Vietnam 1 - 7 Arsenal
After the efficient dispatching of Indonesia, Arsenal continued their Asia tour by taking on Vietnam. The Vietnamese ranked 145th in the FIFA World Rankings, and so The Gunners were very much looking forward to another solid victory.[quote_right]”The opening five minutes were surprising. Vietnam were dominating possession, and were even managing to find space behind the Arsenal back four…”[/quote_right]
The opening five minutes were surprising. Vietnam were dominating possession, and were even managing to find space behind the Arsenal back four. However, just as Arsenal were looking shaky, Tomas Rosicky picked up the ball in midfield, and played a good ball over the top for Olivier Giroud.
The Frenchman took his shot with haste, forcing the Goalkeeper to uncomfortably parry the ball on to the far post, where it bounced back into the open net. Order had been restored.
Although Vietnam seemed to have been tamed, Arsenal’s goal didn’t really spur them on. An evident lack of fitness was being exposed in the Asian heat and humidity, resulting in some extremely poor passing from The Gunners.
Apart from a post-rattling shot from Podolski, Arsenal’s sloppiness continued up until the forty-fourth minute, where Giroud decided to score yet again. After a failed cross was headed out towards the edge of the box, Giroud chased the ball, spun and fired off a beautiful left-footed curler into the top corner. It was a stunning finish.
Just one minute later, Olivier Giroud completed his first half hattrick. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found Giroud with a pass after both made effective runs. Olivier then lifted the ball over the oncoming goalkeeper in a calm, composed fashion. Suddenly, Arsenal’s sloppy first half didn’t seem so bad.
The second half saw a large number of substitutions as expected, and Arsenal were looking much more threatening as a result. Within a minute, Theo Walcott played the ball to Chamberlain on the edge of the box, who wrapped his foot around the ball to place it into the top corner.[quote_left]”Amusingly, the Vietnamese Goalkeeper was sent off as he handled the ball outside the box…”[/quote_left]
In the fifty-sixth minute, Aaron Ramsey played a clever ball through to Akpom, who cut back intelligently, and curled the ball into the far bottom corner. Just two minutes later, a clever ball from Zelalem allowed Chamberlain to play Akpom across goal, who finished calmly.
It took Arsenal until the seventy-fifth minute to add their seventh goal of the game. Miquel and Eisfeld exchanged a one-two in the Vietnamese box, which ended with Miquel guiding a powerful shot between a crowd of players, and into the net.
The Arsenal defenders will have hoped for a clean sheet, but unfortunately, Vietnam managed to get one back, resulting from a pretty good looping header from inside the box. This was followed by a powerful freekick from outside the box, which Martinez managed to parry away to safety.
Amusingly, the Vietnamese Goalkeeper was sent off as he handled the ball outside the box as Wilshere attempted to go past him. Theo Walcott took the resulting free kick, but missed the target. As heavy rain poured, the game ended on that jovial note.
Arsenal will have enjoyed their seven goals, but will have been slightly concerned about their sloppy defending, which ultimately led to conceding.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
Had very little to do, but distributed the ball reasonably well.
Energetic as ever, Carl made a host of good runs forward, doing his best to help Chamberlain with his attacking duties.
Played at centre-back, and looked very assured in a position which is unfamiliar to him. He won headers, tackles and even managed to bring the ball forward to help set up attacks. Cleaned up regularly after Arsenal’s sloppy play in the first half.
Laurent looked comfortable enough, but was a little off the pace when it came to his one-on-one challenges, which he is usually a master of.
Almost suffered an injury as he lost his footing early in the game, but recovered well to produce a decent display. No errors, but no moments of magic either.
Much like against Indonesia, Arteta was a shadow of his usual self due to his obvious lack of fitness. Misplaced passes galore.
Tomas showed some very neat touches, doing well to assist Giroud and take part in a number of attacks. However, he did give the ball away on a number of occasions.
Serge looked very comfortable in his right-winger role, striking a healthy balance between his attacking and defensive duties. Made a number of tasty short and long-range passes.
The Ox: [7.5/10]
Had flashes of excellence, and did extremely well to assist Giroud’s third goal. The Ox was one of our more energetic players, helping to keep our tired midfield alive.
Unlucky to hit the post, but passed the ball instead of shooting when just yards from goal. Didn’t help out much defensively.
Despite a few poor touches here and there, you can’t really fault Olivier’s performance. He didn’t just score three goals, he scored three fantastic goals.
Did well defensively, and linked up brilliantly with Eisfeld to get himself on the score sheet.
One of the most exciting players on the pitch. Zelalem picked out a number of brilliant passes, and made some tough tackles across the midfield. A definite hot prospect.
Per came on and did a good job of shoring up the defence. As ever, he read the game well, and looked as fit as a fiddle.
Came on late, but I’m sure many are thankful to see him at all. Seemed to move across the pitch in his usual manner, and would have grabbed a goal were it not for the Goalkeeper handling the ball outside the box.
Plenty of movement and pace created issues for the Asian defenders, but Theo failed to grab himself a goal despite a number of chances.
Aaron yet again looked confident in the centre of midfield, and did well to assist Akpom. His passing was accurate, and he made some good defensive tackles.
Ryo looked lively, but failed to make any real impact. However, he showed some very quick feet in and around the Vietnamese box.
Two very well taken goals for Akpom will give him a huge confidence boost. He played intelligently, and was slightly unlucky to not record a hattrick.
Patrolled the midfield well, but didn’t do much in terms of creativity.
Chuks once again played at centre back, but looked comfortable throughout.
Did very well to set up Miquel to make it seven for Arsenal, but wasn’t too involved in much else.
Was unfortunate to concede, but made an impressive save after a powerful Vietnamese freekick.
The Gunners will be proud of the fact that they have managed to score 14 goals in total across two pre-season matches. Olivier Giroud in particular will be happy that he has managed to grab 5 of them for himself. However, Arsenal looked extremely frail in defence today, and a better team would have certainly taken advantage.
A big positive was Jack Wilshere’s return, who missed out on the Indonesia game due to Flu. He looked fit, composed and ready to take on the rest of Arsenal’s pre-season campaign. That alone is worth celebrating.
With just one month to go until the first game of the season, today’s win will be extremely welcome amongst the Arsenal camp. Next up, Japan.
What did you think of the Vietnam Vs Arsenal match? Share your views in the comments section below!