Folarin Balogun and Sone Aluko scored as Arsenal kicked off their pre-season with a 5-1 thrashing of Ipswich Town in a behind-closed-doors friendly at London Colney on Saturday.

On the back of signing his new long-term deal with the club, Eddy Nketiah led the line for a senior-looking Arsenal team in the first half, donning his new number 14 shirt in the process.

The 23-year-old also set up an Albert Sambi Lokonga strike in the opening 45 minutes, during which the likes of Hector Bellerin, Pablo Mari, Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles also featured.

Mikel Arteta also got 45 minutes out of Thomas Partey following his return from the thigh injury that kept him out of the final few weeks of last season, as the club’s internationals enjoyed an extended break.

The Gunners made a full 11 changes for the second half and went 5-0 up through Balogun’s effort, but the Tractor Boys would grab a consolation through Sone Aluko.

Arteta handed opportunities to the likes of Marcelo Flores, Lino Sousa, Omari Hutchinson and Charlie Patino in the second 45 minutes, as Arsenal steam rolled their way to a simple success.

The North London club now prepare to face Nurnberg in Germany on July 8 before travelling to the United States to face Everton, Orlando City and Chelsea, with the latter two fixtures coming in the Florida Cup.


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