Arsenal on Sunday morning thrashed Chelsea 4-0 in Orlando to win the Florida Cup and continue their impressive pre-season.
It was refreshing seeing Chelsea line-up on a 4-2-3-1 instead of the usual 3-4-3. First half XI (4-2-3-1): Mendy (Mendy | James, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Emerson | Gallagher, Jorginho (c) | Mount, Sterling, Havertz | Werner )
Mikel Arteta’s side got off to a flying start as goals from Gabriel Jesus Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Albert Sambi Lokonga sealed a brilliant win for Arsenal to maintain their 100% record.
Jesus put his side ahead after 16 minutes with a brilliant chip over Eduoard Mendy – his third goal since signing for Gunners from Manchester City for £45 million.
10 minutes before the break, Martin Odegaard then fired home for 2-0.
Despite Chelsea appearing better equipped after a half-time 3-4-3 formation change, Arsenal notched twice more in the second period, with Saka making it 3-0 on 66 minutes after Mendy had kept out Gabriel Martinelli and Granit Xhaka.
Lokonga put the icing on the cake late on as he headed in Cedric’s cross.
The game left Thomas Tuchel pretty fuming with his team.
“I am far from relaxed,” he said. “We deserved to lose which is fair enough because we were simply not good enough. We were simply not competitive.
“The worrying part is that the level of commitment physically and mentally for this match was far higher for Arsenal than for us. They played I think what is their strongest line-up and structure that you see now for several weeks. This was the line-up they will try to start for Premier League games.
“It was surely not our strongest line-up. This is a part of an explanation but only a little part and the other part is worrying.
“I cannot guarantee we will be ready in two weeks,” Tuchel added. “I saw today a team from Arsenal that had an idea of how to play to a level of exhaustion and a level of physical commitment that we could not match, and also a level of mental commitment which we lack because we have a lot of players who think about leaving, are looking for other options, and we have players who left. I think this at the moment is obvious.”
On his part, Arteta admitted Arsenal should be happy following their win but reminded everyone that it was only a friendly.
“Yes, but it was a friendly match,” he said.
“As you could see there are a lot of positives to take from the game. The way we played, the intensity we showed, the way we were trying to show who we are as a team. But at the same time, it’s just a test match. Don’t get carried away.
“There are still a lot of things that we have to get better at and do better. But I think it’s good to get some momentum, finish the tour in the right way, give some enjoyment to our fans and everybody that’s been contributing to make this tour happen. Now it’s time to go back to London, to focus and keep making improvements and steps forwards.”
It was Gunners’ fifth friendly of their pre-season so far having won the previous four.