Arsenal returned to their North London home to face Lee Bowyer’s Charlton Athletic as both sides prepare for the football league’s resumption later this month.
Mikel Arteta’s men, a few weeks ahead in terms of returning to training, comfortably dealt with their Championship opposition. Arsenal ran out 6-0 winners with a number of their star men on show.
Arsenal Return to the Emirates to Host Championship Side Charlton Athletic Ahead of Project Restart
First Game Back
It was the first fixture at the Emirates since Arsenal’s 1-0 win against London rivals West Ham United on the 7th March. The Gunners were building momentum before the season’s pause and will hope to continue this when the season resumes in a couple of weeks.
Coverage of the fixture was limited, and the game was officiated by the staff of both clubs. This comes after the league proposed strict guidelines for clubs in order to complete these fitness building fixtures. Both clubs were using this as an opportunity to build match sharpness.
Clubs up and down the country are said to be looking to take advantage of these friendly opportunities. Things are heating up for teams now after the FA announced that both the Premier League and Championship are to return this month.
These friendlies will allow the players to return to familiar surroundings and get a feel for competitive football again after such a long break. Also, they allow the players to get used to playing in an empty stadium. This will be something they will have to get used to, with the season being completed in this fashion.
Comfortable Arsenal Win
The Gunners fielded a strong side and rotated throughout. This allowed all of their star men to rack up the miles.
Attacking-duo Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring for Arsenal, who led 2-0 at the break. Hale End graduate Eddie Nketiah grabbed a hat trick and another academy product Joe Willock rounded up the scoring for Arsenal. There were many youngsters on show, all looking to make a case for a starting role when the season resumes.
For Arsenal, it turned out to be a great way to build confidence ahead of their trip to the Etihad on June 17th. The Gunners were able to get some valuable minutes in the tank, especially with a few players returning from injury.
For Charlton, although they may have benefited from the run-out, and they may be slowly returning to fitness – such a convincing defeat may prove to be demoralising; especially as they head into the back-end of the Championship season.