Unai Emery opted for youth over experience in his final pre-season game before the Gunners face Manchester City next Sunday, with Nelson and Eddie Nketiah preferred to Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil.
There were, however, first appearances for summer signings Lucas Torreira and Stephan Lichtsteiner, the latter of whom provided a swift indication of the attitude that convinced Arsenal to make him their first addition of the off-season when he squared up to Senad Lulic inside three minutes.
Most players seemed to be prioritising the avoidance of injuries over barnstorming performances, but Nelson was eager to show his worth to Emery and was rewarded with a goal after 19 minutes.
The winger led a counter forward but smartly waited for the overlapping Alex Iwobi to enter play before pouncing on the rebound when the Nigerian’s shot deflected off the post.
Arsenal’s defence showed vulnerability to crosses from wide and both Luis Alberto and Lulic should have done better when they had chances in the area, though the Gunners nearly doubled their advantage before the break when Iwobi flashed wide.
Aubameyang would be introduced after the interval and showed further signs of a burgeoning understanding with fellow £50million striker when he received Alexandre Lacazette’s pass and curled a deflected shot off a Lazio defender and into the net.