Arsenal 0 Juventus 2: Gunners score TWO own goals but look toothless in attack as Nketiah struggles to replace Jesus

EDDIE NKETIAH drew a blank in his final dress rehearsal before stepping in for Gabriel Jesus when Arsenal resume their title challenge.

Nketiah is Mikel Arteta’s only fit striker following Jesus’ knee surgery this month.

GettyArsenal lost their final warm-up friendly game against Juventus[/caption]

GettyGranit Xhaka scored one of the own-goals as he headed past Aaron Ramsdale[/caption]

GettyReiss Nelson appeared to pick up an injury in another blow for the Gunners[/caption]

After two goals in three friendlies so far this month, the Gunners academy graduate had one final chance to impress Arteta and sharpen up before the Boxing Day visit of West Ham, but came up short against Juventus.

Arsenal will head back into the Premier League schedule five points clear of champions Manchester City, but with huge concerns over how to fill the hole left by Jesus.

With a few big name players still away either at or after the World Cup, Arteta named as strong a side as possible for their final game before the Premier League’s return.

And they could have got off to a flying start against the Italians, with Reiss Nelson driving forward and crashing an effort into the side netting after just 43 seconds.

The Gunners controlled the game throughout the first half but could not take their chances.

Fabio Vieira saw a well struck volley saved at the near post while an Nketiah strike was ruled out for offside.

From the resulting free-kick, Nketiah passed up a golden chance to score when a mix-up between Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin and defender Fabio Miretti left the ball at his feet yards from goal.

The striker quickly fired across goal but managed to hit the far post instead of the back of the net. It was the kind of chance you cannot afford to waste during a title race.

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Having passed up all those chances, the hosts shot themselves in the foot moments before the break.

Tommaso Barbieri bent a hopeful cross into the Gunners box after a short corner only for Granit Xhaka, on his first outing since returning from Qatar, to glance a header into his own net.

Arsenal toiled after the break but could still not find a way back into the game before, in added time at the end of the game, Juventus added a second.

Joseph Nonge Boende played a low ball through into the path of England Under-20 international, Samuel Iling-Junior, whose strike deflected off Rob Holding and past Aaron Ramsdale.

While Ramsdale was making his Arsenal return after England’s run to the World Cup quarter-finals, there was still no sign of Bukayo Saka or Gabriel Martinelli.

Both are expected back at Arsenal’s London Colney training base in the coming days.

Full-backs Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu are both struggling with niggles but are expected to be in contention for West Ham on Boxing Day.

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