SV Mattersburg 1-2 Arsenal – 25/07/06 – (Friendly) 26 July, 2006Posted by lasagnechef in Uncategorized.
Arsenal beat Mattersburg by two goals to one last night with a few world cup stars making their return to the team. Tomas Rosicky making his debut, Kolo Toure, Eboue and Adebayor all coming on at the hour mark. We had a good start and in the fifth minute Traore whipped in a low cross which Aliadiere volleyed into the back of the net at the near post. Then after this both Hleb and Aliadiere had a chance to make it 2-0 with Hleb’s shot saved when one-on-one with the ‘keeper and then Aliadiere headed the ball over the bar from the rebound.
Mattersburg had a few attacks, in the 17th minute Bernd Kaintz shot in low which Zinedine Cygan blocked to send it for a corner. Goce Sedloski also had a chance from a free kick but it hit the wall from which Morz powered in a shot which forced Almunia to make a good save. However Manuel had to make an ever better save when Morz again tried to take a touch around him but Almunia lunged and pushed the ball away.
At Half time Almmunia was replaced for Poom and Lupoli came on for Bendtner. Nicklas couldn’t really get in the game and didn’t look too sharp; he just announced this week that he is staying with Arsenal after threatening to go to Rangers. Another performance that stood out in the first half was Alex Song, however, he had a brilliant game and easily his best for Arsenal. He was showing what Wenger must’ve seen in him and made some bright passes and some clever play. Don’t forget who we were playing though, but at least he’s making progress.
The Austrian side nearly got an equaliser with Poom spilling a shot from Kaintz but it was Arsenal who looked most threatening and made it 2-0 on 53 minutes. Song did well to set up Justin Hoyte who placed it into the net past the ‘keeper. On the hour mark we saw some more exiting substitutions: Adebayor, Toure, Eboue and Rosicky came on for Aliadiere, Cygan, Hoyte, Randall with Toure taking the armband. Our new Czech midfielder Rosicky went over to the left flank with Hleb taking the right. We looked quite a threatening team on paper but it was the home side who were making progress. In the 70th minute Patocka crossed in a free kick from the left and Patrick Burger headed it against the bar. A close shave. But not long after Patocka scored from a header off the woodwork to make it 2-1. Our defending from the corners and set pieces wasn’t amazing which we were made to pay the price for, nearly 2 goals in quick succession and it would have levelled the scores. Thankfully there were no more goals and we held out to win 2-1. The game had impressive performances from Song, Almunia, Traore and Lupoli with Rosicky showing glimpses of some exiting talent, I’m looking forward to seeing him more in an Arsenal Shirt. Our next friendly of this pre-season tour of Austria is against Schwadorf on Monday 31st July.