Arsenal recorded an impressive victory over an American All star team at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California in the early hours of Friday.
The pre-game ceremony was suitably over the top. With blaring dance music, more pyrotechnics than the River Thames on New Year’s Eve and a military jet flying over the Avaya Stadium while the national anthem reached its conclusion, it made Euro’s 2016 grand opening look positively inadequate.
Costa Rican forward Joel Campbell opened scoring from the penalty spot after he himself was tripped inside the 18-yard box before a late Chuba Akpom goal gave Arsenal a 2-1 win in the entertaining MLS All-Star friendly match, the 21st of its kind.
The showpiece game looked to be heading to penalties after Didier Drogba – so often the scourge of Arsenal in the past – had equalised Campbell ‘s penalty on the stroke of half-time.
Arsenal’s lead lasted until the 45th minute when Drogba netted at the third attempt after his initial strikes were kept out by Petr Cech and debutant Rob Holding.
Arsenal will round up their preseason tour of the US on Sunday in Los Angeles against Mexican side Chivas.