A late goal from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain salvaged a draw for Arsenal in their opening pre-season friendly against Lens on Friday night.

The England international, who missed Euro 2016 through injury, chipped home keeper Nicolas Douchez with nine minutes remaining to prevent Arsene Wenger’s side from beginning their pre-season preparations in defeat.

Mathias Autret had given Lens the lead in the first half, capitalising on a mistake by Calum Chambers.

The home side began the stronger, with just a week to go before their domestic season starts, while Arsenal ended the match on top.

oxlade-chamberlain

Chuba Akpom started up front for an under-strength Gunners, with many of their leading players still yet to return following summer tournaments, while Alex Iwobi began just behind.

Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin began in the middle while Mathieu Debuchy was at right-back. Lens included former Tottenham youngster John Bostock among their starters.

Akpom and Theo Walcott went close either side of Autret’s opener but the visitors, who completed the signing of Rob Holding from Bolton earlier in the day, trailed at the break.

Substitute keeper Matt Macey impressed after the break for the Gunners, who improved toward the end with Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fine finish a just reward for their efforts.

Arsenal open their campaign at home to Liverpool on 14 August, while their next friendly is against the MLS All-Stars next Friday.

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