Ireland hopeful Ryan Johansson starts for Bayern Munich in loss to Arsenal

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Ireland hopeful Ryan Johansson started for Bayern Munich as they lost 2-1 to Arsenal in a pre-season friendly in the United States.

Eddie Nketiah proved to be the match-winner but Irish eyes were watching Johansson, who has played underage football for Luxembourg, his country of birth, Sweden, where his father is from, and the Republic of Ireland, where his mother is from.

The 18-year-old winger has reportedly expressed a preference for representing Ireland in future.

He was withdrawn following a goalless first half, after which Unai Emery’s side took the lead four minutes later when Louis Poznanski diverted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross into his own goal before Robert Lewandowski equalised with a fine header.

The match looked to be heading for a draw but young forward Tyreece John-Jules worked his way down the left side of the Bayern penalty box to cut the ball back for Nketiah to tap home two minutes from time.

The German outfit had the first chance at the Dignity Health Sports Park but Thomas Muller could not convert David Alaba’s cross thanks to a superb save from Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

Mesut Ozil, donning a new blonde hairstyle, forced Manuel Neuer into a good stop at the other end as the first half produced few clearcut chances.

The Gunners took the lead through Poznanski’s own goal but needed a hand from the onrushing Leno to deny former Arsenal forward Serge Gnabry in his first match against the Gunners since leaving the north London club in 2016.

Gnabry did have a hand in the leveller, curling a fine cross for Lewandowski to head into the top corner before Nketiah sealed victory as the Premier League side fielded a youthful team to finish the match.

PA & Digital Desk

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