Arsene Wenger returned to his old stomping ground today and saw his Arsenal team run out 3-1 winners over Nagoya Grampus.
The boss started with: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Rosicky, Arteta, Ramsey, Ryo, Giroud, Walcott and a bench of: Martinez, Miquel, Wilshere, Olsson, Aneke, Gnabry, Eisfeld, Zelalem, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Akpom.
Arsenal got off to a great start, and Olivier Giroud continued his fine pre-season form, thumping home a header from a Rosicky cross to put Arsenal 1-0 up in the 3rd minute. That was the Frenchman’s 6th goal of the Asia tour.
Ryo Miyaichi, staring on his return to his home country, almost made it 2-0 when his left footed shot fizzed just wide of the far post.
The Gunners looked fluid and sharp after some intensive training and caused the home side problems with their movement and the pace of their passing, but Bacary Sagna had to be alert to sweep away a pass for 玉田 圭司 or it might have been ケネディ. We’re just not sure.
It was 2-0 in the 26th minute after Arsenal were awarded a penalty. To big cheers Ryo Miyaichi was given the responsibility, and the young man blasted it home to double the lead.
Rosicky then played Walcott through on goal but saw his shot saved leaving an unmarked Olivier Giroud frustrated as a simple 2 yard pass would have given him a tap-in.
Nagoya should have scored late in the half when Ogowa had two glorious chances. He fluffed a back post header then, when clean through on goal, pulled his shot like a one fingered man trying to knock one out to a picture of Bo Derek.
Arsenal made changes at the start of the second half, bringing on Wilshere, Zelalem, Gnabry, and Podolski for Arteta, Rosicky, Miyaichi and Giroud.
And it should have been 3-0 early on when Theo Walcott got behind the defence, had three Arsenal men to pick out but didn’t look up and found the one defender instead. Walcott was then played in beautifully by Jack Wilshere but he saw his shot well saved by the keeper.
Serge Gnabry showed his potential with a great run from out wide before curling a shot just past the far corner, but then Walcott finally got his goal after another eye-catching pass from Gedion Zelalem. The England man lifted the ball over the keeper to make it 3-0.
Then a man called to my door but the joke was on him because I don’t have a door at the moment so he tried to come around the side of the house only to be met by a large German Shepherd in full ‘YOU SHALL NOT PASS’ mode. The man went away. I hope it wasn’t anything important.
Arsenal made more changes with Akpom and Aneke replacing Walcott and the impressive Ramsey, but it was Nagoya who took advantage when Yano headed home a fine cross from the right hand side. Although Fabianski got a hand to it, he couldn’t keep it out.
Zelalem then set up Akpom with another delicious pass but the striker dinked his shot wide of the post. The game fizzled to a conclusion, as legs got tired on both sides.
It was a much more competitive run-out than the wins against Indonesia and Vietnam, and another good bit of pre-season preparation.
Arsenal play Urawa Red Diamonds on Friday before returning to the UK.