Friendly match - Henry's Red Bulls narrowly beat Arsenal

Friendly, Red Bulls Arena – New York Red Bulls 1 (Wright-Philips 32) Arsenal 0

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Friendly match - Henry's Red Bulls narrowly beat Arsenal
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New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill (17) congratulates New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry (14) after Henry is removed from the game against Arsenal during the second half of a game at Red Bull Arena (Reuters)

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry played a major part as the New York Red Bulls overcame the Gunners in a 1-0 win at a packed Red Bull Arena.

Former Manchester City striker Bradley Wright-Philips continued his rich vein of goalscoring form with a first-half strike which was to be the winner when he met Ibrahim Sekagya’s back post header following a superb corner delivery from Henry.

Arsene Wenger’s side, though nowhere near full strength, were poor throughout the 90 minutes and were second best to the Red Bulls who currently sit in fourth position in the MLS domestic league.

Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla were the only two figures involved at the World Cup to feature for the Gunners as a number of first-team players - including World Cup-winning trio Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker – didn’t make the trip to the USA.

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Red Bulls midfielder Eric Alexander (12) and Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini (20) fight for the ball during …

Arsenal will be hoping for a better performance when they host Benfica on August 2 in the Emirates Cup.

KEY MOMENTS

6’ – SO CLOSE! Henry breaks forward as he times his run perfectly to latch onto a through pass behind the Arsenal defence but with just the goalkeeper to beat, he sidefoots the ball only for Szczesny to make a good stop!

7’ – CAZORLA CHANCE! First real chance for the Gunners but the Spaniard shoots just wide of the net from close range.

9’ – INCHES WIDE! Henry finds Wright-Philips with a defence splitting pass, the Englishman latches onto the ball but somehow fires wide of the goal - what an open game we've had so far!

32’ - GOAL! New York Red Bulls 1-0 Arsenal! And Wright-Philips has given the hosts the lead with a tap-in following an Henry corner!

37’ - CHANCE! Wilshere finds himself in a great position with just the goalkeeper to beat, but he misfires his shot and the goalkeeper does well to make a save! Should have scored however. Still 1-0 to the Red Bulls.

40’ – CHANCE! Arsenal nearly equalise! Wilshere collects the ball on the edge of the box after Cazorla's free-kick was cleared but Cahill made a good block with his head.

48’ – CAZORLA! The Spaniard goes very close for Arsenal, forcing the goalkeeper to save with his feet after a powerful angled effort.

52’ – GOOD-BYE HENRY: Just about every spectator applauds the Frenchman as he is finally replaced by fellow countryman Luyindula.

54’ - GOAL CHALKED OFF: Diaby gets on the scoresheet but the goal is correctly ruled out for offside.

65’ – CHANCE! Duvall almost makes it two! The defender climbed highest to reach the ball and his looping header almost goes over the keeper's head but just goes wide. Strangely, the referee has signalled for a corner.

80’ - FANTASTIC SAVE! Akpom finds himself behind the Red Bulls defence with just the 'keeper to beat but Robles makes himself really big and saves brilliantly. Best chance for the Gunners.

82’ CHANCE! - The Red Bulls should have doubled their lead as Akpan meets a wonderful cross but gets his header all wrong as his effort flies over the bar.

TALKING POINT

How good were the Red Bulls? The MLS side were a big price pre-match with the Gunners as short as 1/2 but how Bradley Wright-Philips and co showed them with a classy performance. Now, Arsenal did play a weakened side and will get much stronger as pre-season progresses, but the side Wenger fielded was in no way poor. However, the Red Bulls dominated the contest from start to finish and they could have won by three or four goals. How good has Wright-Philips been recently? Well, he’s scored 17 goals in 19 league games and he showed how much of a poacher he is in front of goal with his tap-in in the first-half.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

MAN OF THE MATCH

Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls): Who else? The Frenchman played a big part in the opening goal as his corner delivery superbly picked out Ibrahim Sekagya who nodded on to Wright-Philips. Minutes before, he played through the former Manchester City striker with a delightful through-ball. The 36-year-old was substituted shortly after the second-half whistle blew and was deservedly given a standing ovation from just about every spectator in the Red Bull stadium.

PLAYER RATINGS

New York Red Bulls: Robles 6, Duvall 6, Olave 6, Sekagya 6, Miller 6, Sam 7, Cahill 6, McCarty 7, Oyongo 7, Wright-Phillips 6, Henry 8. Subs: Lade 5, Meara 5, Kimura 5, Bover 5, Armando 5, Alexander 5, Luyindula 5, Miazga 5, Bustamante 4, Akpan 6.

Arsenal: Szczesny 6, Jenkinson 6, Hayden 6, Monreal 5, Gibbs 5, Ramsey 6, Wilshere 6, Zelalem 7, Arteta 6, Cazorla 6, Rosicky 6. Subs: Martinez 5, Bellerin 5, Miquel 5, Coquelin 5, Flamini 5, Diaby 6, Akpom 5.

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