MX23RW : Monday, June 1 16:21:06| >> :120:13852:13852:
Jul 22, 2016 at 7pm UK at Stade Felix Bollaert
Lens
1-1
Arsenal
Autret (37')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Result: Arsenal held to draw by Lens in pre-season opener

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores an 82nd-minute equaliser to rescue a 1-1 draw for Arsenal against French second division side Lens in their pre-season opener.

Arsenal have begun their pre-season by being held to a 1-1 draw by French second division side Lens.

The Gunners found themselves behind at half time courtesy of a Mathias Autret strike, and it took until the 82nd minute for them to reply as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stylishly rescued a point for the visitors.

The match began at a quick tempo and the opening exchanges were end to end, with Chuba Akpom forcing a low stop from Nicolas Douchez before Abdellah Zoubir fired over for the hosts moments later.

Arsene Wenger named a smattering of youngsters in his side for the game, and two of them combined midway through the opening period when Alex Iwobi found Jeff Reine-Adelaide, who could only curl his effort wide of the target.

The hosts took a surprise lead with seven minutes remaining of the first half, though, as Zoubir raced onto a loose ball and squared it for Autret, who applied the finishing touch from close range.

That was how it stayed until half time and, despite making six changes at the interval and enjoying the lion's share of possession, the Gunners struggled to find a way through after the break too.

Indeed, it was Lens who came closest to scoring next when Benjamin Bourigeaud had a go from 25 yards, only to be denied by a flying stop from sub keeper Matt Macey.

Arsenal soon began to apply the pressure, though, and Douchez was called into action with 15 minutes remaining when he tipped Theo Walcott's shot around the post after good work from Oxlade-Chamberlain.

It was Oxlade-Chamberlain himself who got the equalising goal, though, and it came in some style as he was played through before producing an audacious chip over the keeper to level things up with eight minutes remaining.

The hosts pushed on in the closing stages looking for a winner, but in the end both sides were forced to settle for a share of the spoils as Arsenal got their pre-season off to a low-key start.

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A general view during the UEFA Champions League last 16 round match between Arsenal and PSV Eindhoven at The Emirates Stadium on March 7, 2007
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