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Atlético Madrid 1-1 Arsenal (3-1 Pens)

Atléti’s preseason started well with a match against Arsenal in Singapore as new signing Adan was the hero.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Arsenal - International Champions Cup 2018 Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images for ICC

ATM XI: Oblak (Adan 46’), Juanfran (Alberto 74’), Moya (Alberto Rodríguez 74’), Montero (Punal Rodriguez 74’), Olabe (Solano 74’), Correa, Rodri, Thomas (Carro 74’), Muñoz (Pinchi 74’), Gameiro (Borja 74’), Vietto (Mollejo 74’)

ARS XI: Leno (Cech 46’), Bellerin (Mavropanos 63’), Holding (Sokratis 63’), Mustafi (Chambers 63’), Kolasinac, Ramsey (Osei-Tutu 63’), Guendouzi (Willock 74’), Nelson (Mkhitaryan 63’), Smith-Rowe (Maitland-Niles 63’), Aubameyang (Perez 63’), Lacazette (Nketiah 63’)

In the first match of the very prestigious International Champions Cup preseason tournament, Atlético Madrid took two (?!) points from their first match against Arsenal, drawing in regular time, but winning on penalties. Despite Atlético lacking the vast majority of their first team players, the match played out in much the same way as the Europa League semi-final from last season. Arsenal had vast amounts of possession, but struggled to create clear cut chances against Atleti’s back line. This makes the fact that with the exception of Rodri, Oblak Juanfran, likely none of today’s team will be starting come the regular season.

Atlético, specifically Ángel Correa, provided the breakthrough for Atlético in the first half, with a whipped cross that found a diving Luciano Vietto’s head for the first goal. It was a difficult header for Vietto that left the new Arsenal goalkeeper Leno frozen. On halftime, Oblak was removed for Antonio Adan, who almost immediately conceded a goal, but he would have his redemption.

Arsenal’s equalizer came from 17 year-old wide player Emile Smith-Rowe, and it was a beautiful run and finish from the youngster. However, Adan would have his revenge. The game rather slowed down after the equalizer, with both sides making many changes and killed any sort of fluidity of the match, but preseason is about fitness, so that was to be expected.

After 90 minutes, the match was still knotted at 1-1, which meant penalties. The shootout got off to a rough start, with both teams first takers missing, Correa and Mkhitaryan. Rodri then scored, followed by a second save from Adan. Borja then missed, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles Panenka-ed Adan to level the shootout at 1-1. Victor Mollejo scored, followed by a third save from Adan, who then stepped up to take the clinching penalty and buried it, in off the post.

It’s preseason and very few of Atlético’s first team played in this match, but it was good to get some of the kids a run out versus an Arsenal side which did have many of its first teamers in Singapore. In four days Atléti will play PSG for their second ICC match.