Arsenal won their first game of the Premier League International Cup thanks to a fine strike from Reiss Nelson.
The Arsenal u23 side took on Porto’s B team in their first game of the Premier League International Cup, a competition which sees English academies take on European teams.
The starting XI included first team defenders Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy, who needed some extra minutes under their belts before Thursday’s Europa League game against Cologne.
Joe Willock played in midfield alongside Josh Dasilva, while Reiss Nelson played in his preferred role behind the striker. Chuba Akpom lead the line.
Porto dominated possession in the first half and limited Arsenal to sporadic counter attacks. The Portuguese side looked the most likely to score, but couldn’t find a way past Deyan Iliev in the Arsenal goal.
Willock and Akpom had half-chances for Arsenal, but couldn’t break the deadlock.
Arsenal found a way through in the second half.
Akpom received the ball on the left flank and cut inside. He teed-up Nelson on the edge of the box, who curled a shot pass the Porto keeper to give Arsenal the lead.
Midway through the second half, Arsenal made two planned substitutions. Chambers and Debuchy both went off, presumably with Thursday in mind, and were replaced by Zech Medley and Emile Smith-Rowe.
Nelson and Vlad Dragomir had chances to extend Arsenal’s lead, but couldn’t take them.
Porto worked hard to get back into the game and had Arsenal penned into their own half for the remainder of the game.
Arsenal, though, managed to see out the win and move to the top of their group.