Silky Oxlade-Chamberlain strike earns Arsenal draw at Lens
Friendly, Stade Bollaert-Delelis - Lens 1 (Autret 36) Arsenal 1 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 81)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a delightful chip to rescue a draw for Arsenal in their first friendly of the summer against Lens.
French Ligue 2 side Lens are just over a week away from their opening game of the season, and their superior fitness showed for long periods as Arsenal struggled to find fluidity.
Autret was Lens' liveliest player and he was rewarded for an excellent display with the opener, turning in from close range after Zoubir exploited a mistake by Calum Chambers.
Arsene Wenger made six changes at the break and the Gunners initially struggled to adapt to the change in personnel. But soon after the hour Arsenal found another gear and the equaliser, when it came on 81 minutes, was worth the wait.
Gnabry found Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right and his delicious chip nestled neatly in the far corner to earn the Gunners a deserved draw.
Arsenal now travel to the United States, where they will face the MLS All Stars and Mexican side Guadalajara before facing Viking in Norway and Manchester City in Sweden, ahead of their Premier League opener against Liverpool at the Emirates.
Theo Walcott in action against LensAFP
TALKING POINT - PERIPHERALS GET THEIR CHANCE
We can't read too much into this result with the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez all taking a well earned rest. But that also gave a number of youngsters the chance to shine. We will surely see a lot more of Iwobi and Akpom next season, with Adelaide and Willock doing themselves no harm.
MAN OF THE MATCH - OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN
He was only on for 45 minutes, but seems physically and mentally ready for the season ahead. Missed out on Euro 2016 through injury but was sharp and took his goal very well. Arsenal could do with a fit and firing Ox next season.
Arsenal: Martinez 7, Debuchy 6, Mertesacker 6, Chambers 6, Monreal 6, Coquelin 7, Elneny 7, Walcott 6, Iwobi 7, Adelaide 7, Akpom 7. Subs: Macey 8, Oxlade-Chamberlain 8, Bielik 7, Gnabry 7, Gibbs 7, Campbell 6.
Arsenal's Nigerian forward Alex Iwobi (L) vies with French Lens's forward Deme Ndiaye during the football match Lens versus Arsenal on July 22 2016, at the Felix Bollaert stadium in LensAFP
3' AKPOM CHANCE! First opening falls to Arsenal as the ball pops up for Akpom on the edge of the box and he fires it straight at the keeper.
4' LENS CHANCE! Lens break down the other end of the pitch and Zoubir flashes an effort over the bar after cutting inside Chambers and getting beyond Monreal. Let off for Arsenal.
10' AUTRET CHANCE! Autret the danger man for Lens. This time he shows Mertesacker a clean pair of heels but drags his shot wide of the far post.
24' CLOSE! Adelaide makes space for himself with a nice dummy, but can't get enough bend on his shot to beat the keeper. Nicely done though...
36' GOAL! Lens 1-0 Arsenal: A mistake by Chambers, whose headed clearance feel straight at the feet of Zoubir, whose shot was saved by Martinez but only as far as Autret, who opens the scoring for the French side from close range.
58' ARSENAL CHANCE! Chambers gets forward and delivers a dangerous low cross that evades Walcott and then Campbell at the far post as it flashes across the face of the Lens goal.
Arsenal's forward Chuba Akpom vies with French Lens's defender Jordan Ikoko (L) during the football match Lens versus Arsenal on July 22 2016, at the Felix Bollaert stadium in Lens.AFP
62' LENS CHANCE! Bourigeaud connects brilliantly with a dipping volley from the edge of the box but reserve goalkeeper Macey springs well to tip it over. Very good save.
69' LENS CHANCE! Scaramozzino lashes a shot into the side netting when he should have crossed into the crowded six yard box and hoped for a touch.
81' GOAL! Lens 1-1 Arsenal: Oxlade-Chamberlain scores! Gnabry creates the chance by finding the Ox, whose deft chip loops over Douchez and into the far corner. Very confident finish.