Arsenal 0 Juventus 2: Gunners score TWO own goals but look toothless in attack as Nketiah struggles to replace Jesus

EDDIE NKETIAH pulled a gap in his final dress rehearsal before filling in for Gabriel Jesus as Arsenal resumed their title challenge.

Nketiah is Mikel Arteta’s only fit forward following Jesus’ knee surgery earlier this month.

Arsenal lost their last warm-up friendly against Juventus

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Arsenal lost their last warm-up friendly against JuventusPhoto credit: Getty
Granit Xhaka scored one of the own goals while passing Aaron Ramsdale

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Granit Xhaka scored one of the own goals while passing Aaron RamsdalePhoto credit: Getty
Reiss Nelson appeared to pick up an injury in another shot for the Gunners

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Reiss Nelson appeared to pick up an injury in another shot for the GunnersPhoto credit: Getty

Having scored two goals in three friendlies so far this month, the Gunners academy graduate had one last chance to impress Arteta and improve ahead of West Ham’s Boxing Day visit but failed against Juventus.

Arsenal will return to the Premier League fixture five points clear of champions Manchester City but with major concerns about how to fill the hole Jesus left.

With some well-known players still away either at or after the World Cup, Arteta have named as strong a side as possible for their last game before returning to the Premier League.

And they could have gotten off to a flying start against the Italians when Reiss Nelson charged forward and found a shot into the side netting after just 43 seconds.

The Gunners controlled the game in the first half but were unable to convert their chances.

Fabio Vieira saw a well-taken volley saved at the near post while a Nketiah strike was ruled out for offside.

From the resulting free-kick, Nketiah missed a golden scoring chance when a mix-up between Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin and defender Fabio Miretti left the ball at his feet just yards from goal.

The striker shot quickly over the goal but didn’t hit the far post, instead hitting the back of the net. That was the kind of chance you can’t afford in a title race.

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Having missed all those chances, the hosts shot themselves in the knee just before the break.

Tommaso Barbieri turned a hopeful cross into the Gunners’ box from a short corner only for Granit Xhaka, who headed in his own net for the first time since his return from Qatar.

Arsenal struggled after the break but couldn’t find their way back into the game before Juventus added a second in added time at the end of the game.

Joseph Nonge Boende played a low ball into the path of England Under-20 international Samuel Iling-Junior, whose shot was deflected off Rob Holding and past Aaron Ramsdale.

While Ramsdale returned to Arsenal after England reached the quarter-finals, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli were yet to be seen.

Both are expected at Arsenal’s training base in London Colney in the coming days.

Full-backs Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu are both struggling but are expected to struggle for West Ham on Boxing Day.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6939634/arsenal-juventus-gunners-goals-nketiah-jesus-xhaka/ Arsenal 0 Juventus 2: Gunners score TWO own goals but look toothless in attack as Nketiah struggles to replace Jesus

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