Arsenal thrash Charlton in friendly at empty Emirates Stadium



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Arsenal returned to action for the first time since the Premier League was stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic as they beat Charlton Athletic 6-0 in a friendly at an empty Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Premier League clubs were this week given the all-clear to play friendlies ahead of the scheduled restart on June 17, following a three-month stoppage.

Arsenal hosted second-tier Charlton behind closed doors and with officiating roles carried out by club staff.

Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored before half-time while academy graduate Eddie Nketiah grabbed a second-half hat trick. Joe Willock was also on target.

Arsenal, who are ninth in the standings, are away to Manchester City on June 17 on the first day of the Premier League’s return.

There was also good news on the coronavirus testing front on Saturday as the latest round of tests for COVID-19 produced no positives, the league said.

A total of 1,195 tests were carried out on Thursday and Friday, the sixth round of tests since players from England’s 20 top-flight clubs returned to training. The previous rounds of testing produced 13 positives.

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