Arsenal beat Rapids 3-0 in friendly Arsenal beat Rapids 3-0 in friendly

July 17, 2019
Colorado Rapids defender Sam Raben (right) slides in to try and steal the ball against Arsenal midfielder Gabriel Martinelli during the second half of an international friendly match on Monday. AP
Colorado Rapids defender Sam Raben (right) slides in to try and steal the ball against Arsenal midfielder Gabriel Martinelli during the second half of an international friendly match on Monday. AP

COMMERCE CITY, Colorado (AP) : James Olayinka had a goal and an assist to lead Arsenal past the Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids 3-0 in a friendly on Monday night.

Olayinka's sizzling right-footed strike in the 29th minute came from just outside the box as he scored into the upper-right corner of the net to give the English Premier League team a 2-0 lead.

Olayinka assisted on Arsenal's opening score. He pushed the ball into the box, where Bukayo Saka found it and lifted it into the net in the 13th minute. The third score came just after halftime from Gabriel Martinelli in the 61st minute. It was Martinelli's debut after joining Arsenal from Ituano earlier in the month.

"I'm really pleased with our effort," Colorado Rapids interim coach Conor Casey said. "We had chances, but they're a great team; at the end of the day it was just about the atmosphere."

In front of a near sellout -- many of them cheering the visitors -- Arsenal controlled the match.

"The first match was good to use different young players," Arsenal manager Unai Emery said. "To give them chances to show their quality, commitment and the idea to help the team. The atmosphere here was perfect,

a lot of Arsenal supporters, and we had a good day here."

This was the first preseason match for Arsenal ahead of the 2019-20 season as they embark on a three-game exhibition tour. Monday's match was the only one against an MLS club.

Olayinka's score was a huge sign for the club. The 18-year-old developed through Arsenal's academy and signed with the first team in January. He has yet to play in the Premier League. He represents a big hope as Arsenal finished fifth in the EPL last season.

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