A slow start for Arsenal! Bukayo Saka stars as Gunners draw with Nurnberg in first pre-season friendly

Bukayo Saka Nurnberg ArsenalGetty
  • Saka starred
  • Arsenal held by Nurnberg
  • Kai Havertz made debut

TELL ME MORE: Saka opened the scoring with a superb goal, as he shimmed his way in from the right flank and drove the ball into the bottom corner. The Gunners then struck the post through Folarin Balogun, while Kai Havertz made his debut as a half-time substitute.

Amazingly, Nurnberg rallied and equalised through a bizarre own goal. Karl Hein, the substitute goalkeeper, played a loose pass from the edge of his own box. Jorginho attempted to bring it under control as he stabbed his foot at the ball, but he only sent it back into Arsenal's net.

Balogun had a chance to add a second but he again missed from close-range.

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THE MVP: Saka was as effervescent as ever, looking every bit as sharp as he did in the 2022-23 season. His substitution robbed Arsenal of their attacking flair, and he must be credited for disrupting the Nurnberg defence throughout.

THE BIG LOSER: It has to be Hein. The Estonia international was roundly terrible, directly contributing to the own goal and he continually flapped at the ball. One shot from the edge of the box led to him failing to catch the ball and Nurnberg hitting the crossbar.


Gabriel Jesus Arsenal NurnbergGetty

Bukayo Saka Nurnberg ArsenalGettyMikel Arteta Arsenal 2023Getty

WHAT NEXT? Arsenal play the Major League Soccer All-Stars next week in their second pre-season friendly.