Arsenal stormed to a 0-4 win over the Wood as a strong XI, from the Premier League side, outclassed Luke Garrard’s men.

The showcase friendly was the official opening of the club’s new million pound DESSO pitch, with Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis cutting the ribbon shortly before kick-off.

The away side oozed class and Chuba Akpom opened the scoring in just the 12th minute, sliding it past Grant Smith from the spot.

With the likes of Mathieu Debuchy and Carl Jenkinson in the Arsenal ranks, there was little that the Wood could do. Garrard’s side battled defiantly, but Jon Toral (45) scored either side of a Stephy Mavididi (24, 47) brace to make it four for the Gunners.

Arsenal started the game in an expectedly dominate manner, the Gunners were quick off the blocks as Akpom was played into the area, but Dave Stephens charged back to battle the ball from him.

It was non-stop from the Gunners but the Wood were staying strong, Eddie Nketiah leapt highest in the box to meet a cross, but Grant Smith lunged to the top corner to palm it past the post.

The pressure was too much for Garrard’s side to handle as they gave away a penalty to the Gunners. Akpom kept his nerves to put the ball to the right of Smith from the spot.

The home side awoke with the Arsenal goal, Danny Woodards played the ball over the heads of the Arsenal defence and Bradley Ash battled with the Krystian Bielik, but the latter won and he thrashed it clear.

Arsenal should have doubled their lead shortly after, a low ball was dragged across the home box, and Mavididi placed it to the right, but Smith saved fantastically.

Kane Smith had pace to burn and sprinted past the Carl Jenkinson, the full-back sent the ball into the box, but no one could meet it.

Arsenal then did double their lead through a spectacular piece of skill from Mavididi, the young forward took it onto his chest and lifted it above the home ‘keeper.

The Wood were battling hard; Ash was played into the penalty area and took a touch, but Macey dashed out to collect.

Smith was causing Arsenal’s defence all sorts of problems, the young full-back won the ball deep into the away half, twisted & turned around his marker and then lashed a shot at goal, but it was inches too high.

Arsenal then added a third moments from half-time, Jon Toral found space in the Boreham Wood box before slotting it past Smith.

There was no respite for the Wood, as Arsenal returned from half-time and almost instantly added their fourth, a scramble in the box left Mavididi with plenty of space to poke it past Smith.

Arsenal then began to turn on the style, Nketiah nutmegged Smith, who could only turn and watch in awe, Stephens charged back to tackle and clear.

Mavididi was in search of his hat-trick, the forward rounded Smith, but scuffed his effort over the woodwork.

Bradley Sach drove down the flanks, he looked up and attempted to slide it across the penalty area, but Bielik was back to clear.

The Wood then went inches from opening their account, a pin-point cross from Smith was met by the head of Shaun Jeffers but his header went inches over the cross bar.

Bruno Andrade was desperate to unlock the Arsenal defence and attempted some skill of his own, his quick feet saw him evade Jenkinson and cross into the box, but Bielik once again thumped clear.

The Wood then went close again just minutes from full-time, Jeffers’ cross into the box was heading for Keita but Arsenal beat the youngster to it & volleyed away.

Wood XI: G  Smith, K Smith, Woodards (Gordon), Wells (Johnson), Stephens, Shakes (Keita), Champion, Murtagh (Ricketts), Benson (Jeffers), Ash (Sach), Balanta (Andrade)

 Subs not used: Bozkurt (GK)

 Arsenal XI: Macey, Jenkinson, Bramall (Bennacer), Pleguezuelo, Debuchy (McGuane), Bielik (Johnson), Reine Adelaide (Malen), Akpom, Mavididi, Nketiah (Mourgos)

Subs not used: Keto (GK)

 Goals: Akpom (PEN), Mavidi, Toral, Mavididi


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