Pitchside

Five things we noticed watching new-look Arsenal hammer Benfica

Pitchside

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ALEXIS SANCHEZ WANTS TO PLAY AS A STRIKER

The summer signing from Barcelona's first act as an Arsenal player was to stride onto the Emirates Stadium turf and instruct fellow substitute Chuba Akpom, a striker, to budge over to the right so he could play though the middle. If it is a portent of what is to come then it could spell bad news for Olivier Giroud and indeed Sanogo, because Sanchez - who Wenger described as a "modern striker" after bringing him to the club - has the makings of a fans' favourite.

It was his name that they cheered the loudest prior to kick-off, and his smart running and enthusiasm made a good impression after coming on after 73 minutes. He also showed a nice touch in the build-up to Francis Coquelin's late shot against the post. In fact, The Gunners scored five times and hit the woodwork twice in a fearsome show of their artillery, which Sanchez appears determined to command this season.

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YAYA SANO-GOAL

Yaya Sanogo acquired a rather incongruous status last season: the non-scoring striker who nonetheless was trusted to start key games, namely against Bayern Munich in the Champions League and Liverpool in the FA Cup. While he is still awaiting his first official goal, here he unexpectedly plundered no less than four - starting with his clever back-heeled finish following Aaron Ramsey's wonderful turn and run from midfield - savouring each for the rare treats they are.

It was quite a statement of intent from a player who has struggled to convince supporters of his quality, and probably enough justification for Wenger to feel he can stick with his striking options for another transfer window. Sanogo was the last striker Wenger signed, more than a year ago now, and maybe the youngster is growing into the goalscorer Arsenal need him to be. People say friendlies don't matter - and they are right - but try telling that to Sanogo as he waded into the crowd to feed on the love of the fans after scoring his fourth. Injuring himself during his celebration was also a very Arsenal touch.

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JOEL CAMPBELL CARRIED ON HIS WORLD CUP FORM

The perennial loanee impressed in fits and bursts for surprise quarter-finalists Costa Rica in Brazil and, Sanchez aside, no other player attracted the same level of intrigue as he was given the platform to finally make his case for a permanent home at Arsenal. Did he take it? Perhaps. Right from the off he looked a sparky presence, darting into the box and demanding a penalty to no avail, from his original position from the right.

However, he also suffered from a bad stumble when put through on goal by a gorgeous scooped pass from Ramsey, and it was not until he was switched to the left late on in the first half that he began to really affect the game, converting from Hector Bellerin's fine cross after 40 minutes and then setting up Sanogo for Arsenal's third goal. But even then he should have had a second when skewing horribly wide following a glorious one-touch move from the hosts. The case for Campbell's inclusion is not yet compelling.

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BELLERIN IS A BALLER

It was at the very first Emirates Cup back in 2007 that a full-back of real promise announced his arrival. Kieran Gibbs was playing as a winger then, but while Arsenal's rampant attackers stole the plaudits today, there was another enthusiastic, dynamic presence on the flanks who demanded attention.

19-year-old Hector Bellerin - (pictured above, right) an arrival from Barcelona in 2011 who judging by his Twitter account and haircut has assimilated perfectly to life amongst Englishmen of a similar age - took his chance to impress Wenger with a performance of real daring.

It was telling that when he set up Campbell for his goal, Arsenal players queued up to congratulate him on his cross. On this limited evidence, in terms of former La Masia students making their way in North London, Arsenal will hope he looks more on the Cesc Fabregas than the Fran Merida end of the spectrum. But this evidence is not enough to build a robust case, and he was also caught out for Nico Gaitan's header as Benfica pulled a goal back.

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ARSENAL NEED TO BUY A CENTRE-BACK - BUT CALUM CHAMBERS LOOKED OKAY

The sight of Nacho Monreal lining up in the heart of the defence was somewhat alarming and the unconvincing Spaniard proceeded to demonstrate why with an awkward display. After 20 minutes he was caught high up the pitch to receive the first booking of the match and just three minutes later almost scored an own goal after losing his man at a corner. No one is suggesting he is a viable option this season, but with captain Thomas Vermaelen surely certain to be sold, the only back-up to Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker are youngsters Ignasi Miquel and Calum Chambers, both of whom played.

The latter, a £16m signing from Southampton, was primarily thought to be a right-back but performed in the centre alongside Monreal from the start. It was an encouraging enough performance, and didn't oscillate much from the mean, as Chambers put in a couple of good interceptions but also looked unsure of his positioning at times, which is to be expected. Arsenal, though, are one injury away from having to rely on an inexperienced head at the heart of their back four - a risky state of affairs for possible title contenders.

Tom Adams @tomEurosport

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