Arsenal suffer defeat in first mid-season friendly

Henry Burt
Martin Odegaard was among those who played
Martin Odegaard was among those who played / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Arsenal suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Watford in a behind-closed-doors on Saturday, with the game staged to keep players not competing at the World Cup fresh.

Eddie Nketiah and Brazilian youngster Marquinhos were on the scoresheet for Mikel Arteta's side, but it was not enough to stop the Hornets from coming away with the victory.

The Gunners' side included a mixture of academy players and first-team regulars who are not attending the ongoing World Cup, such as captain Martin Odegaard and the likes of Rob Holding and Mohamed Elneny.

Arteta also opted to substitute all 11 of his players at half-time, suggesting that this friendly was merely an exercise in maintaining his player's fitness during a period of over a month without Premier League football.

The Arsenal boss was also able to give minutes to the likes of 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri, who became the youngest player in Premier League history when he came off the bench against Brentford earlier this season.