ICC: Atletico Madrid beat Arsenal on penalties

International Edition By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 26/07/2018

Atletico Madrid beat Arsenal 3-1 in International Champions Cup penalty shootout in pre-season friendly at the National Stadium in Singapore on Thursday afternoon.

Teenager Emile Rowe Smith scored a brilliant second-half goal to level for Gunners to cancel out Luciano Vietto’s first-half header as the game ended 1-1.

Arsenal were sloppy from the spot, scoring just one of their four penalties as Atletico Madrid debutant Antonio Adan saved three strikes before coolly converting the winner as the La Liga giants took the shoot-out 3-1.

Mesut Ozil, who has been in the headlines since announcing his international retirement from Germany, was not involved as new coach Unai Emery was able to name a strong side even with the playmaker plus Mohamed Elneny and Alex Iwobi sitting out as they step-up their individual preparations following their World Cup exploits.

Summer signings Bernd Leno and Matteo Guendouzi started while the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were all named in the line-up.

Arsenal started the encounter brightly with France international Lacazette has force Atletico stopper Jan Oblak into three good saves in quick succession, before Europa League Champions took the lead.

Angel Correa found space down the right-hand side to fire a volleyed cross into the area, which Vietto did well to divert past former Bayer Leverkusen stopper Bernd Leno in the 41 minutes of the game. but Arsenal responded in the opening stages of the second half through promising youngster Rowe's memorable strike.

Arsenal continued to dominate in the opening 10 minutes of the second half with Ramsey and Aubameyang both having long-range efforts, but Atletico soon responded and somehow failed to take the lead shortly before the hour mark.

A couple of defensive errors from Arsenal gifted Diego Simeone's side two glorious chances within seconds of each other, but Petr Cech pulled off a brilliant reaction save to deny the first before a last-ditch block sent the second behind for a corner.

The match went to a shoot-out where substitutes Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Joe Willock both saw their penalties saved by Oblak's replacement Adan.

Atletico missed two of their first three spot-kicks as Ainsley Maitland-Niles drew the Gunners level with a Paneka-style penalty before Adan made another save from a tame Eddie Nketiah strike and then smashed home the decisive penalty to settle the contest.

Arsenal will next face Paris Saint-Germain in Singapore on Saturday before Atletico also take on the French champions in their second ICC outing two days later.

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