Indonesia 0 – 7 Arsenal
Arsenal kicked off their pre-season by visiting Jakarta, Indonesia, to play the Indonesia Dream Team. Naturally, Arsenal approached the game in a relaxed fashion, starting with a number of younger squad players.[quote_right]”Carl Jenkinson, Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in particular were looking lively…”[/quote_right]
As expected, The Gunners started the game energetically, stamping their slightly rusty authority on to the fixture. The Indonesians looked well organised, but after the first ten minutes, it was evident that Arsenal should have little trouble overcoming their Asian counterparts.
Carl Jenkinson, Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in particular were looking lively, as each one made individual, positive runs forward.
It didn’t take Arsenal too long to get themselves in front. In the nineteenth minute, Chamberlain made an electrifying run through the centre of the Indonesian defence, reaching the byline. He beat his defender with some clever trickery, and laid off a pass to Theo Walcott, who tucked the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
Following the goal, Arsenal were relatively comfortable – yet were showing clear signs of pre-season syndrome. Misplaced crosses and passes were accompanied by some poor shooting.
Despite conceding, the Indonesia Dream Team continued to organize themselves in the centre of the pitch, causing discomfort for Arsenal’s midfield trio of Arteta, Ramsey and Gnabry right up until the half-time whistle.
The second half saw a number of changes for The Gunners. Koscielny, Aneke, Zelalem, Olsson and Eisfeld made up the five substitutes, which injected even more youth and virility into the side.[quote_left]”Giroud quickly turned and blasted the ball into the top corner of the net. The finish was superb.”[/quote_left]
Arsenal continued to cruise through the game, and managed to get their second through Akpom in the fifty-fourth minute. Serge Gnabry beat a defender of the left-wind, and crossed calmly to Akpom, who tapped the ball beyond the flailing hands of the goalkeeper.
Indonesia threatened Arsenal very little, and the introduction of Olivier Giroud and Bacary Sagna spelt even more trouble for them. In the seventieth minute, Sagna crossed from the right, and Giroud was able to flick the ball past the goalkeeper in a very slick fashion.
Just tow minutes later, Sagna crossed once again to the feet of Giroud, who quickly turned and blasted the ball into the top corner of the net. The finish was superb.
In the eighty-second minute, Podolski pushed Arsenal further ahead when Rosicky played him into the box. Podolski took a touch and fired home with his powerful left foot. In the dying moments, Olsson added the sixth goal with an easy finish at the far post, whilst Eisfeld completed Arsenal’s performance with a thunderous shot from close range, which crashed in off the crossbar.
The game ended with a cheer for both sides. The fixture was useful for fitness as well as confidence, as was surely enjoyed by all who witnessed it live.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
Had extremely little to do, but did everything he was asked of.
Carl looked very lively. He made several runs forward both with and without the ball at his feet, and managed to put in some high quality crosses.
Per looked as professional as ever, reading the game well and executing some well-timed tackles.
Looked slightly uncomfortable at times, and was perhaps the weakest link in the side. However, he made no real errors.
Kieran was defensively sound, but was a little rusty further up the pitch. He only managed to mount a threat once, when he skewed his shot wide of the mark.
Understandably, Mikel looked slightly off the pace, but managed to complete the vital passes which helped keep Arsenal’s moves flowing.
Aaron played for roughly seventy minutes, gaining some valuable fitness in the process. His passing was tidy, and he made some tough challenges across the pitch.
Serge stood out immediately in the opening minutes. His passing was effective and he made a number of intelligent runs. Did well to set up Akpom.
The Ox: [7/10]
Chamberlain’s pace was a huge concern for Indonesia. He ran at defenders often, and set Walcott up very well. Although it must be said that he lacked his usual sharpness in front of goal.
Theo approached the game in a relaxed fashion, deciding not to exert himself in terms of pace in the opening minutes. However, he looked comfortable on the ball, and took his goal very well.
Looked subdued for most of the game, and didn’t make too many useful runs off the ball. However, Akpom finished very well from Sergeb Ganbry’s cross to put Arsenal two goals up.
Laurent made a number of good tackles, and looked very confident at the heart of the defence. Untroubled.
Didn’t exactly take the game by the scruff of the neck, but Thomas made some reliable passes, and produced a wonderful, powerful finish to make it 7 for Arsenal.
Played in an unfamiliar position at centre-back, but looked comfortable enough.
Looked relatively quiet throughout, but did well to finish under pressure at the far-post.
Made an amazing through ball to Eisfeld with the outside of his boot during the second half. Looked solid and assured in possession. An exciting prospect.
Tomas did what was expected of him. He added some experience to the side, and did well to assist Lukas Podolski.
Lukas looked to be arriving late to the party, but In typical fashion, he produced an insanely powerful left-footed shot into the bottom corner from just inside the box.
Changed the game. Bacary looked energized from the second he came on, and did brilliantly to assist both of Giroud’s goals.
Both of Olivier’s goals were of a high, high quality. A classy flick followed by a powerful top corner blaster will give Giroud plenty of confidence for the games ahead.
[title]Business As Usual[/title]
For Arsenal, it business as usual. Indonesia never truly tested the strength of Arsenal reserve, but I doubt anybody really expected them to. The positives are of course the result, as well as the fitness benefits the fixture will bring.
It was exciting to see Gnabry, Eisfeld, Chamberlain and Jenkinson, who make up four of the five players we said we’d like to see more of this coming season. Theo Walcott befittingly got Arsenal first goal on the pre-season, and players like Ramsey and Mertesacker can also be proud of their individual performances.
All in all, the result and performance today was the perfect way for Arsenal to get back to work.
What did you think of the Indonesia Vs Arsenal match? Share your views in the comments section below!