Reiss Nelson turned 23 on Saturday and celebrated his birthday with the second goal in our 2-1 Dubai Super Cup win over AC Milan.
The winger struck in what turned out to be the winner in the first half, but his shot was deflected past the keeper via a deflection from team-mate Martin Odegaard’s boot. Reiss, however, adds the strike to his own tally and let his captain know!
“I told him (Odegaard), I said listen! Just kidding,” he smiled after the game. “I think he inquired a bit, but that was my target. It was on target, I’ll take it and I think the scoreboard did, so that’s good.
That goal meant we followed up our 3-0 win over Lyon last week with another win against big European opposition. AC Milan are still in the Champions League this season and sit second in Serie A.
“We want to embed this winning habit in every game,” added Reiss. “It’s a friendly game but of course we take it seriously.
“Coming to a place like Dubai, you play in different circumstances, in the heat. Under pressure, playing against a team like AC Milan, those are the games you dream of, even if it’s a a friendly game. We still have to look forward to it, even the young boys loved it. It was a great opportunity for everyone.”
Reiss added that the time the players have spent together off the pitch during this training camp has been just as valuable as the hard work put in, and as an established first-team player he has also guided the young players this week.
“It was amazing,” he said. “Mikel kept the morale of the team so high, he did so many things, activities, team bonding and also training. We trained very hard but the most important thing was time out with the players and the integration of everyone.
It’s a new group with a lot of different players, (we had) two wins, the performance showed that we are still ready and ready for the games to come.
“It’s always good to show the young boys the experience that I have now, I talk to them all the time and try to put on the table as much as possible and encourage them and it’s nice to see them come out of it. The Arsenal Academy produces so many good players. It’s really good to see.
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