Forward Yaya Sanogo scored four goals and Arsenal lit up Benfica for a 5-1 friendly victory Saturday at Emirates Stadium.
Sanogoa was forced to overcome a back injury last season and didn't have a real impact last term, but by the 49th minute he had scored all four of his goals. The 21-year-old Frenchman, along with striker Joel Campbell, couldn’t be contained.
The onslaught began in the 26th minute when Sanoga charged in front of Benfica keeper Artur’s net and deflected Aaron Ramsey’s cross with a spinning backheel strike for the 1-0 lead.
Campbell later padded the lead in the 40 the minute, accepting defender Hector Bellerin’s low cross into breathtaking, left-footed volley strike that bounced in front of Artur and spun into the right side of the goal.
Benfica’s backline continued to break down on Sanogo’s second goal in the 44th. After several blocks but failing to properly clear the ball, Benfica allowed both Campbell and Sanogo behind the backline and onside, with the former feeding the latter for a simple touch in front of a wide open net.
Sanogo would wrap up the hat trick before the end of the first half, displaying excellent body control while sliding to accept Ramsey’s second assist of the match and converting the goal from a seemingly impossible angle.
Ramsey also deserves some credit for Sanogo’s fourth goal. He had his shot blocked by Artur, but it deflected right to Sanogo in front of the net for the 4-0 lead.
Benfica didn’t fold completely and played hard throughout the match, with midfielder Nicolas Gaitan notching their only goal in the 62 nd minute off a set piece.
Arsenal might face a stiffer test Sunday when the square off against Monaco.