Mikel Arteta hailed Gabriel Jesus’ ability to create ‘chaos’ as the striker scored again in Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Everton.
The Brazilian scored twice on debut in the Gunners’ 5-3 victory over Nurnberg and grabbed his third goal to set his new club on the way to another pre-season win.
The 25-year-old fired past Jordan Pickford from a corner in the 33rd minute and then set up Bukayo Saka, who added a second just three minutes later.
Jesus has made an instant impact since signing for £45m from Manchester City and is already producing goals for Mikel Arteta’s side which they lacked last season. The Arsenal boss believes it’s Jesus’ ability to disrupt opposition defences that is contributing to his early success.
“He creates chaos, he creates uncertainty and he’s always on your shoulder. He’s always there to nick the ball off you, he’s always in front of the goal. He’s a real threat and this is what we need,” said Arteta.
How the teams lined up:
- Arsenal: Turner, Cedric (Bellerin 45), Saliba (Mari 72), Gabriel (Walters 72), Tavares (Holding 45), Partey (Elneny 45), Xhaka (Sambi 72), Saka (Pepe 45), Odegaard (Maitland-Niles 45), Martinelli (Nelson 72), Jesus (Nketiah 45)
- Everton: Pickford (Crellin 45), Patterson (Mills 45), Nkounkou (Keane 45), Holgate (Tarkowski 45), Mina (Welch 45), Godfrey (Mykolenko 45), Doucoure (Gbamin 45), Davies (Warrington 45), Dele (Iwobi 45), Gary (Gordon 45), Calvert-Lewin (Rondon 45)
“The moment we give the ball away he is straight away active and putting pressure and getting his team behind him. He has a lot of leadership skills, I can see straight away what he’s doing with the boys and he’s the type of guy that we want.
“He looks really sharp, really dynamic. (He’s got) a really good understanding with his team-mates straight away. They are looking for him, he’s generating chances, good connections around specific spaces we want to exploit with him especially, and yeah, we’re really happy.”
Jesus played out wide at times for Manchester City but so far he has been playing as a number 9 at Arsenal which is where Arteta plans to utilise him.
“He’s very versatile, but obviously, the way we would like to develop him, is in that position,” he said.
“But not on his own sometimes, but don’t close that door because Gabby in relation to what the opponent does in certain games we are going to have to use him in different positions. He is open to that and he knows it’s part of his strength as well.”
Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies:
- 1.FC Nurnberg 3-5 Arsenal
- Arsenal 2-0 Everton
- Orlando City – Thursday July 21, Exploria Stadium, Florida; kick-off 12:30am BST
- Chelsea – Sunday July 24, Camping World Stadium, Florida; kick-off 1am BST
- Sevilla – Saturday July 30, Emirates Stadium, London; kick-off 12.30pm BST
Lampard praises youngsters in defeat
Frank Lampard praised his Everton youngsters for their performance against Arsenal in Baltimore.
Homegrown trio Lewis Warrington, Stanley Mills and Reece Welch all featured for the Blues, who played five at the back in their first pre-season match although that appears not to be the long-term plan.
“We have to play three at the back because of the group we have on the trip,” said Lampard, having also seen 22-year-old goalkeeper Billy Crellin keep a clean sheet in the second half.
“I like to be more flexible and to maybe play three in midfield, like Arsenal did tonight. I was relatively happy overall, we lost but Arsenal had already played two games.
“We are a bit behind in our fitness and there are a couple of things we can improve. The second half was my favourite half and there were some nice positives in it.
“The young players’ attitude is great, Stanley Mills is on the trip because he trained so well last season and in the first week of pre-season at Finch Farm. He is here because he deserves to be and he showed that in his game.
“The confidence of Lewis Warrington to accept the ball in midfield and play and move it [was pleasing], it’s simple stuff but something we’ve not done so well since I’ve been here. Reece looked really comfortable and Billy got a clean sheet for his half.”
New signing James Tarkowski, who completed a free transfer move from Burnley at the beginning of this month, made his debut and has impressed Lampard since joining.
“I am a big fan of James, I have been since before I was Everton manager,” said Lampard.
Everton’s pre-season friendlies:
- Arsenal 2-0 Everton
- Minnesota United – Thursday July 21, Allianz Field, Minnesota; kick-off 1am BST
- Blackpool – Sunday July 24, Bloomfield Road, Blackpool; kick-off 3pm BST
- Dynamo Kyiv – Friday July 29, Goodison Park, Liverpool; kick-off 7.45pm BST
“I thought he was a player of a really high level in everything and he’s not disappointed me, with his personality and leadership skills and strength and quality on the ball.
“He is a defender who can do both sides of the game and I am delighted with his debut and expecting really good things from him.
“I wasn’t so worried about the result, you always want to win but we were competitive, there was nothing I didn’t like about the players in terms of their application. It was a set-piece and not a nice goal to concede [Jesus’ opener].
“But Arsenal put out pretty much a full-strength team and are in a different phase from us at the moment. That will level out. The process is important, there was a lot for me to see and think about going forward.”