Two matches in two days feels a little wierd. But hey. Action, action, action!
A come from behind 2-1 victory saw Arsenal win the inaugural Emirates Cup in front of 55,000 fans at Ashburton Grove. A quick-reply goal from Hleb and a cut-back-thunderbolt from van Persie late on saw the home side win both the match against Inter as well as the tournement, as Valencia succumbed to PSG 0-3.
Arsenal completely dominated Inter Milan from the start, with Inter’s ‘keeper the difference between full-possession and a large scoreline. van Persie had a shot saved on the half hour, as well as a deflected freekick on the byline batted away somehow. Typical, then, that Arsenal were to concede first early on in the second half – Suazo heading in after outjumping Gallas on 60 minutes. How many times have I seen Gallas beaten to the ball in the past season? Essien’s equaliser against us late on in the season comes to mind immediately (the header, not the wild shot from out west).
It was just five minutes later, however, that Arsenal equalised through Alex Hleb. Breaking through, his initial shot rebounded off of Toldo, and on the second attempt, slotted home for 1-1. At this point, a lot of match reports are highlighting what a brilliant game Hleb actually had – and it seems poignant that he has literally shone in the friendlies when played on the left, but even more so in an advanced central position. Food for thought.
Arsenal left it late, and the best for last, so it seems, when van Persie turned his marker inside-out, upside-down, back and forth to blast into the top corner to win the cup. I only hope there’s more of that to come this season.
An interesting quote after the match from Wenger, responding to possible defensive weaknesses: “We have to work on that. In the air we have to be more efficient because in England that’s an important way to stop goals. For me Senderos played very, very well yesterday and he is good in the air. We have Djourou, who is injured at the moment, as well. So I feel we don’t want to buy a centre back.”
And so ends any speculation over Senderos’ future, one would hope. It’s a short blog due to time constraints today, but thankfully there’s a small break before the last two friendlies. In other news, Wenger plays down him having dinner with David Dein the other night (it’s not like they’re sleeping together or anything), Roeder is apparently ‘on the shortlist’ but no contact has been had with him over any appointment for Director of Football, and Reyes might be off to Athletico Madrid. Please, someone, get that fiasco over with.
And that’s all there’s time for today. Wonder how many spam comments I’ll have to delete when I get back.
Stay well, my pretties.