DECLAN RICE made his Arsenal bow as Mikel Arteta’s men cruised past Wayne Rooney’s woeful All Stars.
The £105m midfielder was part of a slew of second half replacements as Arteta gave his entire squad a run-out.
AFPKai Havertz scored his first Arsenal goal as they thrashed the MLS All-Stars[/caption]
ReutersBritish record £105m transfer signing Declan Rice made his debut for the Gunners[/caption]
And while there is far more to come from the England ace, he looked immediately at home among the Gunners stars as he anchored the middle of the park.
First half stunners from Gabriel Jesus and Leandro Trossard made it oh so easy, with Jorginho’s penalty at the start of the second half ensuring the victory before Rice trotted on to wild acclaim from his new supporters and fellow subs Gabriel Martinelli and Kai Havertz added more home pain.
Arteta hopes his new “lighthouse” will be the missing link, with Rooney calling on him to become the “leader” of the Gunners pack.
But even without Rice until the game was well won, Arteta’s side were a class apart.
Then again, it always helps when you score with your first attack, which is exactly what Arsenal did.
Just five minutes had elapsed when Jorginho played Bukayo Saka into space on the right and when the England man laid the ball off, Jesus clipped an absolute beauty home off the inside of the far post.
Gorgeous stuff, relished by the Arsenal fans who flooded Audi Field and with Saka causing mayhem it was no surprise when they soon had a second, from Trossard.
This time it was Ben White who found Saka, with the star of last term feeding the Belgian for a little step inside and then a powerful right-footed drive home from 22 yards.
The All Stars offered next to nothing as an attacking threat, although Gabriel’s general sloppiness would have been more costly against a proper side.
Jesus headed wide from a narrow angle while Trossard curled a free-kick outside the upright before a gift penalty seconds after the restart gifted them the third.
Jorginho offered his trademark skip and finish low past the keeper after a handball by substitute Tim Parker – who had not touched the ball before that.
Trossard’s evening ended early after limping off, with Martinelli on in his place, before the moment the fans had been hoping for, with £35m Dutchman Jurien Timber also making a debut.
And while Martinelli burst clear to roll home the fourth before a Havertz hammer, the sight of Rice patrolling in front of the back line is one the Arsenal supporters believe will be the key to a special season.