New signing Gabriel Jesus scored 90 seconds into his non-competitive debut to trigger an extraordinary turnaround in Germany.
1. FC Nurnberg, who play in the second tier of German football, raced to a 2-0 half-time lead, before we emerged as a different proposition after the break.
Jesus had to sit and watch from the bench for the opening half, alongside other new arrival Marquinhos, with Matt Turner the only one of our four summer signings named in the starting XI.
But once Jesus was unleashed, he marked the occasion with a wonderful brace, and had a say in both of the own goals too.
The other goal came from the boot of Mohamed Elneny, and what a screamer it was, flying in from long range.
Mikel Arteta opted for a fairly young starting lineup, including 17-year-old defender Reuell Walters, one of several youngsters out with the squad at our training camp in Germany.
He started in the center of defense alongside Pablo Mari, and showed his speed early on to get back and dispossess Kwadwo Duah. Christoph Daferner had already headed wide when well placed in a bright opening for the home side.
It look 15 minutes for us to fashion our first effort on goal. Emile Smith Rowe’s right-footed curler was goalbound until Christian Mathenia in the hosts’ goal turned it away for a corner.
Midway through the half though we fell behind, when Johannes Geis struck powerfully from outside the area, in off the crossbar. There was plenty of pace and movement on the shot, deceiving Turner in the Gunners goal.
Just five minutes later Duah doubled the advantage, cracking home across Turner inside the far post after we lost possession cheaply.
We had to regroup. Ainsley Maitland-Niles flashed a cross-shot just wide while Reiss Nelson saw an effort deflected behind for a corner.
But we failed to really get going in the opening half, and went in two goals down at the break.
Jesus was brought on at the interval, along with three other subs. And with virtually his first touch in an Arsenal shirt, he fired us back into the game.
He picked up possession outside the area, advanced and swapped passes with Eddie Nketiah, before smashing home at the near post. What an introduction to life as a Gunner.
The tone of the game had changed and moments later he strode into the box again before being tackled this time.
One of the other half-time replacements, Mohamed Elneny, brought us level with an absolute thunderbolt from a full 25 yards.
Inside an hour we were ahead. After another excellent move, a deep cross was destined for Jesus’s head, only for Christopher Schindler to stretch out a boot and turn the ball past his own keeper.
It was a stunning 12-minute turnaround from Arteta’s men.
We weren’t finished there though. Just after the hour mark, Nketiah’s shot cannoned back off the cross bar, hit Nurnberg defender Tim Handwerker and trickled over his own goal-line under pressure from Jesus.
More subs followed for the last 20 minutes, with Folarin Balogun, Charlie Patino, Salah Oulad M’hand, Arthur Okonkwo and new arrival Marquinhos all coming on.
Nurnberg substitute Lukas Schleimer momentarily pulled it back to a single goal deficit, but Jesus soon claimed his second of the afternoon, from a Gabriel Martinelli cross, to make it 5-3.
It was a wonderful, instinctive finish from our new boy to beat the keeper from close range.
By now we were in control, and able to enjoy the denouement to a week of hard work and preparation at the adidas HQ in Germany. And if this is a glimpse of what’s to come from Jesus in particular, then the start of the season can’t come soon enough.
We return to the UK on Saturday morning, before jetting out to the USA on Wednesday where we will play three more friendlies. First up is Everton in Baltimore on Saturday, July 16, then it’s off to Orland to face Orlando City on Wednesday July 20, followed by Chelsea on Saturday, July 23.
All three will be available to watch here on Arsenal.com.
We complete our pre-season schedule in the Emirates Cup at home to Sevilla on Saturday, July 30, before the big Premier League kick off away to Crystal Palace on Friday, August 5.
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