Home » EPL, Latest » Pre-season friendly: Indonesia XI 0 Arsenal 7

Olivier Giroud did his best to convince manager Arsene Wenger that he does not need to sign a new striker this summer with a quickfire brace to get Arsenal’s pre-season campaign off to a winning start.

The France international, who was the Gunners first-choice centre-forward last season, scored twice within minutes of coming on as a second half substitute to fire the perfect reminder to Wenger, as the Barclays Premier League side smashed seven past an Indonesian Dream Team in Jakarta.

Arsene Wenger fielded a strong team for his side’s first pre-season match of the summer, Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs all starting the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

And the Gunners nearly got off to a dream start inside the opening minute after rookie Chuba Akpom failed to get a good connection when presented with a clear sight of goal after excellent work from Aaron Ramsey down the left flank.

As you’d expect Arsenal looked comfortable in possession from the start, with the central midfield trio of Arteta, Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain all having an early influence.

Akpom squandered another chance in the seventh minute, firing an angled shot wide after good work from Serge Gnabry.

Arteta then fired a venomous drive from 25 yards narrowly wide of Kurnia Meiga’s far post three minutes later as Arsenal searched for an opener.

The impressive Gnabry then pierced through the home side’s defence with a pacy run, cutting inside from the left-hand touchline, but his low strike was held by Meiga.

But the Gunners finally made their dominance pay in the 18th minute, Walcott cooly slotting home from 13 yards after excellent work from Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The goal was no more than Arsenal deserved after their bright start, and it was to their credit that they didn’t take their foot off the gas after breaking the deadlock.

Akpom and Gibbs both missed golden chances to double Arsenal’s lead before the break as the Londoners turned the screw.

But the tourists could easily have found themselves level at half-time after Indonesian skipper Boaz Solossa scuffed a volley straight at Lukasz Fabianski deep inside the Arsenal area.

Wenger made five changes at half-time, Laurent Koscielny, Gedion Zelalem, Kris Olsson, Thomas Eisfeld and Chuks Aneke replacing Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta, Mertesacker and Walcott.
And the changes paid instant dividend as Akpom stroked home from close range after Gnabry’s low cross.

Despite doubling their lead, the substitutions clearly disrupted Arsenal’s flow as they struggled to replicate their first-half fluency during the opening stages of the second half.

Wenger threw on four of his big-guns to add fresh impetus into his side, Bacary Sagna, Olivier Giroud, Tomas Rosicky and Lukas Podolski all coming on.

And the move had the desired effect as Arsenal notched a flurry of late goals.

First, Giroud beat Meiga with a deft flick after Sagna’s low cross in the 70th minute and the France striker combined with the right-back again just three minutes later, rifling a powerful drive past the helpless Meiga.

Podolski made it five, smashing a low drive home after Rosicky’s delicate touch, before Olsson slid home at the back post to make it six.

Eisfeld completed the scoring, hammering a shot home off the underside of the bar as Arsenal cruised to victory.

Afterwards Wenger said: ‘We played with good technical skill and overall it was a positive night.

‘It felt like we were playing at home because of the great supporter.

‘It was 1-0 at half time but the gap got bigger when we made subsitiutions late on when they were tiring. But of course our power made a big difference in the end.

‘Everyone came through well, it was interesting to see our young players. We played at a good pace and played penetrating football.

‘I like Olivier Giroud, he scored 17 goals last season and I’m sure he will improve again. Wilshere had a bit of flu, but he will play the next game.

‘All the youngsters did well tonight, I was happy with all of them.

‘Yes my contract expires in 2014, but there is a good chance I’ll stay longer.’

Source: Daily Mail


Arsenal: Fabianski (Martinez 68); Jenkinson (Sagna 68), Miquel, Mertesacker (Koscielny 46), Gibbs; Arteta (Zelalem 46), Ramsey (Rosicky 68), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Olsson 46); Gnabry (Podolski 68), Akpom (Giroud 68), Walcott (Eisfeld 46)

Subs not used: Szczesny, Wilshere, Aneke, Ryo

Goals: Walcott 19, Akpom 54, Giroud 70, 74, Podolski 83, Olsson 85, Eisfeld 87

Indonesia XI: Meiga; Sanadi, Igbonefo, Solossa, Maitimo; Van Dijk, Kabes, Wanggai, Jufrianto; Roby, Kipuw

Subs: Syukur, Salampessy, Sucipto, Wahyu, Wirawan, Mofu, Pae, Ripora, Bonay, Mokodompit, Pellu, Rahadhan

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