Theo Walcott hit a brace as Arsenal demonstrated they can cope without Alexis Sanchez by beating Benfica 5-2 in an entertaining game in the Emirates Cup on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger’s side are four-time champions and the current holders of the pre-season tournament, but they had to come from behind at a wet Emirates Stadium with Sanchez still absent following his Confederations Cup participation with Chile.
Franco Cervi put Benfica ahead in the 11th minute, the Argentine’s strike taking a crucial double deflection off Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker.
Persistence from Sead Kolasinac soon provided an equaliser for the hosts, however, the new signing robbing Pizzi and chipping a cross for Theo Walcott to volley home.
Walcott added another after the half-hour mark, slotting in from close range after Kolasinac and Francis Coquelin combined on the left side of the box, but Benfica levelled before the interval when Eduardo Salvio beat David Ospina with the aid of another deflection.
But Arsenal showed their superiority after the interval, Lisandro Lopez turned Walcott’s cross into the back of his own net before Olivier Giroud got on the scoresheet and teed up Alex Iwobi for the best goal of the game to complete the scoring.