Emirates Cup: Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud Score As Arsenal Thrash Benfica

Emirates Cup: Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud Score As Arsenal Thrash Benfica

By Izuchukwu Okosi:

Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi scored a superb goal and played for 73 minutes on Saturday in Arsenal's 5-2 routing of Benfica in the Gunners' first game of the 2017 pre-season Emirates Cup, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Franco Cervi and Eduardo Salvio were Benfica's goal scorers while Theo Walcott (brace), an own goal by Benfica's Lopez, Olivier Giroud were Arsenal's other scorers.

It was Arsenal in their brand new away strip that had the first chance of the game within the first five minutes when Giroud's close header was saved by Julio Cesar. Youngster Reiss Nelson provided the promising cross which Giroud latched onto.

Cervi scored the Portuguese champions' first goal in the 12th minute off a deflection from Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker.

Iwobi found new signing Saed Kolasinac in the 20th minute whose low cross was cleared by the Benfica defence.

Walcott grabbed the equaliser in the 24th minute for the Gunners when he volleyed from close range after an assist by Kolasinac who himself had run into space to pick up an Iwobi pass and dispose the ball of his marker.

Iwobi, Kolasinac and Francis Coquelin exchanged passes brilliantly and found Walcott for the second goal by the north London side in the 34th minute.

Salvio scored six minutes before half time with a deflection off the body of Rob Holding for Benfica's second goal to bring the score to 2-2 but the defending from the English FA Cup winners was atrocious on that occasion.

Lisandro Lopez in an attempt to clear a Walcott cross from reaching Giroud conceded an own goal in the 52nd minute to hand Arsenal the lead again.

Giroud made it 4-2 for Arsenal in the 64th minute with a volley from a Nelson cross.

Iwobi scored Arsenal's fifth of the evening in the 71st minute and took the game out of Benfica's reach when Iwobi unleashed a shot that found the roof of the net after he was teed up by an impressive Giroud.

Arsene Wenger made substitutions shortly afterwards which saw Iwobi replaced by Mesut Ozil seventeen minutes before full time.

Wenger's team are atop of the group standing after day one of the pre-season tournament. They take on Sevilla on Sunday while Benfica face RB Leipzig.

In the first Emirates Cup game played earlier Sevilla defeated RB Leipzig 1-0 thanks to a Wissam Ben Yedder goal. 

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