Dominant Arsenal Fail To See Off Atletico In Shootout
Dominant Arsenal Fail To See Off Atletico Madrid In Penalty Shootout
Unai Emery's Arsenal tasted defeat as they lost 3-1 on penalties to Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup at the Singapore National Stadium on Thursday.
The two teams took their time to feel each other out initially, and while there weren't many chances in the early minutes, the two sides did try to push forward whenever they were on the ball.
Ten minutes in, Arsenal were seeing most of the ball and created a few half-chances as new signing Matteo Guendouzi began pulling the strings in midfield for the north London side.
Atletico's No. 1 Jan Oblak made the first save of the match in the 23rd minute, after Rob Holding dispossessed Luciano Vietto deep inside Arsenal's half. Forward Pierre-Emerick Aubayemang managed to dribble 50 yards upfield and then spread the ball out to Aaron Ramsey, who crossed for Alexandre Lacazette, who was thwarted by the Slovenian shot-stopper.
The Gunners created their second goalscoring opportunity in the 33rd minute, when Ramsey played a magnificent ball to Lacazette, who could not beat the Spanish side's goalkeeper from a tight angle.
Against the run of play, Atletico were the ones who ended up taking the lead in the 41st minute, after Holding allowed Angel Correa to cross a ball into the box from the byline, which Vietto comfortably headed past Bernd Leno from 10 yards out.
The half ended with the Spaniards leading 1-0, but it was an encouraging opening 45 minutes from Arsenal, who did most of the playing.
Two minutes after the break, the Gunners hit the back of the net thanks to 17-year-old Emile Smith Rowe, who dribbled past a number of Atletico players before curling a shot into the top right corner.
In the 54th minute, the LaLiga outfit had a brilliant opportunity to take the lead for the second time in the match, when Correa stole the ball off Ramsey's feet inside the Arsenal box, but Petr Cech, who came on at half-time, blocked the shot well.
Most of the sting was then taken out of the match due to both sides making several substitutions, and even though Arsenal were arguably the better side in the second half, the game would be decided on penalties.
Atletico's replacement goalkeeper Antonio Adan scored the winning spot-kick as the Spanish outfit eventually won the shootout 3-1.