New signing Rob Holding scored as Arsenal continued their preparations for the new season with a 3-1 win over Chivas in Los Angeles on Monday.
The defender tapped home the opener after 34 minutes before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chuba Akpom added second-half goals to ensure the Gunners ended their US tour with a victory.
Substitute Angel Zaldivar scored a consolation penalty for the Mexican side in front of more than 25,000 supporters at the StubHub Center, the home of MLS club LA Galaxy
Star names such as Mesut Ozil and Petr Cech watched the game from the bench as Arsene Wenger handed new signing Grant Xhaka his first start in an Arsenal shirt, while fellow new recruit Holding was given the chance to impress alongside Calum Chambers in the centre of defence.
Their opponents finished fifth in the Mexican league last season, but were severely depleted for this Los Angeles friendly following five call-ups to the Mexico Olympic squad.
However, Matias Almeyda’s makeshift side, which featured midfielder Edson Torres wearing shirt number 297, gave their Premier League opponents a tough test for the opening 30 minutes.
Eduardo Lopez and Daniel Gonzalez spurned chances before Holding – a summer signing from Bolton – marked his second Arsenal appearance with one of the simplest goals he’ll ever score.
Captain Santi Cazorla’s high free-kick was pitched to the far post where Chambers volleyed the ball back to Holding to tap into an empty net from two yards.
Wenger rang the changes in the second half, but Oxlaide-Chamberlain survived the half-time cull and scored a sublime second goal on 50 minutes.
The midfielder showed great skill to beat one defender before back-heeling the ball back into his own path and rocketing a left-footed drive across the goalkeeper.
Arsenal’s third goal was much more simple as Akpom scored with a first-time finish under little pressure on the edge of the six-yard box after substitute Mathieu Debuchy was given time to pull the ball back into his path.
Debuchy was guilty of a simple miss from six yards on 70 minutes and three minutes later tripped Alejandro Zendejas inside the area, allowing Zaldivar to rifle home a penalty past substitute goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
That gave the Mexican side something to cheer, but their bench was incensed when they weren’t awarded a second penalty as Holding blocked a Lopez drive with his arm – and one of their coaches was sent to the stands for his complaints.
Holding and Chambers were the only two players to play 90 minutes as Wenger seeks options in central defence ahead of the new season, while Joel Campbell was booked when he might have been sent off in the closing stages for a scuffle with Hedgardo Marin.
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