SINGAPORE — Atletico Madrid beat Arsenal 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes for the opening International Champions Cup match in Singapore.
Atleti’s Luciano Vietto broke the deadlock at National Stadium with a headed goal from an Angel Correa cross four minutes before half-time, but the lead lasted just two second-half minutes thanks to a superb Emile Smith Rowe effort for the Gunners.
That was the extent of the goal scoring action until the penalty shootout, though, with both sides thwarted by good goalkeeping.
Arsenal coach Unai Emery and his players were probably relieved to see the back of Jan Oblak at the break — the goalkeeper was in typically dominant form during the opening 45 minutes, denying Arsenal on numerous occasions.
The humid conditions in Singapore hindered the spectacle in front of a relatively sparse crowd, particularly in the second half, which suffered further from the 63rd minute onwards after both sides made numerous changes — particularly Emery’s eight changes at once.
Antonio Adan, who replaced Oblak at half-time and conceded Smith Rowe’s wonderful finish almost immediately, turned hero in the penalty shootout — the summer signing saved three of the four penalties he faced and scored the winner himself in emphatic style.
Otherwise, Reiss Nelson and Matteo Guendouzi put in promising displays that will have encouraged Emery, while Simone will be satisfied by his team’s start to their ICC campaign.