Arsenal were beaten 2-1 this afternoon by Galatasaray in the Emirates Cup, as Didier Drogba returned to haunt us once more.
Arsene Wenger named a first XI of: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Walcott, Sanogo
Former Gunner, and witless buffoon, Emmanuel Eboue captained the visiting side, while there there was an Arsenal debut for Yaya Sanogo. The young Frenchman showed early promise with a great turn and shot inside the first minute.
He then played a great pass for Theo Walcott who could have taken it on and gone for goal, but tried a delicate headed pass towards Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. And Arsenal’s top scorer should have opened the scoring in the 18th minute after latching on to a beautiful long pass from Aaron Ramsey, but with just the keeper to beat he poked his shot wide.
Wojciech Szczesny was then forced to clear with his head as Galatasaray threatened, but Bacary Sagna at centre-half twice snuffed out danger from the speedy Amrabat.
It wasn’t much of a game, so I tidied away some papers on my desk and in my eagerness ripped up an invoice I really needed but these things happen and there’s no point living in the past. It’s just a piece of paper.
But in the 39th minute Arsenal took the lead. After a corner routine, the ball came back to Theo Walcott who curled in a fairly tame cross which missed everyone, bounced across the area and in at the far post for 1-0.
Sanogo then got on the end of some nice Kieran Gibbs play but a good save from Muslera (oh, and the offside flag) denied him a goal, before he fired a left footed effort well over the bar, and the Gunners took their one goal lead into the break.
Galatastary brought on Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba at the break, and even after some time away from English football, the mere sight of Drogba’s hideous face made me angrier than a wasp who catches his mickey in his zip.
The visitors had the first chance of the second period when Eboue set Amrabat free down the left hand side, but he saw his near post shot saved by Szczesny.
Bacary Sagna then found Oxlade-Chamberlain but the keeper got a hand to the pass he was pulling back for Sanogo, while at the other end Drogba lashed a shot wide from a tight angle to great applause from the Arsenal fans. Not long after he got an effort on target having turned inside a tired looking Mertesacker but Szczesny was equal to the task.
Arsene Wenger then made his first changes, bringing on Olivier Giroud and young star Gedion Zelalem for Santi Cazorla and Yaya Sanogo. Giroud got a good shot away after a turn on the edge of the box but the keeper was positioned well and made a routine stop.
Ignasi Miquel then replaced Kieran Gibbs at left back and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should have had a penalty when he was clearly caught in the box but the referee waved play on. Giroud had a good header on target before Sneijder’s long rage effort tested Szczesny at his near post.
Drogba’s return to the Emirates wouldn’t have been complete without him being a gigantic minging cheat, and when Ignasi Miquel brushed off him in the area, the Ivorian went down as if he’d been shot and the referee bizarrely pointed to the spot. Drogba took the penalty himself and fired it home to make it 1-1.
In the 81st minute Lukas Podolski replaced Theo Walcott while Chuba Akpom came on for Aaron Ramsey but Amrabat had the chance to put the Turks ahead but he fired a shot over the bar from inside the box.
Drogba threatened again, driving into the box before being stopped by a top Mertetackle, but the horrendous ex-Chelsea striker put Galatasaray ahead in the 88th minute, turning back inside Mertesacker and firing home with his left foot to make it 2-1.
Arsenal pressed for an equaliser, none was forthcoming, and the Turkish side won the match and the Emirates Cup but then nobody really cares about that.
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