WASHINGTON – English Premier League side Arsenal FC cruised in the 2023 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, earning a 5-0 win over the MLS All-Stars Wednesday evening before a record Audi Field crowd of 20,621 fans.
Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus set the tone with a delightful top-corner chip in the 5th minute, catching MLS starting goalkeeper Roman Bürki watching the floated effort hit his net.
Leandro Trossard doubled the visitors' advantage in the 23rd minute, launching home a powerful blast that evaded Bürki after the Belgian used some nifty dribbling to set up the shot.
Hopes of an MLS comeback lessened almost immediately after the second half began, when center back Tim Parker was whistled for a handball in the box. Jorginho stepped up for the 47th-minute penalty kick and coolly slotted it past goalkeeper Tyler Miller.
The Gunners put the game to bed with two goals in the final portion, first when club captain Martin Ødegaard sent Gabriel Martinelli through on goal for a curled-home finish (84'). Summer signing Kai Havertz then capped the scoring after collecting a cross at the back post, lashing home a left-footed volley to settle the 5-0 scoreline (89').
- THE BIG PICTURE: The MLS All-Stars welcomed a European foe for the first time since facing Spain’s Atlético Madrid in 2019. The format change ended their two-year winning streak, though, after beating Liga MX’s best in back-to-back fashion from 2021-22. While the result wasn’t favorable, the annual summertime showcase had a celebratory mood after a week full of moments like visiting the White House and training at the National Mall.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Leandro Trossard’s 23rd-minute golazo was spectacular and the most emphatic statement of the class and quality the UEFA Champions League-level side brings.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Bukayo Saka was named the game’s MVP. The England international, considered one of the world’s top wingers, was dangerous every time he received the ball.