Jesus Does It For Arsenal


Jesus (2nd R) scored his second goal in the Charm City Cup against Everton

Gabriel Jesus marked his first Arsenal start with the opening goal in a 2-0 victory over Everton to win the Charm City Cup in Baltimore on Saturday.

The Brazilian fired high into the net after 33 minutes as Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford flapped at Cedric Soares’ corner.

Jesus, a £45 million summer signing from Manchester City, then turned provider for Bukayo Saka to score a second just three minutes later as Arsenal dominated the opening 45 minutes.

Jesus left the field at the break arguing with the officials, minutes after he was clattered by Ben Godfrey on the edge of the box, a late challenge which earned the Everton defender a booking.

Watched by a crowd of 39,245 at the M&T Bank Stadium, the Gunners named a strong starting line-up with defender William Saliba making only his second appearance in an Arsenal shirt, and Thomas Partey in midfield, while Everton’s line-up looked more experimental with Niels Nkounkou and Nathan Patterson among the starters.

Toffees boss Frank Lampard continued that theme at half-time, changing all 11 players with former Gunners winger Alex Iwobi, Michael Keane and former Burnley defender James Tarkowski among those introduced.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta made six changes with Jesus, Saka and Martin Odegaard all withdrawn as they switched from 4-2-3-1 to a 3-5-2 shape with Nicolas Pepe and Eddie Nketiah leading the attack.

Arteta brought on four more players as the game entered the final 20 minutes, reverting to a back four with youngster Reuell Walters given a chance at left-back.

Although Everton improved in the second half, they rarely troubled USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner as the Gunners ran out easy winners to continue their encouraging start to preseason.

The game’s competitive edge was inevitably blunted by all the substitutions, but Arteta will have been pleased with how sharp Jesus — who scored twice against Nurnberg in Germany in his first appearance — and Saka both looked, while Odegaard was typically intelligent in possession.

Saliba was composed and unflustered in dealing with Everton’s sporadic threat before he was withdrawn for the final 19 minutes.

Arsenal travelled to Orlando yesterday to continue their tour of the United States.