Rob Holding shines as young Arsenal end US tour with a win
Summer signing is on target along with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Akpom as Gunners cruise to victory
Arsenal 3 Chivas de Guadalajara 1
Arsenal cruised to a comfortable 3-1 win over Chivas in their latest pre-season warm-up and there were several standout performances from the north London club. Admittedly their Mexican opponents were under-strength, with five of their squad on Olympic Games duty with their country, but nonetheless Arsenal made short work of Chivas at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles.
The home of MLS outfit LA Galaxy, the stadium welcomed more than 25,000 fans for the last game of the Gunners' USA tour and, as they did on Friday against the All-Stars, Arsenal came away with a win.
New signing Rob Holding opened the scoring on 34 minutes, the former Bolton centre-back getting the last touch on Santi Cazorla's high free-kick. It was another impressive performance from the 20-year-old Holding (who partnered Calum Chambers in the heart of the defence) suggesting that the long-term absence of Per Mertesacker won't be such a blow for the Gunners after all.
Arsene Wenger made a number of changes at half-time against a side who are already three games into their league campaign, and within five minutes of the restart Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had doubled Arsenal's advantage with a wonderful solo effort. Beating one defender, the England winger then wrong-footed another with a back-heel and let fly with a left-footed strike that tore into the Chivas net.
The Mexicans never looked capable of staging a comeback and Chuba Akpom continued his scoring streak by latching on to Mathieu Debuchy's assist to kill off the game. Debuchy should have added a fourth on 70 minutes but he was wide off the mark from point-blank range and the Frenchman soon compounded his gaffe by upending Alejandro Zendejas at the other end of the field, allowing Zaldivar to score a consolation goal for his side.
Wenger, who described Holding's performance as one of "intelligence, composure and character", was delighted with the manner of the victory and he'll take his side next to Scandinavia where they play Viking in Norway on Friday. Two days later the Gunners face Manchester City and a week later it's Liverpool in the opening fixture of the Premier League season.