Washington, Jul 20 (BNA) Arsenal’s new midfield star appeared as a second-half substitute and helped finish off a 5-0 win over the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday night. Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard, Jorginho, Gabriel Martinelli and Kai Havertz all scored, but these weren’t the highlights of the red-clad Arsenal fans in the crowd at Audi Field.
Rice moved from West Ham to Arsenal for a British record transfer fee last weekend, said to be 105 million pounds ($138 million). The crowd cheered when he came on just over an hour into the game, and cheered again when he grabbed the ball, Reuters reported.
US national team striker Folarin Balogun, whose days at Arsenal may be numbered, also joined the London club at the same time as Rice.
By then, Arsenal were leading 3-0.
MLS has defeated the likes of Chelsea and Bayern Munich in the past in this format, which generally results in competitive matches with more defense than some other All-Star events. An MLS team that didn’t include recent Miami addition Lionel Messi received four yellow cards before halftime.
Jesus opened the scoring with a beautiful chip in the fifth minute. His shot from outside the penalty area went past goalkeeper Roman Burki of St. Louis and rebounded off the left post.
Trossard doubled the lead in the 23rd minute with another goal from outside the penalty area, slightly more towards the middle and hitting more powerfully than Jesus’ shot.
Trossard was shaken off early in the second half and replaced by a substitute.
In the first minute after halftime, St. Louis defenseman Tim Parker was called for a handball in the penalty area, and Jorginho made it 3-0. Martinelli and Havertz scored a late goal to make it five goals short.
Havertz is another newcomer to Arsenal, having been signed away from Chelsea.
American defender Auston Trosti was at the end of the game for Arsenal, along with Balogun.
In preparation for the Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest on August 12, Arsenal will play friendlies against Manchester United on Saturday in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and against Barcelona on July 26 in Inglewood, California.
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