amazing first-time chip with his right foot, flying brilliantly over St. Louis City FC goalkeeper Roman Burki and off the inside of the left post to score in the fifth minute.
Trossard’s Impressive Strike
Not to be outdone, Leandro Trossard extended the advantage 18 minutes later with an incredible goal of his own. Bukayo Saka was vital once again, driving down the right side and providing a ball to Trossard near the penalty arc.
Trossard deftly escaped Jose Martinez’s tagging and blasted a powerful right-footed shot beyond Burki’s dive into the upper right corner.
Arsenal’s outstanding performance against the MLS All-Stars demonstrated their strength and dedication as they continue to prepare for the season.
The Gunners are clearly poised to make their imprint in the forthcoming season, with important players such as Gabriel Jesus and Leandro Trossard excelling.