Nuno Tavares singles out Arsenal pair as “the best” after debut Gunners goal

Arsenal’s new signing Nuno Tavares has got his time at the club off to a perfect start after scoring in their pre-season friendly against Rangers.

Tavares joined the Gunners last week from Benfica and scored his new club’s first equaliser of the afternoon.

The match ended 2-2 with goals from Tavares and Eddie Nketiah and Rangers’ Leon Balogun and Cedric Itten in a slightly improved performance for the Gunners.

Tavares was delighted to start with a goal and said it was good to play with the “best” in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

He told the club website: “I feel very happy to score my first goal with Arsenal. I’m so excited for this and today I did it.

Nuno Tavares scored on his debut for Arsenal

“I felt good. It was a good game for me and for us. A good test. I think we had a good match and we learned a lot.

“It’s good to play with the best, like Aubameyang and Laca. They’re very good players and to play with them, it’s so good.”

And manager Mikel Arteta was full of praise for his new player.

He said: “A great debut with his right foot as well! He’s only been with us a few days but you can already see his qualities, his physicality and then the quality on the ball that he has. He’s integrating with the lads really well, so it’s a good start.”

The draw is a step forward from Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Hibernian and Arteta shared his thoughts on the performance.

He added: “Overall I’m really pleased with the performance. I think we dominated the game, we created so many chances – I counted about eight or 10 clear chances to score – but this game is decided in both boxes.

“We weren’t clinical in the opponent’s box and we conceded two goals from two corners, which were the only chances they had apart from the counter-attack from our own corner.

“It’s much better from the other day and you tell that physically we were already better in the second game, the organisation was better, individually they played better, but I really liked the collective understanding of the game and how we executed a lot of things we’ve been working on in the training pitch.”

Arteta also said the performance showed promise for the campaign ahead.

“It’s been really good. We created so many chances but we are not converting enough. Today we should’ve scored many more goals and with the quality of the players we have up front, they have to demand much more of themselves. But at least we are getting there, the process is becoming much clearer, much better.

“Without the ball as well, we worked really hard and were really efficient. We won a lot of balls in the final third so there are a lot of positives to take.”

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