Arsenal thrash Charlton in first friendly since 3-month stoppage

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring a goal during a match in London in February. (AP pic)

LONDON: 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.

Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored before halftime while academy graduate Eddie Nketiah grabbed a second half hattrick. Joe Willock was also on target.

Arsenal, who are ninth in the standings, are away to Manchester City on June 17.