MX23RW : Friday, April 16 21:23:48| >> :60:3373:3373:
Jul 29, 2017 at 4.20pm UK at Emirates Stadium
Arsenal
5-2
Benfica
Walcott (24', 32'), Lopez (52' og.), Giroud (63'), Iwobi (70')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Mertesacker (10' og.), Salvio (40')

Result: Goals galore as Theo Walcott shines in Arsenal win over Benfica

Theo Walcott scores twice as Arsenal romp to a 5-2 win over pre-season opponents Benfica in the Emirates Cup.

Theo Walcott scored twice as Arsenal sealed a 5-2 victory over Benfica in their opening match of the Emirates Cup on Saturday afternoon.

It rained goals in North London, but there were also a handful of defensive errors as both teams shape themselves up for the start of their domestic seasons.

Walcott, whose long-term future at Arsenal has been called into doubt, showed intent early on as he delivered a teasing cross into the box for Olivier Giroud, but his header from close range was stopped by goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

The Gunners' positive start was dealt a blow when Per Mertesacker inadvertently caught Franco Cervi's low attempt and deflected the ball into David Ospina's net.

Arsene Wenger's men, who played the majority of their attacks in the first half down the right-hand side, managed to recover thanks to Walcott, who nabbed his second goal of the afternoon just after the half-hour mark.

New signing Sead Kolasinac played a part as he flicked the ball forward for Francis Coquelin, whose through-ball found Walcott in the box and the England international proceeded to slot home.

Arsenal's defensive frailties cost them before the half-time whistle when Mertesacker lost possession, giving the ball to Pizzi, whose pass to Jonas resulted in a blocked effort on goal.

The rebound dropped to Eduardo Salvio and the midfielder nestled the ball into the net after his shot deflected off Rob Holding, but Benfica could not add to their lead despite showing threatening signs early in the second half.

In fact, they were left red faced when Walcott managed to get past the defensive line and deliver a cross into the danger area, prompting Lisandro Lopez to slide in, but he could only send the ball into his own net.

After being gifted the lead, Arsenal ramped up their attack, and Walcott would have scored a hat-trick had he not blasted the ball over the crossbar after latching on to Giroud's pass.

The Frenchman, who has been linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, gave Wenger something to think about when he set up Alex Iwobi's goal and Arsenal's fifth.

Kolasinac was involved as well as he fed through to Giroud, who showed strength in holding the ball up and knocking it into Iwobi's path for the Nigerian to score.

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A pensive Arsene Wenger during the Premier League game between Everton and Arsenal on December 13, 2016
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